House passes Chenault’s in-state gas line bill

JUNEAU — The Alaska House has passed legislation aimed at advancing an in-state natural gas pipeline project.

Monday night’s 30-9 vote followed hours of debate and failed attempts led by minority Democrats to amend the bill, including to give the Regulatory Commission of Alaska authority to review and approve contracts to ensure “just and reasonable” gas costs.

Supporters see House Bill 4 as necessary to help move a gas line project to an open season, the point at which interest would be gauged. Critics say they understand the desire to get gas to Alaskans, but see the bill as too far-reaching, with limited oversight.

Senate Resources was scheduled to start hearing the bill earlier this week. HB 4 is seen as one of the major pieces still in play as the Legislature nears its scheduled adjournment.

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