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ALL ALASKA GAS PIPELINE SIGNATURES TURNED IN

Submitted by Scott Heyworth
Anchorage, AK
January 11, 2002

The Citizens Initiative for the All-Alaska Gasline turned in 42,105 registered voter signatures to the state of Alaska, Division of Elections, on Friday, January 11, 2002.

The group hired an armored truck from Loomis Security to deliver the petition booklets from Wells Fargo Bank, where they have been stored in multiple safety deposit boxes, to the Division of Elections office.

"This gives the citizens of Alaska a seat at the table for the development of a gasline and we didn't have that until this initiative came along. The signatures we've collected statewide represent the will of the people," said Scott Heyworth, chair of the committee. "They must be protected, and so we hired security."

The Initiative creates a State Gas Authority which would oversee the construction by the Private Sector of a 800 mile gas pipeline parallel to the TAPS oil pipeline using the existing corridor. The Authority would buy the gas at the wellhead, construct the pipeline and compressor stations, build the LNG facility at Anderson Bay in Valdez and ship the gas to multiple markets along the West Coast of America, the Pacific Rim and also provide in-state gas to Alaskan Residents.

The cost of the project is about $8Billion. The project would be financed by private investors, possibly including some percentage of ownership by the State of Alaska. The majority of the debt would be financed by long term revenue bonds issued by the Authority. By initiative law, in a section titled "Credit not Pledged to the State", the Authority would not be indebted to the State or encumber the Permanent Fund. It is a stand alone project. The gas markets alone will determine the project viability.

"This is the one project that will energize Alaska with the most jobs, the most state and municipal revenues and the most in-state gas usage, " Heyworth said. "It is also the correct environmental route," he added.

"We can get gas up and down the Yukon River, build a spur line to Southcentral from Glennallen, and use smaller LNG barges to ship our gas to Southeast, Kodiak, and the West Coast of Alaska to bring the high cost of energy down," he added.

The Division of Elections must begin the task of certifying that the Initiative has 28,783 valid signatures before it will be certified for the November 5, 2002 general election ballot.

"Alaskans clearly want an All-Alaskan gasline first and anything into Canada second, just as our State Constitution, Article 8, Section 2 mandates," Heyworth said.


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