January 11, 2002 --- Vol. 8, No. 5January 2002

Citizens group delivers petitions with 42,105 signatures endorsing an all-Alaska gasline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez

This afternoon the Citizens Initiative for the All-Alaska Gasline delivered a petition endorsing an all-Alaska gas pipeline with 42,105 signatures to the state Division of Elections in Anchorage.

The initiative, hand delivered in several crates by the group's chair Scott Heyworth and a Loomis Security Services armored van, would create a State Gas Authority which would oversee the construction of an 800 mile gas pipeline parallel to the trans-Alaska oil pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez.

"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 provide in-state gas to Alaskan residents," Heyworth told PNA in a written statement.

The cost of the project is expected to be $8 billion. It would be financed by private investors, "possibly including some percentage of ownership by the state of Alaska," he said.

The majority of the debt would be financed by long term revenue bonds issued by the authority. Heyworth said by initiative law the authority would not be indebted to the state or encumber the Permanent Fund. It is a stand alone project. The gas markets, he said, will determine its 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. "We can get gas up and down the Yukon River, build a spur line to Southcentral from Glennallen into our Enstar grid, and use smaller LNG barges to Southeast, Kodiak, and the West Coast of Alaska to bring the high cost of energy down."

The Division of Elections has to verify the initiative has a minimum of 28,770 valid signatures before it will be certified for the November 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.

The goal of the authority is to have the Alaska gas line in full production by 2007.

Ninth Circuit denies appeal for Exxon Valdez punitive damage rehearing

Exxon Mobil Corp. said today that it has been advised by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the plaintiffs' motion for a rehearing on Exxon Valdez punitive damages by the full Ninth Circuit Court has been denied.

ExxonMobil Chairman Lee Raymond said Nov. 7, 2001, that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed the company's position that the $5 billion punitive damage award related to the Exxon Valdez accident was excessive.

Raymond said the Valdez oil spill was a tragic accident that ExxonMobil deeply regrets.

The appeals court decision sends the case back to the federal court in Anchorage with orders to reduce the award to an amount consistent with constitutional limits.

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