Congress has severely cut the budget for the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects.
In the consolidated appropriations act, H.R. 2055, that President Obama signed Dec. 23, the coordinator’s office received $1 million for fiscal year 2012.
That compares to about $4 million the office received in each of the two preceding budget years, Larry Persily, the federal coordinator, told Petroleum News.
Persily is now taking steps to reduce the small agency’s expenses and its 11-person staff, which is split between Washington, D.C., and Anchorage.
Persily stressed, however, that the office will be able to continue its work, thanks in part to its $2 million in reserves.
Congress created the coordinator’s office with the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act of 2004. The agency’s job is to expedite and coordinate federal permitting and construction of a multibillion-dollar Alaska North Slope gas pipeline.
While one major gas line proposal remains on the table, prospects for such a megaproject seem to have dimmed recently.
See story in Jan. 1 issue, available online at 11 a.m., Friday, Dec. 30, at www.PetroleumNews.com