September 12, 2001 --- Vol. 7, No. 118September 2001

Alyeska resumes loading operations in Valdez

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. resumed loading operations at its Valdez marine terminal this morning after the Coast Guard lifted a moratorium put in place yesterday, the company said in a statement.

The Coast Guard asked Alyeska to evacuate non-critical personnel from the terminal and disburse the tankers to sea because of concerns that an Anchorage bound KAL jet might pose a threat to the terminal. The jet landed without incident after being diverted with a fighter escort to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

The tankers Overseas Chicago and the B/T Alaska were the first to begin loading today, the company said.

Alyeska remains at a heightened level of security.

Torgerson says producer threats won't sway Legislature

Sen. John Torgerson, R-Kasilof, chairman of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines, has restated the Legislature's opposition to an over-the-top gas pipeline route in response to published threats that natural gas producers would abandon their pipeline feasibility studies if government ruled any route off limits.

In a statement released today, Torgerson said:

"The 'over-the-top' line is just not going to happen. The Legislature passed a law against it last session, (U.S.) Rep. Don Young inserted language in the energy bill the House passed opposing it, (U.S.) Senators Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski oppose it in the Senate, the North Slope Borough opposes it, the Eskimo whalers oppose it and folks all over Alaska oppose it. How much clearer do we have to be?"

The statement said Torgerson and committee vice chairman Rep. Joe Green, R-Anchorage, had had "full and frank discussions" with BP's Gas Business Unit Leader Ken Konrad on Monday, and that Konrad told them the industry group would work with the Legislature to find mutually acceptable solutions.

"We are not going to do a project that Alaska doesn’t want," Konrad told Torgerson and Green.

The joint pipeline committee will meet in Anchorage Sept. 19, and Torgerson said he would travel to Washington, D.C., following that meeting to make clear the Legislature's opposition to the over-the-top route.

Carlile trucks transport stranded North Slope workers

Carlile Transportation Services Inc. has pitched in to help some of its customers’ North Slope employees get home despite an FAA ban on civilian aircraft operations.

"Officially we don’t transport passengers," Kevin Cilk of Carlile’s North Slope office told PNA. "We’ve given some customers a ride home — people who work for BP, Phillips and Colville."

The company is giving the workers a lift in Carlile trucks as far as Fairbanks, where rental cars are available. Passengers are permitted on the trucks as long as they have company permission and no fare is charged, said company President Harry McDonald.

The flying ban is causing other concerns for the company. "The mood here is quite subdued; we’re nervous about getting food to remote place we fly food, such as Alpine," Cilk said.

Alliance annual meeting to be rescheduled

The Alaska Support Industry Alliance said today that its annual meeting, scheduled for this evening at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel, has been canceled. The Alliance said that many individuals who had planned to attend are unable to due to aviation restrictions.

The meeting will be rescheduled for a later date.

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