The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 



Walker wants to buyout TransCanada

(AP) Gov. Bill Walker said Monday that he plans to recommend to legislators that the state buy out TransCanada Corp.'s position in the major liquefied natural gas project that Alaska is pursuing.

Under an agreement that predates Walker's administration, TransCanada, a Canadian pipeline company, would hold the state's interest in the pipeline and gas treatment plant, with the state having an option to buy back part of that interest. During the legislative debate on the issue in 2014, it was cast as a way for the state to not have to bear as much in upfront costs as it would without that partnership.

But the agreement also contains language allowing the state to terminate that arrangement, though the state would have to reimburse TransCanada for its development costs, plus 7.1 percent.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Walker said the pipeline is an important piece of the project, and the state needs to be more involved in that work.

"We need a seat at the table," he said. "Right now, they have our seat."

TAPS undervalued by its owners court says

Photo courtesy Linda Guthrie

Fourth graders from Linda Guthries class went on the annual field trip to Crooked Creek last week to learn how to harvest salmon eggs that are then fertilized so the students can track the early life cycle of the resulting fry. This year, the class was also treated to a Mears Glacier tour with Stan Stephens Cruises. The fry will be released back into the creek before the end of the school year.

(AP) The trans-Alaska oil pipeline system (TAPS) was worth far more between 2007 and 2009 than oil companies claimed, according to the Alaska Supreme Court.

The state's highest court on Friday upheld a 2011 Superior Court ruling that the pipeline was worth $8.9 billion to $9.6 billion during that time, reported The Fairbanks Daily news Miner.

The lawsuit is one of several in an ongoing battle between pipeline owners and the municipalities that tax the system, including Fairbanks North Star Borough and Valdez.

Pipeline owners argued that the system was worth only about $1 billion each year in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Municipalities said it was worth about $14 billion each year.

In a 30-page decision, the Supreme Court agreed with the lower court but didn't tread much new ground. The value of the pipeline has been disputed each year since 2006. The lawsuits are closely watched locally because the decision can have a large impact on the local property tax pool.


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