Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, sworn in as Alaska Governor on 26th July following Sarah Palin’s 3rd July resignation, has announced that he will “continue the core values and the overarching philosophy” of the previous Palin-Parnell administration. “Bottom line, this was the Palin-Parnell administration. I intend to continue the core values and the overarching philosophy that guided it”, said Parnell in a telephone interview. Parnell has been calling legislators, ahead of his swearing in, and “will be reaching out to the oil and gas industry”. Asked about the previous Governor’s efforts to secure a North Slope pipeline, Parnell said he will “follow through” with the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), the law created by Palin to establish a competitive bidding process.
Alaska natural gas pipeline
An Alaskan North Slope pipeline to carry natural gas to Canada and lower 48 states has long been on the agenda. Palin’s predecessor Frank Murkowski pushed for the project, before Palin entered office and drew up the AGIA. TransCanada won the permit from the state to build the pipeline and, with ExxonMobil, is working on the Alaska Pipeline Project. Meanwhile, BP and ConocoPhillips are working on a rival project, Denali, formed outside of the AGIA process.
New Governor’s perspective
Parnell has said it will ultimately be the private sector that decides which project succeeds. “The state of the gasline project is such that you now have two credible projects with credible partners”.