Private funds worry legislature

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Some Alaska lawmakers are concerned taking outside funds for the $43 billion Alaska gas pipeline could take away government control of the project.

    The Governor's budget this year does not include any state funds for the gas pipeline.  The budget proposal does include language to give Alaska Gasline Development Corp, the authority to accept tird party funds from potential investors.

    The Alaska Journal of Commerce reported that Republican Sen. Cathy Giessel of Anchorage said legislators like to guard their appropriation authority, which is a fundamental power granted to them by the state constitution.

    Giessel added the Senate Majority still has a lot of questions about what the state owned corporation would do with third party funds.  The House Finance version of the 2019 operating budget capped the receipt authority at $1 billion per year.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is expected to review environmental impact statements this year but regulatory approval is not expected to at least 2020.

    The Walker administration has pushed for the environmental study to be done by early 2019 and would like to start construction in late 2019.

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