FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Governor was in town today to deliver some good news and it all began at the weekly Chamber of Commerce luncheon this afternoon.
Governor Sean Parnell surprised the overflow crowd when he stated that the contract with Trans-Canada for a pipeline construction had been terminated, and this in turn would open the door for Alaska to begin its own process.
Parnell said "So let's take stock of where we are. We have the gas, both from Prudhoe and Point Thompson, we have an all Alaska LNG project selected from the North Slope to Nikiski. We've got off takes for Alaskans' gas to get to Alaskans. We have all the right parties aligned and working together. We're launching pre-feed stage with hundreds of millions to continue refining those engineering and other costs. Our way forward will be on Alaska's terms and Alaska's interests."
The scene then shifted to the UAF campus, where the governor continued to pass out good news by signing four more bills that benefit the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Museum of the North, and Sports clubs in Fairbanks and Valdez.
But the biggest prize was the signing of Senate Bill 218 which would provide the University with $157 and a half million of revenue bond issuance authority to replace an aging heat and power plant.
UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers was extremely pleased with the passing of Senate bill 218.
Rogers remarked "Over half the buildings on the system inventory are over 30 years old. You know sometimes the components only get replaced when they fail. That unfortunately was becoming the case on the most important structure for us, the combined heat and power plant. And clearly devastating consequences for us if we lose heat in Fairbanks, Alaska in the middle of the winter."
Senator Pete Kelly was the driving force behind insuring that the plants were replaced. And he was obviously very grateful to many who helped make it a reality.
Kelly said "And I'm so grateful to the Governor, there was never a hiccup in this as far as he would sign on to the package. And he expedited quickly and his staff was always there to help us. A lot of people deserve a lot of thanks. Brian Rogers, fantastic chancellor, Bob Shefchick who really helped us pit it in the end zone. And Steve Thompson who did so much work in the house as well."