Legislature(2011 - 2012)HOUSE FINANCE 519

04/04/2011 08:30 AM FINANCE

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08:39:02 AM Start
08:39:26 AM HB142
11:01:35 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
<Bill Hearing Rescheduled from 4/1/11>
HOUSE BILL NO. 142                                                                                                            
     "An  Act  relating  to the  creation  of  a  rebuttable                                                                    
     presumption that the project  licensed under the Alaska                                                                    
     Gasline  Inducement   Act  is  uneconomic   because  of                                                                    
     insufficient  firm  transportation  commitments  during                                                                    
     the first open season."                                                                                                    
8:39:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  MIKE CHENAULT,  SPONSOR, introduced  HB 142.                                                                    
He  provided  history; just  over  three  years ago,  Alaska                                                                    
Gasline  Inducement Act  (AGIA) was  passed and  TransCanada                                                                    
was  authorized  to pursue  the  project.  He reported  that                                                                    
TransCanada  conducted an  open season  for the  duration of                                                                    
April 30,  2010 through  July 2010  and announced  bids from                                                                    
multiple  parties with  a significant  interest. TransCanada                                                                    
expected  the negotiation  of precedence  agreements by  the                                                                    
end of  2010. He  informed the  committee that  three months                                                                    
later, the  self-imposed deadline remained unmet.  He stated                                                                    
that the unmet  deadline was not an indication  of a failure                                                                    
on the part of TransCanada.                                                                                                     
8:42:21 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Chenault   explained  that  the   state  and                                                                    
legislature  had no  knowledge of  the bids,  the conditions                                                                    
attached, or  negotiations toward the  precedent agreements.                                                                    
Under  AGIA,  the  state  promised up  to  $500  million  in                                                                    
reimbursements to TransCanada. Alaska  paid up to 50 percent                                                                    
of the  qualified expenses up to  the end of the  first open                                                                    
season, $36 million. After open  season, the state would pay                                                                    
90 percent. TransCanada had not  submitted all requests, but                                                                    
the  governor  included $160  million  dollars  in the  FY12                                                                    
budget request. The state paid  a great share despite all of                                                                    
the  unknowns,  while   world  economic  conditions  changed                                                                    
dramatically. Gas  prices remained at extremely  low levels.                                                                    
Major gas discoveries came into  production rapidly to serve                                                                    
potential markets for Alaska gas.                                                                                               
Representative  Chenault questioned  whether AGIA  was still                                                                    
economical for  Alaska. He asserted that  the administration                                                                    
must prove that the investment  was sound. He stated that he                                                                    
did  not  want  Alaska  to waste  time  and  opportunity  to                                                                    
develop the resource.                                                                                                           
8:45:16 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara believed  the  worst  thing that  could                                                                    
happen  was  a breach  of  contract  on the  largest  future                                                                    
project for  the state. He  opined that walking away  from a                                                                    
contract  where   a  party   met  obligations   would  prove                                                                    
detrimental for the state.                                                                                                      
Representative  Chenault  opined  that the  bill  would  not                                                                    
breach the  contract but would  force the  administration to                                                                    
revisit the legislature and prove  the economic viability of                                                                    
the project.                                                                                                                    
Representative  Doogan  clarified  that  the  state  paid  a                                                                    
certain  amount  of  money and  the  governor  requested  an                                                                    
increase of funding to $300 million.                                                                                            
Representative Chenault agreed.                                                                                                 
Representative  Doogan continued  that HB  142 presented  an                                                                    
opportunity to the legislature to intervene in the process.                                                                     
Representative  Chenault clarified  the  intention that  the                                                                    
administration  would   communicate  with   TransCanada  and                                                                    
return  with   a  determination  whether  the   project  was                                                                    
economical allowing for a decision to be made.                                                                                  
Representative Doogan asked who would make the decision.                                                                        
Representative  Chenault responded  that the  administration                                                                    
would make the decision.                                                                                                        
Representative  Doogan asked  if  a  valid contract  between                                                                    
state  and  TransCanada  existed  to go  to  Federal  Energy                                                                    
Regulatory Commission (FERC) license.                                                                                           
Representative  Chenault   pointed  out  a  clause   in  the                                                                    
contract  that  would  allow  either   or  both  parties  to                                                                    
determine  that the  project was  uneconomical and  would be                                                                    
able to back out of the contract.                                                                                               
8:49:16 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Doogan understood the contract differently.                                                                      
Representative Gara  inferred that the project  was dead and                                                                    
uneconomical   if  TransCanada   failed  to   disclose  firm                                                                    
transportation  commitments by  July 15,  2011. He  asked if                                                                    
the date of  July 15, 2011 existed as  a firm transportation                                                                    
commitment in either the license or the statute.                                                                                
TOM  WRIGHT, STAFF,  REPRESENTATIVE  MIKE CHENAULT,  replied                                                                    
that the  language in  the bill should  be changed  to state                                                                    
"precedent agreement.  He explained  that the  intent stated                                                                    
by  TransCanada  and  filed  with  FERC  included  precedent                                                                    
agreements  by December  31st 2011.  He  clarified that  the                                                                    
bill ought to state  "precedent agreement" rather than "firm                                                                    
transportation commitments."                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  noted that  the July  15, 2011  did not                                                                    
exist in either the license or the statute.                                                                                     
Mr. Wright responded correct.                                                                                                   
Representative  Guttenberg asked  whether the  Department of                                                                    
Law had provided an opinion regarding the contract.                                                                             
Representative Chenault  replied that  he had  not solicited                                                                    
the  information from  the Department  of  Law. He  believed                                                                    
that  the  administration had  asked  the  questions of  the                                                                    
attorney  general, but  he was  not aware  of an  answer. He                                                                    
suggested   that    Representative   Guttenberg    ask   the                                                                    
Vice-chair  Fairclough  admitted   that  her  statement  was                                                                    
anecdotal. She  continued that  when AGIA  was passed  and a                                                                    
contract  was awarded,  an expectation  from general  public                                                                    
was established  that Alaskans would  know whether  a viable                                                                    
project  existed.   She  asked  if  the   expectations  were                                                                    
Representative Chenault agreed  with the vice-chair's stated                                                                    
expectation  of  Alaskans  regarding a  viable  project.  He                                                                    
asserted that the AGIA process  was sold to Alaskans through                                                                    
previous administrations as  the only viable way  to bring a                                                                    
gas  pipeline forward  in  the state.  The  process did  not                                                                    
outlaw   the  producers   from  bidding   on  the   project.                                                                    
TransCanada  bid   on  the  project   and  he   opined  that                                                                    
TransCanada  was  a  world class  pipeline  corporation.  He                                                                    
respected  the organization  of  TransCanada.  The idea  was                                                                    
proposed to get  Alaska out from underneath  the "thumbs" of                                                                    
the  big three  producers.  However, within  a  week of  the                                                                    
issuance  of the  license, the  chairman of  TransCanada was                                                                    
asked when go forward and  his response was "When Exxon says                                                                    
we are  ready to go." He  described that as the  first "eye-                                                                    
opener" for Alaskans and the legislature.                                                                                       
8:55:32 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Chenault  believed that  the contract  had to                                                                    
be  met,  although he  did  not  personally agree  with  the                                                                    
projects.  He  thought a  crossroads  had  been reached  and                                                                    
decisions must be  made. He stressed that the  issue was the                                                                    
economical  nature  of  the project.  He  feared  that  $500                                                                    
million  could  be  spent,  without   the  finality  of  gas                                                                    
production and export.                                                                                                          
Vice-chair  Fairclough  recalled   concern  by  the  general                                                                    
public  about spending  $500 million.  She pointed  out that                                                                    
$136 million  had been spent  without a  clear understanding                                                                    
of the benefits gained by the expense.                                                                                          
Representative Chenault agreed.                                                                                                 
Vice-chair Fairclough  understood that  tax structure  was a                                                                    
key  component   of  the  argument.   She  noted   that  the                                                                    
legislature  was  fighting  internally.   She  read  in  the                                                                    
newspaper  that  tax certainty  was  essential  and the  tax                                                                    
structure  was failing.  She  suggested  that those  seeking                                                                    
economic  certainty  were in  opposition  to  the bill.  She                                                                    
asked if the terms of  the tax structure were sufficient for                                                                    
the producers to commit gas to the AGIA or Denali projects.                                                                     
8:58:59 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Chenault  responded that gas  certainty would                                                                    
eventually  become  part  of any  gas  project.  TransCanada                                                                    
would not  negotiate the tax  certainty issue.  Alaska would                                                                    
negotiate with  potential shippers.  The AGIA  process would                                                                    
address  the  cost  of the  project  and  negotiate  without                                                                    
third-party involvement.                                                                                                        
Representative Wilson  asked about  a requirement  to inform                                                                    
the public about the outcome of the open season.                                                                                
Representative Chenault replied  that TransCanada would have                                                                    
to  disclose the  information. He  believed that  disclosure                                                                    
must occur within  ten days of filing for  the FERC license.                                                                    
The   deadline  regarding   results   was  self-imposed   by                                                                    
Representative  Wilson  recalled  hearing  that  the  public                                                                    
would receive  information about the open  season soon after                                                                    
the election in  November. She asked whether  the bill would                                                                    
allow disclosure sooner.                                                                                                        
Representative Chenault believed not  since the deadline was                                                                    
9:01:42 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Wright provided  an overview  of HB  142. He  urged the                                                                    
committee to  adopt the  words "precedent  agreement" rather                                                                    
than  "firm transportation  commitment."  The bill  required                                                                    
the  administration to  prove to  the  legislature that  the                                                                    
project was economic.  If the bill was  not deemed economic,                                                                    
then the administration  was required to submit  a report to                                                                    
the legislature rebutting the  presumption before August 15,                                                                    
2011.  The  legislature  might also  state  that  there  was                                                                    
insufficient   evidence   to   rebut  the   presumption   in                                                                    
conjunction  with a  request for  an  appropriation for  the                                                                    
reimbursement  of qualified  expenditures  for  FY 2013  and                                                                    
provide testimony  and evidence that the  project had credit                                                                    
sufficient  to  finance   construction.  The  administration                                                                    
shall notify  the legislature before August  1, 2011 whether                                                                    
the commitments  are disclosed  to the  commissioners before                                                                    
July 15th and report  whether the disclosed commitments were                                                                    
sufficient  to  support  development  of  the  project.  The                                                                    
report should  be submitted by  August 15, 2011.  Should the                                                                    
administration  state that  they  were unable  to rebut  the                                                                    
evidence, they  would be  requested to  initiate abandonment                                                                    
per  AGIA  Section  43.90.240. The  abandonment  clause  was                                                                    
complicated and  could be  initiated by  either one  or both                                                                    
Representative  Gara asked  if the  legislation presented  a                                                                    
bridge  of  contract.  He maintained  that  a  contract  was                                                                    
signed and a bill passed.                                                                                                       
Mr. Wright  retorted that the  statement existed  already in                                                                    
law in AS 43.90.240 as abandonment of project.                                                                                  
9:05:28 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Gara  argued that the bill  changed the rules                                                                    
constituting  the  presumption  that  the  project  was  not                                                                    
economic. He  pointed out that the  new bill was not  in the                                                                    
license or  in the original  statute as a basis  for exiting                                                                    
the contract.  He expressed concern  that the bill  might be                                                                    
viewed as  a breach of  contract and may  potentially expose                                                                    
the state  to a large  amount of damages rather  than moving                                                                    
ahead toward a gas pipeline.                                                                                                    
Mr.  Wright  responded  that  changing  economic  conditions                                                                    
occurred throughout  the country and the  world. He stressed                                                                    
that the legislation  did not intend to  violate a contract.                                                                    
He stated  that if  the project  was deemed  uneconomic, and                                                                    
the precedent agreements  or firm transportation commitments                                                                    
were not reached, then the  administration was to inform the                                                                    
Representative Guttenberg recalled  that the legislature had                                                                    
access   to   reports,   records,   and   requirements   for                                                                    
TransCanada.  He   asked  whether   the  records   had  been                                                                    
Mr.  Wright  responded  that   the  Alaska  Gasline  Project                                                                    
website   provided    information.   He    understood   that                                                                    
TransCanada expected  to have precedent agreements  in place                                                                    
by  December 31,  2011. He  stated that  his office  did not                                                                    
have  access  to internal  information  as  much of  it  was                                                                    
confidential and proprietary.                                                                                                   
Representative  Guttenberg stated  that AS  43.92.20 allowed                                                                    
commissioners access to records.  He expected some arbitrary                                                                    
dates and commitments.                                                                                                          
Mr.  Wright stated  that  he  did not  have  the answer.  He                                                                    
believed the administration had  more information as well as                                                                    
9:09:46 AM                                                                                                                    
DONALD  BULLOCK,   ATTORNEY,  LEGISLATIVE   LEGAL  SERVICES,                                                                    
reported that  he participated in  the drafting of  AGIA. He                                                                    
opined  that the  proposed legislation  did  not breach  the                                                                    
contract   but  instead   raised  questions   of  legitimate                                                                    
legislative   concern.  He   cited   the  reimbursement   in                                                                    
43.90.110,  which stated  "subject  to appropriation,  state                                                                    
matching contributions  in the  form of  reimbursements." He                                                                    
noted  that  the  appropriation  comes  up  every  year.  He                                                                    
asserted that the bill did  not take action; there was clear                                                                    
division  of authority  between the  legislative branch  and                                                                    
the executive  branch. The executive branch  was responsible                                                                    
for   carrying   out   the  license:   auditing,   reviewing                                                                    
TransCanada's expenditures, access  to on-going information.                                                                    
House Bill 142  raised the question of the  viability of the                                                                    
project.  He  stated  that  AGIA   provided  the  "out,"  AS                                                                    
43.92.40 if  the project  was uneconomic.  The bill  did not                                                                    
deem  the project  uneconomic  conclusively  because of  the                                                                    
response  that commissioners  can make  after August  1st or                                                                    
August 15th when  they were required to  respond and provide                                                                    
information to the state.                                                                                                       
Mr. Bullock  pointed out the discussed  dates addressing the                                                                    
agreement between the state and  TransCanada. He referred to                                                                    
other relevant  documents including  the open  season notice                                                                    
published by  TransCanada last summer.  He pointed  out that                                                                    
the notice included  past dates. Some of  the dates referred                                                                    
to  public information  regarding the  open season  response                                                                    
including  notices  to  the bidders.  He  stated  that  AGIA                                                                    
required the open season dates.  He mentioned the importance                                                                    
of the increase in  shared contributions and questions about                                                                    
the  open season.  He mentioned  a  provision regarding  the                                                                    
inducements offered  to producers  who committed  during the                                                                    
first   binding  open   season.  He   pointed  out   royalty                                                                    
provisions  for  commitments  made  during  the  first  open                                                                    
season. The provisions  related to the fiscal  future of the                                                                    
state.  He  maintained  that  HB  142  did  not  change  the                                                                    
contract, but  provided a request for  information regarding                                                                    
AGIA and commitments.                                                                                                           
9:14:01 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Hawker  spoke  to   concerns  about  HB  142                                                                    
interfering  with  the  contractual  agreement  between  the                                                                    
state, TransCanada,  and Exon Mobil.  He clarified  the date                                                                    
of  the   self-imposed  deadline   for  completion   of  the                                                                    
precedent agreement  as December  3, 2010 rather  than 2011.                                                                    
He opined  that the bill  paid careful attention to  avoid a                                                                    
conflict  or   interference  in  the   existing  contractual                                                                    
relationship.  He requested  confirmation  from Mr.  Bullock                                                                    
that  the  language   in  the  bill  did   not  involve  the                                                                    
contractual relationship.                                                                                                       
Representative Hawker  pointed to Page  1, Line 12,  and the                                                                    
action item stating that the  commissioners shall notify the                                                                    
legislature. He  pointed out Page  1, Line 14,  which stated                                                                    
that  communication shall  report  whether firm  commitments                                                                    
were  disclosed and  sufficient to  support the  project. He                                                                    
cited Page  2, Line 3,  which was under the  conditional, if                                                                    
the presumption  in Item 1  is raised. The only  mandate was                                                                    
for   the  administration   to  submit   a  report   to  the                                                                    
legislature  as  stated in  Line  3.  The other  requirement                                                                    
stated was  that the  administration provided  testimony and                                                                    
evidence  implicitly  to  the legislature.  He  stated  that                                                                    
these  action items  do  not address  the  operation of  the                                                                    
Representative Hawker  pointed out  Page 2,  Lines 18  - 20,                                                                    
Section  C,  which state  that  nothing  in the  legislation                                                                    
proposed, precluded the  agreement between the commissioners                                                                    
and the  licensee. The bill  clearly stated that it  did not                                                                    
have any effect on  the obligations, roles, responsibilities                                                                    
or possible  execution under  that provision.  He maintained                                                                    
that   the  bill   created   a   relationship  between   the                                                                    
legislature and the administration.                                                                                             
Mr. Bullock agreed.                                                                                                             
9:17:41 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative   Costello   asked   whether   AGIA   was   a                                                                    
traditional contract.                                                                                                           
Mr. Bullock responded that AGIA  was a license issued by the                                                                    
state including  commitments stated  in 43.91.10.  He stated                                                                    
that the  commitments included that  the state share  in the                                                                    
costs  of developing  the pipeline  project and  provide the                                                                    
services of the AGIA  coordinator. The consideration offered                                                                    
by TransCanada included the "must  haves" in 41.91.30 or the                                                                    
commitments required to qualify  for the license and receive                                                                    
the money; contractual aspects  and procurement aspects. The                                                                    
procurement aspects included in  advance of the license, the                                                                    
state advertised  it and explained  the expectations  of the                                                                    
state in return for a response to the commitments.                                                                              
Representative  Costello asked  if  when  the assertion  was                                                                    
made that  the contract  or agreement  was breached,  then a                                                                    
timeline  requiring communication  by  a  specific date  was                                                                    
established by  the proposed legislation. She  supposed that                                                                    
the  legislation required  the communication  by a  specific                                                                    
Mr.  Bullock agreed,  but added  that the  language was  not                                                                    
limited  to the  communication between  TransCanada and  the                                                                    
state.  He opined  that the  statement  made by  TransCanada                                                                    
that they  would like  to inform the  state in  December the                                                                    
extent in  which they  had enjoyed  success during  the open                                                                    
season, was  an informal  comment. He mentioned  other dates                                                                    
established in  TransCanada's open  season notes.  The dates                                                                    
were incorporated  in the  order approving  a plan  for open                                                                    
season. Some of the dates had  come and gone. House Bill 142                                                                    
was  simply   requesting  information  regarding   AGIA.  He                                                                    
highlighted that  AGIA stated  the commitments  and promises                                                                    
of  the state  and  interest in  sharing the  contributions,                                                                    
which were relevant issues of  legislative concern. The bill                                                                    
asked the administration  whether the money was  spent on an                                                                    
appropriate project.                                                                                                            
Representative  Costello  understood   that  the  state  was                                                                    
without  a project  until they  heard  the words  "precedent                                                                    
agreement."  She asked  whether  project  could be  economic                                                                    
based  on the  existence  of  bids or  was  a resolution  of                                                                    
conditions required  in the  precedent agreement  before the                                                                    
project was determined to be economic.                                                                                          
9:21:37 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Bullock opined  that the  ideal method  of establishing                                                                    
the viability of  the project would include a  review of the                                                                    
standards  for abandonment.  Timing was  a different  issue.                                                                    
The   commissioners   agreed   that  additional   time   was                                                                    
necessary. The arbitration panel  would consider whether the                                                                    
project was uneconomic. The panel  only gets involved in the                                                                    
events  of  disagreements   between  the  commissioners  and                                                                    
TransCanada.  The  arbitration  panel   would  then  make  a                                                                    
determination that  the project  was uneconomic only  if the                                                                    
panel  finds  that  the  party   claiming  the  project  was                                                                    
uneconomic as proven by a  preponderance of the evidence. He                                                                    
quoted  the  statute  "the  project  does  not  have  credit                                                                    
support sufficient  to finance  construction of  the project                                                                    
through   firm    transportation   commitments,   government                                                                    
assistance, or  other external  sources of  financing." "The                                                                    
predicted  cost  of transportation  at  a  100 percent  load                                                                    
factor  when deducted  from a  predicted  gas sales  revenue                                                                    
using publicly  available predictions of future  gas prices,                                                                    
but result  in a producer rate  of return that is  below the                                                                    
rate   typically  accepted   by  a   prudent  oil   and  gas                                                                    
exploration and production  company for incremental upstream                                                                    
investment that  is required to  produce and deliver  gas to                                                                    
the project." He asked if  enough commitment existed to fill                                                                    
the pipeline and  whether the tariff was low  enough so that                                                                    
people  putting gas  into  the pipeline  at  the Alaska  end                                                                    
could profit.                                                                                                                   
Representative  Gara   never  thought   he  would   see  the                                                                    
legislature try  to kill a  project that Alaskans  have been                                                                    
working  toward  for 30  years.  He  reported that  he  once                                                                    
practiced law  as an assistant  attorney general on  oil and                                                                    
gas  issues.  He  argued the  statement  that  the  proposed                                                                    
legislation did not breach the contract.                                                                                        
Representative Gara  referred to  Page 1, which  stated that                                                                    
"by July  15th 2011,  transportation commitments have  to be                                                                    
put  forward and  if  they are  not, there  is  a brand  new                                                                    
rebuttable  presumption  that  the  project  is  uneconomic,                                                                    
which gives the state greater power  than to back out of the                                                                    
contract." He  asked if the  rebuttable assumption  that the                                                                    
project  is  uneconomic  existed in  license,  contract,  or                                                                    
9:24:57 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr.  Bullock  questioned the  premise  of  the question.  He                                                                    
stated that TransCanada would not  rebut the presumption. He                                                                    
maintained   that  there   was  no   additional  burden   on                                                                    
TransCanada.   He   informed    the   committee   that   the                                                                    
administration would rebut the presumption.                                                                                     
Representative  Gara  asked  whether the  provision  that  a                                                                    
rebuttable presumption  existed in  license and  in statute.                                                                    
He believed that  the language was new and did  not exist in                                                                    
the license and the statute.                                                                                                    
Mr.  Bullock agreed.  He stressed  that the  legislation did                                                                    
not amend  AGIA, but instead  asked questions  regarding the                                                                    
provision included  in AGIA. The  ongoing issue  was whether                                                                    
the project continued to prove uneconomic.                                                                                      
Representative   Gara   countered    that   the   rebuttable                                                                    
presumption provided the  state a greater power  to back out                                                                    
of the contract.                                                                                                                
Mr.  Bullock responded  no, the  rebuttable presumption  did                                                                    
not provide  the state  a greater authority  to back  out of                                                                    
the  contract.  The  ultimate issue,  whether  the  contract                                                                    
would be abandoned were within  the terms of AS 43.90.240, a                                                                    
provision enacted  before the license  was issued.  The bill                                                                    
did not change the provision.                                                                                                   
Representative   Gara  asked   if   the  bill   accomplished                                                                    
Mr. Bullock replied no.                                                                                                         
Representative  Gara  asked  why   the  bill  the  bill  was                                                                    
Mr.  Bullock responded  that  the  legislature required  the                                                                    
information mandated  by the  legislation. He  believed that                                                                    
the  legislature should  know how  and where  the money  was                                                                    
spent.  The  information  would enable  the  legislature  to                                                                    
determine whether the money was well spent.                                                                                     
Representative   Gara   found    Mr.   Bullock's   testimony                                                                    
inconsistent. He asserted that  if the existing bill carried                                                                    
the  required contracts  then HB  142  was unnecessary.  The                                                                    
existing  law created  no  rebuttable presumption  language,                                                                    
nor did it  advise the state to  back out in the  event of a                                                                    
rebuttable presumption. The existing  law did not create any                                                                    
July 15th,  2011 language. He  argued the need for  the bill                                                                    
unless there was a desire to change AGIA.                                                                                       
Mr. Bullock wondered what questions  the committee might ask                                                                    
the administration and TransCanada  following the request of                                                                    
an appropriation of $160 million.                                                                                               
9:27:44 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Gara  contended  that  existing  legislation                                                                    
contained  no  rebuttable  presumption and  the  bill  would                                                                    
create one. He expressed  interest in the attorney general's                                                                    
opinion of the proposed legislation.                                                                                            
Mr.  Wright agreed.  He  maintained that  the  bill did  not                                                                    
provide  a breach  of contract,  but he  instead viewed  the                                                                    
bill as  a means  to determine  whether the  project remains                                                                    
Representative Hawker referred to  statements that the "bill                                                                    
kills   the   gasline"   and   that   "the   bill   requires                                                                    
transportation  commitments  to be  put  forward  by a  date                                                                    
certain." He  asked Mr.  Bullock if  the bill  required firm                                                                    
transportation commitments  to be  put forward by  a certain                                                                    
Mr. Bullock responded no.                                                                                                       
Representative  Hawker asked  about the  statement that  the                                                                    
bill was  "attempting to change  AGIA law." He asked  if any                                                                    
language included in HB 142 changed the AGIA law.                                                                               
Mr.  Bullock stated  that  the bill  made  no amendments  to                                                                    
Representative  Hawker  asked  if the  proposed  legislation                                                                    
accomplished any  action other  than posing the  question to                                                                    
the administration from the legislature.                                                                                        
Mr.   Bullock  responded   no.  The   bill  only   requested                                                                    
information  for the  legislature for  the purpose  of their                                                                    
decision making regarding ongoing appropriations.                                                                               
Representative  Doogan   asked  who  the   contract  existed                                                                    
Mr.  Bullock responded  the commissioners  of Department  of                                                                    
Revenue (DOR) and Department of  Natural Resources (DNR) and                                                                    
TransCanada   and  Foothills   Ltd.   who  represented   the                                                                    
Representative  Doogan asked  if "we"  were a  party to  the                                                                    
Mr. Bullock responded  that if "we" was the  state then yes,                                                                    
but  "we" was  the executive  branch then  no. He  furthered                                                                    
that the  executive branch was responsible  for implementing                                                                    
the contract  and ensuring  that terms  were met.  He stated                                                                    
that the legislature was  initially responsible for enacting                                                                    
the  terms of  AGIA including  the required  commitments and                                                                    
the annual appropriation of money  toward the contract or to                                                                    
reimburse the contributions.                                                                                                    
9:31:33 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Doogan commented  on expectations  regarding                                                                    
the passage  of HB 142.  He understood that  AGIA maintained                                                                    
that  TransCanada would  do  everything it  could  to get  a                                                                    
pipeline  financed and  built. He  understood that  the real                                                                    
obligation was  to go as  far as  FERC to obtain  a license.                                                                    
The  expectation was  a $500  million cost,  which would  be                                                                    
paid in segments.  He asked if his recollection  of the AGIA                                                                    
agreement was accurate.                                                                                                         
Mr. Bullock replied that  Representative Doogan was correct.                                                                    
He added that proposed  licensees were obligated to disclose                                                                    
the amount of  reimbursement they planned to  seek. He noted                                                                    
that  TransCanada's  application   requested  the  statutory                                                                    
maximum, which was 50 percent  initially and then 90 percent                                                                    
after the close of the first open season.                                                                                       
Representative Doogan asked about the $500 million figure.                                                                      
Mr. Bullock agreed with $500 million as the stated figure.                                                                      
Representative Doogan  clarified that  the state was  in the                                                                    
middle of  that process authorized  by law, yet  Mr. Bullock                                                                    
advised the legislature that they  could legally back out of                                                                    
the deal.                                                                                                                       
Mr. Bullock corrected that he  did not advise backing out of                                                                    
the deal. He  mentioned the provision AS  43.90.240 in AGIA,                                                                    
which stated the standard for AGIA to continue.                                                                                 
Mr. Bullocks  stressed that the  legislature could  not void                                                                    
the contract established  in AGIA, but they  could refuse to                                                                    
appropriate money for the reimbursement.                                                                                        
Representative Doogan  asked if  refusal to  appropriate the                                                                    
money for the reimbursement would void the contract.                                                                            
Mr.  Bullock  responded that  the  courts  would decide  the                                                                    
issue.  He recalled  that  the  legislature had  encountered                                                                    
similar  issues  in  the  past.  An  appropriation  remained                                                                    
necessary for  money to be  spent. He stated that  the issue                                                                    
may raise  contractual questions,  but the contract  did not                                                                    
require the legislature to vote for an appropriation.                                                                           
Representative  Doogan  opined  that  if  the  contract  was                                                                    
voided  the  state  would  end  up  contributing  the  money                                                                    
without the benefits  of the gasline. He asked  if there was                                                                    
any reason not to suspect that would happen.                                                                                    
Mr.  Bullock agreed  that the  risk existed.  He noted  that                                                                    
43.90.240 would apply  in the event that  the contract ended                                                                    
because if the  project was deemed uneconomic  then it would                                                                    
be ripe for abandonment.                                                                                                        
9:35:23 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative Costello believed that  the project created a                                                                    
compelling  interest for  the public.  The public  wished to                                                                    
understand  where the  state stood  in  the instate  gasline                                                                    
process. She  stated that  the AGIA  bill existed  without a                                                                    
fiscal note  and HB  142 allowed  the legislature  access to                                                                    
information.   She  requested   comments  from   Mr.  Wright                                                                    
regarding  the public's  influence  on the  creation of  the                                                                    
Mr. Wright responded  in the affirmative. He  added that the                                                                    
aspect of  appropriation was also  a catalyst for  the bill.                                                                    
He  corrected an  earlier  date to  December  31st 2010.  He                                                                    
stated  that  the bill  wished  to  achieve the  information                                                                    
about  precedent agreements  and TransCanada.  He found  the                                                                    
lack  of  information  regarding  the success  of  the  open                                                                    
season   disturbing.   He   discussed   concerns   regarding                                                                    
timelines.  He  wished  to know  whether  AGIA  would  prove                                                                    
economic  or not.  If the  project was  not deemed  economic                                                                    
then  the   legislature  must  explore  other   options  for                                                                    
Alaskans.  The  public  was   considered  heavily  with  the                                                                    
introduction of the bill.                                                                                                       
Representative   Costello   pointed   out  that   the   bill                                                                    
jumpstarted    a    conversation   regarding    confidential                                                                    
information.  She understood  that the  legislature did  not                                                                    
intend to seek any detailed  information. She asked what the                                                                    
state  anticipated that  the  legislature  would achieve  in                                                                    
terms of the status of the project.                                                                                             
Mr.  Bullock   replied  that  the  question   regarding  the                                                                    
viability  of the  project was  in the  jurisdiction of  the                                                                    
commissioners. The  commissioners were  also aware  that the                                                                    
information  was  confidential,  which  required  a  certain                                                                    
amount of  trust. He was sure  that confidential information                                                                    
would  not  be  provided  and  he  did  not  know  what  the                                                                    
legislature  would be  told.  He knew  that  the bill  would                                                                    
direct the  commissioners to  consider the  questions raised                                                                    
and they would  make decisions about how the  answers to the                                                                    
questions affected the license.                                                                                                 
Representative  Costello  understood  that  one  legislature                                                                    
could  not   bind  another.  She   heard  the   feelings  of                                                                    
uneasiness  about  changing  AGIA  and  wondered  about  the                                                                    
response if one legislature cannot bind another.                                                                                
9:40:29 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Bullock  replied that  binding contracts  existed, hence                                                                    
the caution "subject to appropriation."  The person that bid                                                                    
on a  contract or  responded to a  quest for  proposal would                                                                    
understand and determine the appropriate risk.                                                                                  
Representative Costello  asked if a project  was not funded,                                                                    
would it succeed.                                                                                                               
Mr. Bullock replied that he  was unsure about past instances                                                                    
where  the  issue  had  arisen. He  explained  that  if  the                                                                    
legislature did not pay a bill,  the state might be sued for                                                                    
breach  of   contract.  He   mentioned  timing   issues.  He                                                                    
reiterated that  the bill was directed  to the appropriation                                                                    
process.  He believed  it inappropriate  to  amend AGIA.  He                                                                    
stated that HB 142 approached  the issue from the standpoint                                                                    
of ongoing appropriations and the provision within AGIA.                                                                        
Representative   Guttenberg  recalled   repeated  discussion                                                                    
regarding the bill and its  inability to change the contract                                                                    
between  the state  and TransCanada.  He asked  if the  bill                                                                    
changed  the  relationship  between  TransCanada  and  those                                                                    
seeking  firm commitments.  He wondered  if  the bill  would                                                                    
create  a new  deadline for  those entities  seeking a  firm                                                                    
commitment with TransCanada.                                                                                                    
Mr. Wright  responded that  he viewed  the legislation  as a                                                                    
benchmark  to  inform  the legislature  about  the  economic                                                                    
viability of the  project. He explained that  if the project                                                                    
was not economic,  steps outlined in the  AGIA process would                                                                    
be taken.                                                                                                                       
Vice-chair  Fairclough   mentioned  AS  43.90.240   and  the                                                                    
abandonment of a  project. She read "if  the commissioner or                                                                    
licensee determines  that the  project is  uneconomical" and                                                                    
added  that a  dispute would  then proceed  to the  American                                                                    
Arbitration  Association.  She  concluded that  the  current                                                                    
statute addressed the process under consideration.                                                                              
9:45:33 AM                                                                                                                    
Representative  Hawker asked  about the  abandonment clauses                                                                    
and whether they  were in the existing  statute. He wondered                                                                    
whether the proposed legislation modified existing statute.                                                                     
Mr. Bullock replied that the  statute was enacted as part of                                                                    
AGIA and  provided for the  abandonment of a  project should                                                                    
that project become uneconomic.                                                                                                 
Representative  Hawker  wondered  that  if  the  abandonment                                                                    
clauses  were  invoked  would   they  trigger  any  economic                                                                    
damages located in other provisions in AGIA.                                                                                    
Mr.  Bullock  answered  no. He  explained  that  the  damage                                                                    
provision  existed as  AS  43.90.440.  The damage  provision                                                                    
would arise if  the state provides similar  inducements to a                                                                    
competing pipeline that they provided to the licensee.                                                                          
Representative  Hawker wondered  who  had  the authority  to                                                                    
invoke  the abandonment  provisions, within  the context  of                                                                    
AGIA.  He asked  if  the legislature  had  the authority  to                                                                    
invoke the abandonment provisions.                                                                                              
Mr. Bullock  replied that the  legislature did not  have the                                                                    
power   to  initiate   the  abandonment   provision  in   AS                                                                    
43.90.240.   TransCanada  or   the  commissioners   had  the                                                                    
authority  to  initiate  the provision.  Upon  disagreement,                                                                    
arbitration would be  the next step. If  both parties agreed                                                                    
that  the  project  was uneconomic,  the  project  would  be                                                                    
Representative  Hawker  asked  if the  proposed  legislation                                                                    
imposed a duty  on the legislature with regard  to the power                                                                    
to appropriate.                                                                                                                 
Mr.  Bullock replied  no, the  bill  made no  change in  the                                                                    
legislature's  ability  to  make an  appropriation  for  the                                                                    
Representative Gara  requested testimony from  Larry Persily                                                                    
prior  to  the  passage  of the  proposed  legislation  from                                                                    
Vice-chair  Fairclough responded  that  she  would pass  the                                                                    
request on to the co-chair.                                                                                                     
Representative  Gara  agreed  that  the  price  of  gas  had                                                                    
fallen.  He asked  if the  state would  have the  ability to                                                                    
become a  part owner  of the pipeline,  if the  project were                                                                    
deemed  uneconomic. He  recalled  testimony  that the  state                                                                    
could  become part  owner of  the pipeline  for a  7 percent                                                                    
rate  of  return,  which   could  substantially  reduce  the                                                                    
tariff. By  reducing the transportation cost  or the tariff,                                                                    
the  price   of  gas  might  become   more  competitive.  He                                                                    
encouraged creative  solutions. He wondered if  the proposed                                                                    
legislation  might prevent  the opportunity  for a  creative                                                                    
9:49:26 AM                                                                                                                    
Mr. Wright  replied that the proposed  legislation would not                                                                    
prohibit    the    potential    solutions    expressed    by                                                                    
Representative Gara. He noted that  the bill did not address                                                                    
negotiations  between TransCanada  and the  commissioners or                                                                    
the administration.                                                                                                             
Representative Gara  pointed out the two  proposed gas lines                                                                    
that  were discussed  throughout the  Capitol building.  One                                                                    
option, the  instate line,  included testimony  stating that                                                                    
the tariff  cost would be  four times larger than  the other                                                                    
proposed  option. He  assumed that  the  instate line  would                                                                    
require a subsidy to enable  affordable gas for Alaskans. He                                                                    
added that  the downside for  the instate line was  the lack                                                                    
of taxation, which  limits state revenue. He  added that the                                                                    
other proposed project would produce  revenue for the state,                                                                    
which led to his support  of the larger gasline. He wondered                                                                    
whether  HB 142  contained language  that might  prevent the                                                                    
state from taking the necessary subsidy.                                                                                        
Mr.  Wright believed  that Representative  Gara's statements                                                                    
amounted to a presumption, and  he felt unqualified to state                                                                    
whether  the instate  gas line  would or  would not  produce                                                                    
revenue for the  state. He stated that he  could not comment                                                                    
about  the necessity  of  a state  subsidy  for the  instate                                                                    
Mr. Bullock commented  that AGIA allowed both  a gasline and                                                                    
an AGIA  licensed gasline. The  AGIA licensed gasline  was a                                                                    
result of issuing a  solicitation under certain requirements                                                                    
that commitments be  made in return for that  offered by the                                                                    
state. If the  terms of AGIA were changed,  then the project                                                                    
would no longer be termed an AGIA project.                                                                                      
Representative Gara understood. He  pointed out that the law                                                                    
stated that  the gas sold in  state was not taxed  under the                                                                    
production tax regime. The advantage  of the proposed export                                                                    
gasline  was  the revenue  produced.  He  mentioned a  study                                                                    
performed  by  the  Alaska Gasline  Development  Corporation                                                                    
(AGDC) showed that the inefficiencies  of an instate gasline                                                                    
would  require the  balance of  a  tariff in  the 17  dollar                                                                    
range, compared  to a 3  or 4  dollar tariff for  the export                                                                    
gas line.                                                                                                                       
Mr. Wright admitted  that he was unaware of  the AGDC study.                                                                    
He  discussed Representative  Gara's  request for  testimony                                                                    
from  Mr.  Persily. He  noted  that  Mr. Persily's  area  of                                                                    
expertise included regulating and  permitting for any Alaska                                                                    
natural  gas  transportation project  in  the  Lower 48.  He                                                                    
stated that  Mr. Persily might  not be qualified  to discuss                                                                    
the economics of the project.                                                                                                   
Vice-chair  Fairclough asked  Representative Gara  about the                                                                    
documents that he was quoting.                                                                                                  
Representative Gara  stated that he was  happy to distribute                                                                    
the   document  through   the  committee   aide.  The   AGDC                                                                    
distributed  an  estimation  of   the  cost  of  an  instate                                                                    
gasline, which was $17 in  MCF. He added that Anchorage paid                                                                    
$8  for gas,  which  included  transportation, lifting,  and                                                                    
production.  He commented  on the  change in  prices of  gas                                                                    
products in the Lower 48.  He believed that Mr. Persily made                                                                    
a good case  that while shale gas produced a  low price, the                                                                    
downside was  groundwater pollution. He understood  from Mr.                                                                    
Persily  that  the  price  of  gas  would  increase  due  to                                                                    
increased regulation  and he wished  to hear  testimony from                                                                    
Mr. Persily on the issue.                                                                                                       
9:56:07 AM                                                                                                                    
Vice-chair  Fairclough  asked  for   proof  that  shale  gas                                                                    
contaminated   water.  She   cautioned   the  statement   of                                                                    
absolutes without the accompanying proof.                                                                                       
Representative Gara  agreed that all fracking  and all shale                                                                    
gas  were  not  the  same, but  some  states  are  proposing                                                                    
substantial  and expensive  regulations for  the development                                                                    
of shale  gas. He mentioned  reports from the Lower  48 that                                                                    
asserted  contamination  of  water  leading  to  legislation                                                                    
proposed that will increase the production of shale gas.                                                                        
Representative Wilson stressed  that the responsibility lies                                                                    
with TransCanada to prove that AGIA is economical.                                                                              
Mr. Wright clarified that it  was the state's responsibility                                                                    
through  the  commissioners  of DNR  and  DOR  to  determine                                                                    
whether the project was economic.                                                                                               
Representative  Wilson  commented on  Representative  Gara's                                                                    
argument that the state  must contribute financial resources                                                                    
to enable  economic viability of the  project. She disagreed                                                                    
with Representative Gara's argument.                                                                                            
Mr. Wright agreed.                                                                                                              
Representative  Wilson added  that the  best action  for the                                                                    
state may  mean an  increase in  economical fuel  oil rather                                                                    
than revenue.                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Wright wished  to  avoid a  debate  about revenues.  He                                                                    
maintained   that   an   instate   gasline   would   provide                                                                    
opportunities for Alaska. He stressed  that HB 142 addressed                                                                    
the AGIA process rather than the instate gasline.                                                                               
Representative Wilson  asked about the potential  to spend a                                                                    
large quantity of state money without acquiring a gasline.                                                                      
Mr. Wright responded yes, the  potential did exist. He added                                                                    
that  the   question  would  be  better   addressed  by  the                                                                    
10:00:03 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Wilson noted  that the  administration might                                                                    
deem the  project uneconomical, since the  commissioners are                                                                    
privy  to   information  that  was  not   available  to  the                                                                    
legislature. She stated that the  legislature wished to have                                                                    
access to the same information.                                                                                                 
Mr. Wright  opined that the legislature's  interest included                                                                    
the  viability  of  the  project   and  the  wisdom  of  the                                                                    
Representative Doogan  echoed the request  of Representative                                                                    
Gara regarding  the testimony of Larry  Persily. He believed                                                                    
that the  opinion of the  federal coordinator was  valid. He                                                                    
asked Mr.  Bullock's opinion  regarding a  potential dispute                                                                    
between the administration and TransCanada.                                                                                     
Mr. Bullock  explained that any agreement  carried risk that                                                                    
might result in  a court battle and damages  paid. He opined                                                                    
that  one potential  was that  the project  might be  deemed                                                                    
economic, yet  the state  decides not  to go  forward, which                                                                    
would raise  the issue that  the state was no  longer acting                                                                    
in good faith and could lead to litigation.                                                                                     
Representative Doogan recalled  the phrase "treble damages."                                                                    
He asked  to know the  value of the  legislature intervening                                                                    
in the operation.                                                                                                               
10:04:35 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Bullock  likened the  situation  to  buying a  car  and                                                                    
having it evaluated for proper function.                                                                                        
Representative Doogan expressed that the  value of a car was                                                                    
far less than the value of the proposed pipeline.                                                                               
Representative  Hawker  stated  concerns that  the  latitude                                                                    
allowed in  the committee  was mischaracterizing HB  142. He                                                                    
asked whether  the discussion was  remotely relevant  to the                                                                    
Mr.  Wright stated  that the  discussions  were not  totally                                                                    
relevant; but indirectly.                                                                                                       
Representative  Hawker asked  whether the  bill contemplated                                                                    
competing projects.                                                                                                             
Mr. Wright responded no.                                                                                                        
10:06:42 AM                                                                                                                   
ROGER MARKS, LEGISLATIVE  CONSULTANT, LEGISLATIVE BUDGET AND                                                                    
AUDIT  COMMITTEE,  delivered   the  PowerPoint  presentation                                                                    
"Changes  in  North  America   Natural  Gas  Market  Outlook                                                                    
Between  2008  &   2011"  (copy  on  file).   He  noted  his                                                                    
background  working  for  DOR  tax  division  for  25  years                                                                    
beginning in  1983. His prime responsibilities  for DOR were                                                                    
to analyze  commerciality of  North Slope  gas from  1983 to                                                                    
2008;  for 15  years he  was the  only state  employee doing                                                                    
that. He  stated that he built  Alaska's first comprehensive                                                                    
economic  model   of  North  Slope  gas   commerciality.  He                                                                    
participated  in crafting  stranded  act negotiations  under                                                                    
Governor Tony Knowles and Governor Frank Murkowski.                                                                             
Mr.  Marks  discussed  the   optimistic  outlook  which  had                                                                    
changed between 2008 and current  time period. He provided a                                                                    
brief  history, pointing  to graph  "Henry Hub  Spot Prices"                                                                    
(Slide 2). Until the year 2000,  gas prices were too low for                                                                    
commercial consideration.  Beginning in  the year  2000, the                                                                    
Lower 48 saw  declining "low priced gas"  and more expensive                                                                    
gas  entered  the market,  which  increased  the price.  The                                                                    
trend continued through 2008 gas  prices and the opinion was                                                                    
that the high  gas prices were permanent.  He explained that                                                                    
the  current outlook  was different  and a  North Slope  gas                                                                    
project, if it existed, would lose money.                                                                                       
10:11:05 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Marks referred  to  Slide 3:  "2008  DOE/EIA Henry  Hub                                                                    
Forecast" graph for  Department of Energy/Energy Information                                                                    
Administration  (DOE/EIA).  The  forecast was  used  by  the                                                                    
administration  to  determine   findings  for  awarding  the                                                                    
license in 2008.  He noted that the  forecast displayed were                                                                    
representative of  the consensus.  The prices shown  were in                                                                    
2009 dollars.                                                                                                                   
Mr. Marks displayed Slide 4:  "2008 Wood Mackenzie Henry Hub                                                                    
Forecast"  and  Slide 5:  "2008  Black  & Veatch  Henry  Hub                                                                    
Mr. Marks  referred to Slide  6: "U.S. Shale  Gas Reserves."                                                                    
He  stated   that  shale  changed  the   outlook.  Shale  is                                                                    
sedimentary   rock  that   was  rich   in  gas.   The  graph                                                                    
illustrated the increase in shale  gas reserves between 2008                                                                    
and 2011.  Shale gas did  not require  a $30 to  $40 billion                                                                    
pipeline to bring it to market.                                                                                                 
Representative  Gara noted  that the  least expensive  shale                                                                    
gas was currently produced and  the more expensive shale gas                                                                    
will be produced in the future.                                                                                                 
Mr. Marks explained  that one of the  key unknowns regarding                                                                    
Representative Gara's  comment would  be discussed  later in                                                                    
the presentation.                                                                                                               
Mr.  Marks continued  that hard  data between  2008 and  now                                                                    
illustrated  that  shale  gas had  increased  eight  billion                                                                    
cubic  feet per  day (equivalent  of two  North Slopes).  He                                                                    
reported working extraordinary  technological advances in 3D                                                                    
seismic horizontal  drilling and fracturing  technology. The                                                                    
technology was  still very new. Similar  reserves discovered                                                                    
in  Canada   as  well.  The  technological   revolution  was                                                                    
10:15:39 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Marks   detailed  Slide  7:  "2008   vs.  2011  DOE/EIA                                                                    
Unconventional Gas  Production Outlook" referring  to shale,                                                                    
tight gas, coal bed methane.  He explained that the forecast                                                                    
in 2008  was for 25 Billion  Cubic Feet (BCF) per  day to be                                                                    
produced by 2030.                                                                                                               
Mr.  Marks  explained  Slide  9:  "DOE/EIA  Forecasted  U.S.                                                                    
Natural Gas Supply  2008 vs. 2011." He pointed  out that the                                                                    
outlook in 2008 was that the  gas supply would be 53 BCF/day                                                                    
in  2030.  Current outlook  was  68  BCF/day, which  was  an                                                                    
increase  of approximately  15  BCF/day.  The 2008  forecast                                                                    
included  Alaska  North Slope  coming  on  in 2020.  In  the                                                                    
current forecast  the Department  of Energy did  not include                                                                    
Alaska gas in their forecast.                                                                                                   
10:18:49 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Marks described  Slide 10:  "DOE/EIA  Forecast of  U.S.                                                                    
Supply &  Demand." He  explained that  a combination  of the                                                                    
supply and demand was illustrated  in the slide. The current                                                                    
situation   for  the   United   States  involved   importing                                                                    
approximately seven BCF per day.                                                                                                
Mr. Marks  detailed Slide 11:  "U.S. Natural  Gas Supplies."                                                                    
He explained  that the additional production  from shale was                                                                    
not envisioned in 2008.                                                                                                         
Mr. Marks explained  Slide 14: "Growth in  World Natural Gas                                                                    
Reserves (excl. new shale)(tcf)."  The slide illustrated the                                                                    
total domestic  gas production  predicted from  shale, which                                                                    
increases approximately 45 percent in 2030.                                                                                     
Mr.  Marks  discussed  "New/Sanctioned LNG  Plants,"  (Slide                                                                    
   · Sakhalin,         Russia;          opened         2009;                                                                    
     Shell/Mitsui/Mitsubishi; 1.5 bcf/d                                                                                         
   · Tangguh, Indonesia;  2009; BP/Mitsubishi/Nippon Oil/LNG                                                                    
     Japan/CNOOC/Korea Gas; 1 bcf/d (short subsea pipes to                                                                      
   · Yemen  LNG,  Yemen;   2009-2010;  Total/Hunt  Oil/Korea                                                                    
     Gas/Hyundai/Yemen government; 900 mmcf/d (tidewater)                                                                       
   · Qatargas II, Qatar;  2009; Exxon/Total/Qatar Petroleum;                                                                    
     2 bcf/d (tidewater)                                                                                                        
   · Ras  Laffan  III,  Qatar; 2009  and  2010;  Exxon/Qatar                                                                    
     Petroleum; 2 bcf/d (tidewater)                                                                                             
   · Qatargas III,  Qatar; 2010; ConocoPhillips/Mitsui/Qatar                                                                    
     Petroleum; 1 bcf/d (tidewater)                                                                                             
   · Melchorita LNG,  Peru; 2010;  Hunt Oil/Marubeni/Repsol;                                                                    
     600 mmcf/d (260 miles of overland pipe)                                                                                    
   · Pluto   LNG,  Australia;   under  construction,   2011;                                                                    
     Woodside/Tokyo Gas/Kansai Electric; 1.7 bcf/d by 2014                                                                      
     (includes planned expansions) (17 miles of subsea                                                                          
   · Soyo   LNG,    Angola;   under    construction,   2012;                                                                    
     Chevron/Eni/Total/BP/national oil company; 700 mmcf/d                                                                      
   · Qatargas IV, Qatar; 2011; Shell/Qatar Petroleum; 1                                                                         
     bcf/d (tidewater)                                                                                                          
   · Gorgon LNG, Australia; under construction, 2014;                                                                           
     Chevron/Shell/Exxon/    Tokyo    Gas/Osaka    Gas/Chubu                                                                    
     Electric; 2 bcf/d (expansion contemplated) (subsea                                                                         
     pipe, measured in the dozens of miles)                                                                                     
   · Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; under construction,                                                                        
     2014; Exxon/Nippon Oil/several other partners; 850                                                                         
     mmcf/d (450 miles of pipe, mostly subsea)                                                                                  
   · Queensland Curtis, Australia; under construction,                                                                          
     2014; BG/Tokyo Gas/CNOOC (China); 1.1 bcf/d                                                                                
   · Gladstone,   Australia;   under   construction,   2015;                                                                    
     Santos/Petronas/Total; 1 bcf/d (260 miles of overland                                                                      
10:22:27 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr. Marks continued with Slide 16, "Key Price Variables:"                                                                       
   · How much of shale reserves are economic                                                                                    
   · Environmental fracking issues                                                                                              
   · Controls on greenhouse gas and air emissions                                                                               
        o Affects coal demand, which competes with natural                                                                      
Mr. Marks detailed Slide 17, "Cost to Produce Shale                                                                             
   · Still too new to tell. Unknowns :                                                                                          
        o How do shale wells perform long term?                                                                                 
        o Ultimate recoveries and production potential for                                                                      
   · Costs will go up?                                                                                                          
        o Production tends to drop off quickly                                                                                  
        o More rigs will be needed: cost pressure                                                                               
        o Land access                                                                                                           
        o Water availability                                                                                                    
   · Costs will go down?                                                                                                        
        o Exploration continues                                                                                                 
        o Cost cutting technologies possible                                                                                    
        o Reserves and production of new energy resources                                                                       
          tend to increase over time                                                                                            
10:24:44 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Marks discussed  "Hydraulic Fracturing  Issues," (Slide                                                                    
   · Can fracking fluid migrate from deep underground to                                                                        
     contaminate shallow aquifers?                                                                                              
   · Sloppy drilling practices have occurred                                                                                    
   · Currently under state oversight                                                                                            
        o Updated standards for well design, drilling,                                                                          
          waste disposal                                                                                                        
        o Federal possible                                                                                                      
   · Compliance and environmental costs will increase                                                                           
        o Not overwhelming (5%-20% per well?)                                                                                   
   · New technologies for water treatment are emerging                                                                          
Mr. Marks detailed the process  of fracturing or "fracking."                                                                    
He noted  that problems with  pollution might be  avoided if                                                                    
the  fracturing  was  done  properly.   He  added  that  the                                                                    
"mainstream" would believe that  fracking was unlikely to be                                                                    
banned, but regulatory costs might increase.                                                                                    
Representative  Gara asked  about Slide  18. He  asked about                                                                    
the increase  in costs of  5 to  20 percent. He  asked about                                                                    
reported estimates of increased environmental regulations.                                                                      
Mr.  Marks   responded  that  general   consensus  regarding                                                                    
estimates   of  the   potential   state  and   Environmental                                                                    
Protection  Agency (EPA)  oversight were  those included  in                                                                    
his  presentation. He  agreed that  various other  estimates                                                                    
could be found.                                                                                                                 
10:28:12 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative   Gara   asked   about   potential   credible                                                                    
estimates showing that  the cost of shale  fracture would be                                                                    
greater than 20 percent.                                                                                                        
Mr.  Marks stated  that  most estimates  were  in the  range                                                                    
provided in  the presentation, but many  different estimates                                                                    
existed.  He  reiterated that  the  recent  advent of  shale                                                                    
fracture was the reason for the unknowns.                                                                                       
Vice-chair Fairclough  asked if the intent  of the estimates                                                                    
was to provide an understanding  that increased costs may be                                                                    
incurred with fracking.                                                                                                         
Mr. Marks responded correct.                                                                                                    
Vice-chair Fairclough  concluded that a large  supply of gas                                                                    
existed  and  shale  fracture  included   a  great  deal  of                                                                    
Mr.  Marks discussed  the issue  of greenhouse  gas and  air                                                                    
emissions  with Slide  19, "U.S.  Electricity Generation  by                                                                    
Fuel (billion  kilowatt-hours). He stated the  Department of                                                                    
Energy's forecast  showed that  48 percent  of the  fuel for                                                                    
power generation  was derived from  coal. He added  that one                                                                    
quarter of natural gas was  used for electricity. Insofar as                                                                    
regulations increase  the cost of  coal, gas could  become a                                                                    
more popular supply for power plants.                                                                                           
10:30:49 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Doogan  asked  about the  nuclear  line.  He                                                                    
wondered whether the increase represented a new plant.                                                                          
Mr.  Marks replied  that there  had not  been a  new nuclear                                                                    
plant licensed in the United States since before 1979.                                                                          
Representative Doogan  questioned the graph on  Slide 19 and                                                                    
its referral to nuclear energy.                                                                                                 
Mr.  Marks replied  that in  2010  there were  approximately                                                                    
3200 billion kilowatt-hours.                                                                                                    
Vice-chair  Fairclough  noted  that  the  graph  provided  a                                                                    
layered approach.                                                                                                               
Representative  Doogan   stated  that  he   understood  that                                                                    
nuclear energy was rising according to Slide 19.                                                                                
Mr.   Marks  explained   that  nuclear   energy  contributed                                                                    
approximately 800  billion kilowatt hours in  2010 and 2030.                                                                    
He explained that the top  line of the graph represented the                                                                    
total of all of the different sources of energy.                                                                                
Representative Doogan understood.                                                                                               
Mr.  Marks  discussed  Page 20,  "Regulation  of  Greenhouse                                                                    
   · Near term -insufficient support for comprehensive                                                                          
     climate change legislation coming out of Congress                                                                          
   · 2009 -EPA begins regulating GHG under the Clean Air                                                                        
   · Subject to judicial challenge                                                                                              
  · Congress may try to limit regulatory action under CAA                                                                       
Mr.  Marks  deemed  it  unlikely that  there  would  be  any                                                                    
greenhouse  gas legislation  coming out  of Congress  in the                                                                    
near future.  In 2009,  the Environmental  Protection Agency                                                                    
began regulating greenhouse gas under  the Clean Air Act. He                                                                    
moved on to  address "Regulation of Air  Emissions" on Slide                                                                    
21. The EPA would soon  issue tougher air emission standards                                                                    
for nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and mercury.                                                                              
   · EPA will soon issue tougher air emission standards for                                                                     
     nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury                                                                                  
   · Large compliance costs for old coal plants:                                                                                
        o Upgrading plant vs.                                                                                                   
        o New natural gas plant                                                                                                 
   · Decision depends on severity of regs and coal/gas                                                                          
     price spread                                                                                                               
        o At low gas prices coal plants will be shut down                                                                       
   · Do not underestimate coal and railroad lobby                                                                               
10:35:21 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr. Marks  discussed the graph on  Slide 22, " 2008  vs 2011                                                                    
DOE/EIA  Henry Hub  Forecast  ($/mmbtu)  (2009 dollars).  He                                                                    
reiterated that alternative forecasts could be found.                                                                           
Mr. Marks detailed  Slide 23, "2008 vs.  2011 Wood Mackenzie                                                                    
Henry Hub Forecast ($/mmbtu) (2009 dollars).                                                                                    
Representative Gara  opined that the EIA  and Wood Mackenzie                                                                    
oil forecasts were typically wrong.  He asked if the natural                                                                    
gas forecasts were more accurate.                                                                                               
Mr.  Marks  replied  that  "everyone's  forecast  is  always                                                                    
wrong." He  believed that the  opinion of the  producers was                                                                    
of greater importance.                                                                                                          
Representative Doogan  asked why  each forecast  graph began                                                                    
with the year 2015.                                                                                                             
Mr. Marks replied  that DOE's forecast was  released in five                                                                    
year increments  making the 2015 forecast  the most relevant                                                                    
in 2011.                                                                                                                        
Representative  Doogan  asked  if a  substantial  difference                                                                    
existed between the 2010 and the 2015 forecast.                                                                                 
Mr. Marks replied no.                                                                                                           
10:38:35 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Marks  clarified  that  both  DOE  and  Wood  Mackenzie                                                                    
forecasted prices declining from $10 to $6.50 in 2030.                                                                          
Mr. Marks  continued with Slide  24, "2008 vs. 2011  Black &                                                                    
Veatch Henry Hub  Forecast." He noted that  Black and Veatch                                                                    
predicted a drop  of $2.50. He reiterated  the importance of                                                                    
the opinion of  the investors. He noted  that every forecast                                                                    
decreased since 2008 due to the increase in shale supply.                                                                       
Mr.  Marks  detailed  Slide  25,  "Alaska  North  Slope  Gas                                                                    
Pipeline  Rate of  Return."  He stated  that  every drop  in                                                                    
price  of one  dollar  was approximately  one  and one  half                                                                    
percent drop  in the rate of  return. He added that  one and                                                                    
one half percent on a $30 billion project was substantial.                                                                      
Mr.  Marks finished  with Slide  26,  "Conclusion: What  has                                                                    
Changed between 2008 and Now?" (Slide 26):                                                                                      
   · Short-medium term:                                                                                                         
        o Grim market outlook                                                                                                   
        o Imprudent   for   investors   to   proceed   while                                                                    
          uncertainties playing themselves out                                                                                  
        o Outlook for North Slope gas commercialization has                                                                     
          been deferred                                                                                                         
   · Longer-term                                                                                                                
        o Depending on how certainties play out                                                                                 
        o Possible alternative opportunities                                                                                    
10:42:47 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr.  Marks  added  that  Russia had  a  fleet  of  Liquefied                                                                    
Natural Gas (LNG) ice-breaking tankers.  He thought that the                                                                    
tankers might gain popularity in Alaska.                                                                                        
Representative  Doogan asked  how the  information presented                                                                    
informed the discussion about HB 142.                                                                                           
Mr. Marks responded that a  clause existed in AGIA regarding                                                                    
the  term "uneconomic."  He  believed  that great  ambiguity                                                                    
existed  in  the  clause,  which  could  lead  to  long-term                                                                    
Vice-chair  Fairclough   requested  the   specific  citation                                                                    
Mr. Marks stated that he  referred to AS 43.90.240(c)(1) and                                                                    
(c)(2), which attempts to define  that which makes a project                                                                    
10:46:54 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Doogan   asked  if  the   situation  changed                                                                    
sufficiently in the  last three years to  call into question                                                                    
the project's economics.                                                                                                        
Mr.  Marks responded  that a  significant  change in  market                                                                    
outlook  occurred  between the  time  that  the license  was                                                                    
granted and the  present. He opined that  ambiguities in the                                                                    
statute  could result  in various  interpretations based  on                                                                    
Representative  Doogan wondered  if  forecasts might  appear                                                                    
substantially different  three years in the  future as well.                                                                    
The future could not be accurately predicted.                                                                                   
Mr.  Marks agreed  that forecasted  numbers could  change in                                                                    
three years. If the clause  in the statute had meaning, then                                                                    
it must include a time dimension.                                                                                               
Representative  Gara opined  that the  larger export  driven                                                                    
gasline  was  most  important to  Alaska's  future.  He  was                                                                    
concerned that the bill created  deadline that did not exist                                                                    
before,  and might  potentially compromise  the project.  He                                                                    
pointed  to  the uncertainty  about  shale  oil prices.  Mr.                                                                    
Persily testified that natural gas  would be more stable. He                                                                    
asked whether Mr. Marks shared any of the concerns.                                                                             
10:51:46 AM                                                                                                                   
Mr. Marks  responded that the  consensus outlooks  were low.                                                                    
He  believed that  investors  would wait  to  see how  those                                                                    
outlooks  evolved.  He  understood  that  TransCanada  would                                                                    
apply  for their  certificate in  2014; if  project was  not                                                                    
built for ten years, what  was achieved for the money spent.                                                                    
If the  project was delayed,  new open season  markets could                                                                    
Mr. Marks discussed the potential  for a future supplemental                                                                    
EIS, which could  be as expensive as  the original depending                                                                    
on changes  such as  new species  on the  endangered species                                                                    
list. He questioned the value  of what the state was putting                                                                    
in currently if the data and technology became obsolete.                                                                        
10:55:23 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Gara asked  about  Slide  25. He  understood                                                                    
that the rate of return was lower on natural gas.                                                                               
Mr. Marks  replied that the  rate of return  represented the                                                                    
fact that  projects require money  from equity and  debt. He                                                                    
stated that the  project had great risk. If  the project was                                                                    
built five  years ago, producers  would be losing  money. He                                                                    
did not know rate of return required.                                                                                           
Representative  Costello stated  that HB  142 would  provide                                                                    
additional   information   as   opposed  to   invoking   the                                                                    
uneconomic clause of AGIA.                                                                                                      
Vice-chair Fairclough concurred.                                                                                                
Representative Guttenberg  asked whether there was  value in                                                                    
Alaskan gas in the future.                                                                                                      
Mr.  Marks responded  that the  North  American natural  gas                                                                    
market outlook  was less optimistic  than it was  during the                                                                    
time that  AGIA was passed.  As a result, the  timeframe for                                                                    
the commercialization of North Slope gas was deferred.                                                                          
Representative  Guttenberg  clarified that  TransCanada  was                                                                    
spending  money  on  projects   that  could  be  90  percent                                                                    
reimbursed. He asked why moving forward.                                                                                        
Mr.  Marks   thought  the  questions  should   be  asked  of                                                                    
TransCanada, who believed that the project was eminent.                                                                         
10:59:26 AM                                                                                                                   
Representative  Hawker  clarified  the  committee  statement                                                                    
that HB 142  "moves up deadline that did  not exist before."                                                                    
He argued  that the statement contradicted  the statement of                                                                    
Mr.    Bullock.   He    challenged   the    statement   that                                                                    
ConocoPhillips received  a higher rate of  return in Alaska.                                                                    
He stated  that the concept  of rate of return  was specific                                                                    
based on various calculations  and interpretations. He noted                                                                    
the difference between profitability and rates of return.                                                                       
HB 142 was HEARD and HELD in committee for further                                                                              
11:01:35 AM                                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 142 TC Payments.xlsx HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
AGIA.pdf HFIN 4/1/2011 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
AS 43.90.110.docx HFIN 4/1/2011 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
AS 43.90.240.docx HFIN 4/1/2011 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
AS 43.90.900.docx HFIN 4/1/2011 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
HB 142 Fact Sheet.pdf HFIN 4/1/2011 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
HB 142 Sponsor Statement NEW.pdf HFIN 4/1/2011 1:30:00 PM
HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
HB 142 AGIA Reimbursements.docx HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
HB 142 Gara ASAP Handout.pdf HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
HB142-NEW FN LAW-CIV-04-01-11.pdf HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
HB142-NEW FN DNR-CO-04-01-11.pdf HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
HB 142 Gara ASAP Handout.pdf HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
HB 142 AK Pipeline--Apr 4 2011.pdf HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142
HB 142 natural gas market conditions0404 2011 (3).pdf HFIN 4/4/2011 8:30:00 AM
HB 142