Walker, 042715 AKAGO, AGO JU2015200282

Docket Nº:AGO JU2015200282
Case Date:April 27, 2015
Court:Alaska
 
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The Honorable Bill Walker
AGO JU2015200282
No. JU2015200282
Alaska Attorney General Opinions
April 27, 2015
         The Honorable Bill Walker          Governor          State of Alaska          P.O. Box 110001          Juneau, Alaska 99811-0001          Re: SB 70: HCS CSSB 70(RES): Natural gas pipeline right-of-way Our file: JU2015200282          Dear Governor Walker:          At the request of your legislative director, we have reviewed HCS CSSB 70(RES), relating to exceptions from designation as a special purpose site, under art. VIII, sec. 7 of the Constitution of the State of Alaska, for portions of Denali State Park, Captain Cook State Recreation Area, Nancy Lake State Recreation Area, and Willow Creek State Recreation Area to allow leasing a right-of-way for a natural gas pipeline.          The bill would open a portion of four state parks and recreation areas to leasing under AS 38.35, the Alaska Right-of-Way Leasing Act, to make possible a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope. For practical reasons, any North Slope gas pipeline route to Southcentral Alaska would pass through Denali State Park. Denali State Park, like the other state recreation areas included in the bill, has been reserved by the legislature and removed from the public domain under art. VIII, sec. 7 of the Alaska Constitution. Article VIII, sec. 8 of the Alaska Constitution only permits leasing of land in the public domain As a result, it would be necessary to modify the statutes creating these parks and recreation areas so right-of-way leasing would be permitted. The bill would allow the right-of-way leasing and would impose three kinds of limits on the opened land.          First, the bill would have geographical limits permitting land leasing only in a defined corridor through the Denali State Park. The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation and the Alaska liquefied natural gas (AKLNG) project partners were consulted to ensure that the corridor opened to leasing was sufficiently broad to accommodate the study areas for both the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) project and the AKLNG export line.          Second, the bill would limit the scope of the permissible use. The leased land would be not open for general disposal or subject to management as part of the public domain; it may only be leased under AS 38.35 for a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope. Under AS 38.35.200, a pipeline means:
"all the facilities of a total system
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