The Kenai Peninsula Borough wants to boost its role in a project to build a massive pipeline to carry natural gas from Alaska's North Slope to a liquefaction plant and export terminal planned for Nikiski.
Borough leaders voted last week to petition the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to intervene on the project's environmental impact statement. It would allow the borough to request a new hearing of commission decisions or appeal them to a federal court, the Peninsula Clarion newspaper reported .
The planned 800-mile (1,287-kilometer) natural gas pipeline aims to connect Prudhoe Bay to Nikiski for export to Asia. The borough's move comes as different local governments have proposed other locations for the terminal.
Kenai Peninsula Borough lawyers sent the intervention petition Friday to the U.S. energy commission, saying the borough cannot be adequately represented by other parties because it "has a direct and substantial interest in and will be directly affected by the outcome of this proceeding."
The commission has already granted the status to the city of Valdez and the Matanuska Susitna Borough.
"Right now we have Valdez and Mat-Su hemming and hawing for this project, and they're intervenors," John Quick, chief of staff to the Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor, told an advisory committee.
"And the Kenai Peninsula Borough has not been an intervenor. If we're not at the table, we're not at the table. So I think this will put us in a better position to have a bigger voice from the borough, and do everything we can to make sure this project lands in Nikiski," he said.
The commission is planning to release a draft of the project's environmental impact statement next March and the final statement in December 2019.
(Source: Associated Press)