WPR News
8:38 am
Fri October 31, 2008

Should Wyoming pay for a pipeline?

Cheyenne, Wyo. – The head of a major gas development authority in Alaska says Wyoming may have to put up public money in order to move large pipeline projects forward.

Richard Heinze spoke to industry experts in Cheyenne Friday. He says Alaska's constitution allowed the state government to put up $500,000 toward a pipeline that will bring natural gas from Alaska to the rest of the country. He says politicians and the public finally supported the expense because they were frustrated the state's vast resources were not getting to market.

"Maybe wyomnig has lots of other opportunities worth several hundred million dollars a year to the state. But I don't think so. At what point is it worth the investment, the political process to capture that?" Heinze asked.

Wyoming's constitution limits public involvement in private projects like pipeline building. The head of Wyoming's Pipeline Authority says the political will does not exist in Wyoming to change that. But he says it would make pipeline production far easier. He says Wyoming loses millions of dollars each year because the state doesn't have adequate infrastructure to move its gas.

Wyoming's constitution limits public involvement in private projects like pipeline building. The head of Wyoming's Pipeline Authority says the political will does not exist in Wyoming to change that. But he says it would make pipeline production far easier. He says Wyoming loses millions of dollars each year because the state doesn't have adequate infrastructure to move its gas.