Press Release: State of Alaska, Office of the Governor, Jan. 8, 2003


Murkowski Joins Norton for TAPS ROW Signing


January 8, 2003

(Washington, DC) - Governor Frank H. Murkowski today joined Secretary of
the Interior Gale Norton at a signing ceremony at the Department of the
Interior to renew the Trans Alaska Pipeline System right-of-way over
federal lands. The signing of the Secretary's Record of Decision and
eight separate 30-year right-of-way renewal agreements is the
culmination of a 22-month long public process.

"This is a great day for Alaska and for the nation," Murkowski said.
"The TAPS pipeline today carries 17 percent of domestic oil production -
and has flowed as much as 25 percent - as it has every day for the past
30 years, with no major incidents. With the signing of these renewals,
we acknowledge the forward thinking of those who designed and
constructed the pipeline system, as well as the competent operation of it."

Murkowski said the oversight provided by the Joint Pipeline Office, a
joint effort of 13 State of Alaska and federal agencies, has worked
well. "The JPO provides efficient, effective oversight to make sure the
pipeline is operated in a safe, environmentally-sound, and financially
productive manner. The TAPS pipeline has carried more than 14 billion
barrels of oil, generating more than $400 billion in economic benefit to
the nation. So, the JPO's oversight is a cooperative effort of which we
can justifiably be proud," Murkowski said.

Murkowski also acknowledged the participation of the many Alaskans who
spoke out during the renewal process. "There was a concern expressed
about many aspects of the renewal, from the desire to have a citizen's
oversight group, to whether the pipeline divides Alaska," Murkowski
said. "I believe those concerns have been more than adequately
addressed, the public process works, and we will continue to be vigilant
in our oversight of the operation and management of the pipeline."

The TAPS pipeline crosses 600 streams and three major mountain ranges on
its 800- mile course from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. The State of Alaska on
November 26 signed right-of-way renewals for that portion of the
pipeline that crosses state lands.