Message to the Congress Submitting a Proposed Waiver of Law Concerning the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act of 1976

October 15, 1981

To the Congress of the United States:

The Alaska Highway Pipeline route for the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System was chosen by President Carter and approved by Congress in 1977. There was a strong Congressional endorsement that the pipeline should be built if it could be privately financed. That has been my consistent position since becoming President, as communicated on numerous occasions to our good neighbors in Canada and I am now submitting my formal findings and proposed waiver of law.

As I stated in my message to Prime Minister Trudeau informing him of my decision to submit this waiver:

My Administration supports the completion of this project through private financing, and it is our hope that this action will clear the way to moving ahead with it. I believe that this project is important not only in terms of its contribution to the energy security of North America. It is also a symbol of U.S.-Canadian ability to work together cooperatively in the energy area for the benefit of both countries and peoples. This same spirit can be very important in resolving the other problems we face in the energy area.

This waiver of law, submitted to the Congress under Section 8(g) of the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act, is designed to clear away governmental obstacles to proceeding with private financing of this important project. It is critical to the energy security of this country that the Federal Government not obstruct development of energy resources on the North Slope of Alaska. For this reason, it is important that the Congress begin expeditiously to consider and adopt a waiver of those laws that impede private financing of the project.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

October 15, 1981.

FINDINGS AND PROPOSED WAIVER OF LAW

Pursuant to the provisions of the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act of 1976 (ANGTA) 15 U.S.C. _719, et seq., a transportation system to transport Alaska natural gas to consumers in the continental United States was selected and approved by Congress in 1977.

I find that certain provisions of law applicable to the Federal actions to be taken under Subsections (a) and (c) of Section 9 of ANGTA require waiver in order to permit expeditious construction and initial operation of the approved transportation system. Accordingly, under the provisions of Section 8(g)(1) of ANGTA, I hereby propose to both Houses of Congress a waiver of the following provisions of law, such waiver to become effective upon approval of a joint resolution under the procedures set forth in Section 8(g)(2), 8(g)(3), and 8(g)(4) of ANGTA.

Waive P.L. 95 - 158 (FOOTNOTE) [Joint Resolution of approval,* (FOOTNOTE) pursuant to Section 8(a) of ANGTA, incorporating the President's Decision] in the following particulars:

(FOOTNOTE) See: Executive Office of the President, Energy Policy and Planning, Decision and Report to Congress on the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System (September 1977) (hereinafter referred to as President's Decision); and see H.J. Res. 621, Pub. L. No. 95 - 158 (1977), wherein the President's Decision was incorporated and ratified by Congress pursuant to Section 8(a) of ANGTA.

(FOOTNOTE) *15 U.S.C. _719f nt.

Section 1, Paragraph 3, and Section 5, Conditions IV - 4 and V - 1, of the President's Decision, in order to permit producers of Alaska natural gas to participate in the ownership of the Alaska pipeline segment and the gas conditioning plant segment of the approved transportation system; Provided, however, that any agreement on producer participation may be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission only after consideration of advice from the Attorney General and upon a finding by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that the agreement will not (a) create or maintain a situation inconsistent with the antitrust laws, or (b) in and of itself create restrictions on access to the Alaska segment of the approved transportation system for nonowner shippers or restrictions on capacity expansion; and

Section 2, Paragraph 3, First Sentence, of the President's Decision, to include the gas conditioning plant in the approved transportation system and in the final certificate to be issued for the system; and for application to be issued for the system; and the application of Section 5, Condition IV - 2 of the President's Decision to the gas conditioning plant; and

Section 5, Condition IV - 3, of the President's Decision; provided, however, that such waiver shall not authorize the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve tariffs except as provided herein. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may approve a tariff that will permit billing to commence and collection of rates and charges to begin and that will authorize recovery of all costs paid by purchasers of Alaska natural gas for transportation through the system pursuant to such tariffs prior to the flow of Alaska natural gas through the approved transportation system --

(a) to permit recovery of the full cost of service for the pipeline in Canada to commence --

(1) upon completion and testing, so that it is proved capable of operation; and

(2) not before a date certain, as determined (in consultation with the Federal Inspector) by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in issuing a final certificate for the approved transportation system, to be the most likely date for the approved transportation system to begin operation; and

(b) to permit recovery of the actual operation and maintenance expenses, actual current taxes and amounts necessary to service debt, including interest and scheduled retirement of debt, to commence --

(1) for the Alaska pipeline segment --

(A) upon completion and testing of the Alaska pipeline segment so that it is proved capable of operation; and

(B) not before a date certain, as determined (in consultation with the Federal Inspector) by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in issuing a final certificate for the approved transportation system, to be the most likely date for the approved transportation system to begin operation; and

(2) for the gas conditioning plant segment --

(A) upon completion and testing of the gas conditioning plant segment so that it is proved capable of operation; and

(B) not before a date certain, as determined (in consultation with the Federal Inspector) by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in issuing a final certificate for the approved transportation system, to be the most likely date for the approved transportation system to begin operation.

Waive Pub. L. No. 688, 75th Cong., 2d Sess. [Natural Gas Act] in the following particulars:

Section 7(c)(1)(B) of the Natural Gas Act to the extent that section can be construed to require the use of formal evidentiary hearings in proceedings related to applications for certificates of public convenience and necessity authorizing the construction or operation of any segment of the approved transportation system; provided, however, that such waiver shall not preclude the use of formal evidentiary hearing(s) whenever the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission determines, in its discretion, that such a hearing is necessary; and

Sections 4, 5, 7, and 16 of the Natural Gas Act to the extent that such sections would allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to change the provisions of any final rule or order approving (a) any tariff in any manner that would impair the recovery of the actual operation and maintenance expenses, actual current taxes, and amounts necessary to service debt, including interest and scheduled retirement of debt, for the approved transportation system; or (b) the recovery by purchasers of Alaska natural gas of all costs related to transportation of such gas pursuant to an approved tariff; and

Sections 1(b) and 2(6) of the Natural Gas Act to the extent necessary to permit the Alaskan Northwest Natural Gas Transportation Company or its successor and any shipper of Alaska natural gas through the Alaska pipeline segment of the approved transportation system to be deemed to be a ``natural gas company'' within the meaning of the Act at such time as it accepts a final certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing it to construct or operate the Alaska pipeline segment and the gas conditioning plant segment of the approved transportation system or to ship or sell gas that is to be transported through the approved transportation system; and

Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act as it would apply to Alaska natural gas transported through the Alaska pipeline segment of the approved transportation system to the extent that any authorization would otherwise be required for --

(1) the exportation of Alaska natural gas to Canada (to the extent that such natural gas is replaced by Canada downstream from the export); and

(2) the importation of natural gas from Canada (to the extent that such natural gas replaced Alaska natural gas exported to Canada); and

(3) the exportation from Alaska into Canada and the importation from Canada into the lower 48 states of the United States of Alaska natural gas.

*15 U.S.C. _

Waive P.L. 94 - 163* (FOOTNOTE) [Energy Policy and Conservation Act] in the following particulars:

(FOOTNOTE) *42 U.S.C. _, et seq.

Section 103 as it would apply to Alaska natural gas transported through the Alaska pipeline segment of the approved transportation system to the extent that any authorization would otherwise be required for --

(1) the exportation of Alaska natural gas to Canada (to the extent that such natural gas is replaced by Canada downstream from the export); and

(2) the importation of natural gas from Canada (to the extent that such natural gas replaced Alaska natural gas exported to Canada); and

(3) the exportation from Alaska into Canada and the importation from Canada into the lower 48 states of the United States of Alaska natural gas.