However, once an applicant has either pre-filed with FERC under ANGDA or with BLM under ANGTA
, the OFC is obligated to pursue expeditious handling of the permits, grants and certificates necessary to commercialize Alaska's North Slope gas.
TransCanada (the international pipeline behemoth) and subsidiary Foothills Pipe Lines claim under President Carter's ANGTA (not to be confused with ANGDA, the Alaska voter referendum mandated Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority) that it has historical and exclusive claims to right-of-way, regulatory approvals and other treaty guarantees.
FERC said in the past few days that the 1976 act might possibly be bypassed and further: "We are relatively clear that that the ANGTA would not bar this commission from considering (other applicants).
Hoecker's letter said Foothills could apply to build Phase II, in which case a new environmental impact statement would be needed, or other companies could submit applications under the Natural Gas Act to build other pipelines over other routes not approved in the ANGTA
. He seemed to indicate that it was unclear whether FERC could approve two different Alaska pipelines at the same time.
Foothills Pipe Line Ltd., a Canadian company, has the right to build the Phase I line along a route approved in 1976 under the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act (ANGTA
.) In testimony last September before the Senate Energy Committee, Robert Pierce, chairman of Foothills, said the company would have to amend the certificate of public convenience and necessity for the Alaska segment of the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System (ANGTS) to account for design and engineering changes attributable to technological advances.