The Alaska Landmine has obtained contracts between the Alaska Gasline Development Authority (AGDC) and Holland and Hart, and Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, law firms who employ former Alaska Governor Sean Parnell and former Alaska Senator Mark Begich, respectively. The original contracts were signed in May and September of 2020. Change orders were signed in December. You can see the contracts and change orders here:
The contract with Holland and Hart was originally not-to-exceed $125,000 and was set to expire on December 31, 2020. In December 2020 it was extended to June 30, 2021 The contract with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck was originally not-to-exceed $46,250 and was set to expire on December 31, 2020. In December 2020 it was extended to June 30, 2021 and $75,000 was added, raising the not-to-exceed amount to $121,250. The total not-to-exceed limit on both contracts is $246,250.
Recently Governor Mike Dunleavy (R – Alaska) wrote an op-ed in the ADN about a potential gasline from the North Slope to Fairbanks. In the op-ed he says:
Backed by significant private sector interest, and the real possibility of funding from the federal government, this opportunity to create thousands of construction jobs couldn’t come at a more opportune time for our state.
Both contracts have language about work on the federal level to support the gasline. The Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck contract specifically cites the CARES Act and the potential of federal money for infrastructure projects. Parnell and Begich both have contacts in D.C., on both sides of the aisle. While the Trump administration was supportive of resource development projects, since being sworn in President Joe Biden has taken steps to curtail fossil fuel development.
Larry Persily, who served as head of the federal office for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects from 2010-2015, provided the following quote on the contracts:
Certainly ADGC is not the only entity in the country that sees federal Covid funding as a financial opportunity. They are smart for trying to get on the list. However, while AGDC is more likely to get federal funding for the gasline than Representative David Eastman is to be elected House Speaker, they are both not going to happen.
AGDC provided the following comment on the contracts, “AGDC will provide an Alaska LNG progress update during tomorrow’s board meeting.” AGDC is set to hold a board meeting tomorrow morning at 9 am. Here is the information: