On Berkowitz Plan for Alaskan Gas Line Investment, Parnell Stops, Flips and Flops

Press Release-August 30, 2010

Parnell Supplies Three Different Nonsensical Reponses to Berkowitz's Call To Open the Pipeline To Individual Alaskan Investment

In the aftermath of the Friday August 27 announcement by Ethan Berkowitz, the Democratic Party's candidate for Alaska Governor, of his plan to allow individual Alaskans, Alaska-based companies and Native Corporations to be able to invest in a gas pipeline, Sean Parnell was unable to offer with a coherent or consistent reply.

"We are still trying to decipher exactly what the Parnell team is talking about in response to our gas line ownership proposal," Berkowitz said. "To us and most Alaskans this is a pretty straight forward idea, the notion that Alaskans should also have the right, if they individually choose, to be able to own a piece of the pipe. The Parnell response has been disconcerting because we wonder who is making decisions within his office, as evidenced by the incoherent response to our proposal."

The Berkowitz-Benson gas line investment plan, a portion of the yet to be fully unveiled "Alaskan Ownership Stake", would allow each Alaskan, to choose to invest all or a portion of their annual Permanent Fund Dividend in a newly created state corporation – the Great Alaska Pipeline Company (GAP, Inc.) – by checking off a box on their PFD application. All funds would be held in escrow at GAP, Inc., until a gas pipeline is fully funded and construction is moving forward. As part owners of the effort, those Alaskans and entities that chose to participate would receive their proportionate share of the profits from the operations of a gas line.

"Since we unveiled the gas line ownership proposal last Friday the response from around the state has been overwhelming in a couple ways. From the public perspective our email box is full of people asking questions and encouraging us to push hard on this idea for individual Alaskans. It is clear Alaskans are thirsting for bold ideas and action, not just the status quo. Most importantly, Alaskans want more opportunities, and that's what this idea gives them." Berkowitz said.

Berkowitz went on to add, "Secondly, the response from the Parnell team has been a puzzling 'Stop-Flip-Flop'."

The Stop – In response to the Berkowitz-Benson plan for voluntary Alaskan gas line ownership, the Parnell team had "no comment on the plan," according to Alaska Public Radio Network[1].

The Flip – On Saturday a spokeswoman for the Parnell campaign noted Governor Parnell opposed the opportunity for individual Alaskans to buy a piece of pipe because "a private sector project" is moving forward.[2]

The Flop – Later on Saturday Sean Parnell made the following quote to KTVA-Alaska Channel 11 - "His (Berkowitz) proposal is that the state write a check for about $6 million, which is about 26 percent of the cost, and go into debt for the rest. That is not something I support."[3]

"I'm not sure what plan Sean Parnell is looking at, but where does he come up with his figures? He can't be allowed to get away with purposely distorting our proposal with nonsensical numbers and outlandish statements," Berkowitz asked. "And if the private sector was having such great success in "moving a project forward", as Sean Parnell would have us believe, then why does it require the taxpayers of Alaska to fork over $500 million to keep the private sector at the table while keeping us on the hook for another $1.5 billion? That does not sound like a private sector project to me, it sounds like a massive pipeline bailout for a single company before a project is even built," Berkowitz noted.

"The sad truth is we don't see any progress on a gas line because the Parnell Administration is purposely hiding the 'results' of the open season until after the November elections. If they released the results now it would most likely show little real progress has been made on the gas line. That is why I proposed we harness the power of the legislative language that Ted Stevens, Lisa Murkowski and Don Young secured in the federal Alaskan Natural Gas Pipeline Act in 2004 to allow for individual ownership of the project by Alaskans. Rather than having a Governor who is confused on the issue, as is the current state of play in Juneau, we need a Governor with bold ideas and the spine to fight for individual Alaskans," Berkowitz said.

The details of the individual ownership opportunity in the gas line can be found at, along with a sample Stock Certificate and a detailed Frequently Asked Questions page outlining the details of the plan.

Over the next several weeks the Berkowitz-Benson campaign will be announcing additional segments of their overall Alaskan Ownership Stake, a comprehensive agenda designed bring the opportunities of Alaska to the local regions of the state and each individual Alaskan. For more information on this and other topics go to

[1] Source – APRN News Fri Aug 27, 2010 -
[2] Anchorage Daily News Article, Saturday August 28, 2010 -
[3] KTVA Channel 11 Saturday August 28, 2010 -