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                                                      Calendar No. 146
115th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                    {      115-109

======================================================================

 
 AMENDING THE DENALI NATIONAL PARK IMPROVEMENT ACT TO CLARIFY CERTAIN 
   PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE AUTHORIZED IN THE 
                   DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE

                                _______
                                

                 June 14, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

        Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural 
                   Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 217]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 217) to amend the Denali Park Improvement 
Act to clarify certain provisions relating to the natural gas 
pipeline authorized in the Denali National Park and Preserve, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 217 is to amend the Denali National Park 
Improvement Act to clarify certain provisions relating to the 
natural gas pipeline authorized in the Denali National Park and 
Preserve.

                          Background and Need

    Electricity in south-central Alaska is largely generated by 
burning natural gas produced from the gas fields in Cook Inlet, 
just south of Anchorage, although production in Cook Inlet is 
declining. There are concerns regarding the region's ability to 
produce sufficient gas to support the area's population in the 
future. Plans for a large-volume natural gas pipeline to run 
from the Prudhoe Bay oil fields to the Lower 48 States is 
underway, along with a smaller-diameter pipeline, to provide 
natural gas to south-central Alaska to meet medium-term demand.
    The Denali National Park Improvement Act (Public Law 113-
33) authorized the Secretary of the Interior to issue right-of-
way permits for the natural gas pipeline to run through a small 
non-wilderness portion of Denali National Park, generally along 
an approximately seven-mile stretch near the Parks Highway. 
Under the statute, the permits could only be issued if 
consistent with National Park System laws applicable to utility 
rights-of-way, approved in accordance with title XI of the 
Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 
(ANILCA, 16 U.S.C. 3161 et seq.), and analyzed under the 
National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
    Based on studies over the last four years, the Alaska LNG 
Project, working with the National Park Service (NPS), has 
found that the route for the pipeline through the park needs to 
be slightly altered to accommodate a seismic hazard: a fault 
line near Lynx Creek south of the Park's headquarters complex. 
In addition, it was discovered that applying the additional 
regulatory process under ANILCA to the gas pipeline was 
duplicative and impracticable, as it would require simultaneous 
permitting for all federal authorizations for the entire 
project.
    S. 217 would amend the Denali National Park Improvement Act 
to provide flexibility to reroute the pipeline through the Park 
to avoid the seismic hazard, provided the route remains out of 
wilderness and provides other benefits to the Park. The change 
in route is expected to provide the ability to construct a gas 
offtake point to allow for gas deliveries in the area, 
including to the NPS, to heat park buildings, and for operation 
of park vehicles. The change in route may also facilitate 
construction of a bicycle-walking path through the Park. S. 217 
would also remove the additional regulatory process under 
ANILCA for the gas pipeline. This change would allow project 
developers to request permits for either the small-diameter 
pipeline or the large volume pipeline at a different time than 
when any pipeline project applies for all of its right-of-way 
permits for the roughly 800-mile transmission system.

                          Legislative History

    Senators Murkowski and Sullivan introduced S. 217 on 
January 24, 2017.
    In the 114th Congress, a similar measure was included in 
Amendment No. 3308, which the Senate agreed to on April 19, 
2016, as an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy 
Modernization Act of 2016, which the Senate passed, as amended, 
on April 20, 2016.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session, on March 30, 2017, and ordered S. 217 
favorably reported.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on March 30, 2017, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
217.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1 (a) amends section 3(b)(1) of the Denali National 
Park Improvement Act (Public Law 113-33) by striking the 
limitation that any pipeline through the Park must be located 
``within, along, or near'' the George Parks Highway, thus 
allowing the route to deviate from the highway corridor where 
needed.
    Subsection (b) makes technical changes to section 3(c)(1) 
of the Denali National Park Improvement Act.
    Subsection (c) amends section 3 of the Denali National Park 
Improvement Act to exempt a high pressure gas transmission 
pipeline, including appurtenances, located in a non-wilderness 
area of the Park, from the terms of title XI of ANILCA (16 
U.S.C. 3161 et seq.).
    S. 217 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office.
    Based on information provided by the National Park Service 
(NPS), CBO estimates that implementing S. 217 would have no 
significant effect on the federal budget. The bill would:
           Expand the area in Denali National Park in 
        Alaska where the NPS may issue right-of-way permits for 
        the development of natural gas and utility pipelines; 
        and
           Exempt applications for right-of-way permits 
        from certain provisions of the Alaska National Interest 
        Lands Conservation Act that require multiple federal 
        agencies to review such projects.
    If pipeline operators seek additional right-of-way permits 
from the NPS as a result of S.217's enactment, the agency could 
collect and spend additional fees to recover costs associated 
with issuing permits. CBO estimates that total collections 
under the bill would be insignificant over the 2018-2027 
period, and the net effect on direct spending would be 
negligible. Because enacting S. 217 would affect direct 
spending, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the bill 
would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 217 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.

                      Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 217.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government-established standards or significant 
economic responsibilities on private individuals and 
businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the provision. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 217, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 217, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        Executive Communications

    Executive Communications on S. 217 were not requested by 
the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in the 115th 
Congress.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 217, as ordered reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law is which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                  DENALI NATIONAL PARK IMPROVEMENT ACT


PUBLIC LAW 113-33

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 3. DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (b) Permit.--The Secretary may issue right-of-way permits 
for--
          (1) a high-pressure natural gas transmission pipeline 
        (including appurtenances) in nonwilderness areas within 
        the boundary of Denali National Park [within, along, or 
        near the approximately 7-mile segment of the George 
        Parks Highway that runs through the Park]; and
          (2) any distribution and transmission pipelines and 
        appurtenances that the Secretary determines to be 
        necessary to provide natural gas supply to the Park.
    (c) Terms and Conditions.--A permit authorized under 
subsection (b)--
          (1) may be issued only--
                  (A) if the permit is consistent with the laws 
                (including regulations) generally applicable to 
                utility rights-of-way within units of the 
                National Park System; and
                  [(B) in accordance with section 1106(a) of 
                the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation 
                Act (16 U.S.C. 3166(a)); and]
                  [(C)] (B) if, following an appropriate 
                analysis prepared in compliance with the 
                National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 
                U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the route of the right-
                of-way is the route through the Park with the 
                least adverse environmental effects for the 
                Park; and
          (2) shall be subject to such terms and conditions as 
        the Secretary determines to be necessary.
    (d) Applicable Law.--A high pressure gas transmission 
pipeline (including appurtenances) in a nonwilderness area 
within the boundary of the Park, shall not be subject to title 
XI of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 
U.S.C. 3161 et seq.).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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