After months of waiting and long debates on the question of who is better suited to bring Natural Gas to the Interior, the Regulatory Commission of Alaska released their findings Friday evening.
RCA said a certificate will be awarded to one provider, Interior Alaska Natural Gas Utility over Fairbanks Natural Gas, a privately owned company.
Mayor Luke Hopkins says the decision is one that will positively help Interior Residents, "The decision means that our community will now have natural gas service that deals with the cost of our energy and it goes out across the borough to the extent that the boundaries are set now. This is incredibly important not only for our economy but for our residents that will be receiving this improvement with how they can heat their homes."
IGU is also pleased with the decision and has begun planning for the future constructing a 3-year plan with nearly 100 miles of pipe per year.
IGU Chair Bob Shefchik said, "We are both appreciative and pleased, you know, we are happy with the decision we have read it, we recognize there is quite a bit of work to be done and we are ready to do it."
Officials with IGU say the reason for the choice was the commitment to the large outlying areas seen in the Interior, and that their plan covered those areas with efficiency, “If you read the decision, a lot of it had to do with who was willing to commit to a plan in the outlying areas of the community. And given that we laid out a plan, we described how we would do it, and committed to doing it, that seemed to be the compelling factor."
As for Fairbanks Natural Gas, they will still be servicing areas of town and that they will likely work together in certain areas in the upcoming years as this project begins.