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A Walker administration request to fast-track environmental studies on an 800-mile gas pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope to tidewater at Cook Inlet could backfire and spawn national opposition that slows the project, the once-chief federal official for Alaska gas development is warning.

Larry Persily, the former federal coordinator for Alaska National Gas Transportation Projects and a one-time deputy Commissioner of Revenue for the state, noted the state’s request comes at a bad time with angry, anti-pipeline activists turning to courts in Montana and Michigan in efforts to stall construction of projects they think threaten the environment.

“I have no doubt the Trump administration will move permits quicker,” Persily said Monday, “but if you try to move them too fast, you attract litigation.

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Rick Rydell

Rick Rydell

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