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Giving Alaskans a piece of the pipe is an excellent idea.
Sen. Lesil McGuire of Anchorage suggests that Alaskans be allowed to invest a part of their Permanent Fund dividends in a North Slope natural gas pipeline.
Senate Bill 164 wouldn't require it. It would only make it possible for Alaskans interested in a personal investment in Alaska and development of its natural gas.
The investment potentially would benefit Alaskans and Alaska.
All permanent fund dividend recipients would be eligible. Eligible Alaskans would be allowed to designate an amount to be deducted from each permanent fund dividend, just as contributions already are made.
Investments would be made on the date the permanent fund is issued to an eligible Alaskan. The commissioner of revenue would provide a written notice in the form of a certificate of ownership or description of the stock held for the companies advancing the pipeline. The certificate could be transferrable or assigned by the initial investor to another person.
Investments' success would be the responsibility of each Alaskan investor. Any interest or gain would be reportable to the Internal Revenue Service.
The commissioner would provide a list of publicly traded corporations involved in the pipeline development. Corporations would be required to apply to be included on the list, identifying their interest in the development.
This is an excellent way to engage Alaskans in the development of the natural gas pipeline.