Bill Walker, Alaska governor, recently halted spendings on mega projects which include a gas pipeline, a couple of access roads, a bridge, a hydroelectric dam and Kodiak rocket launch complex due to low oil prices.
Walker cited the hydrocarbon-rich state’s $3.5 billion budget deficit, exacerbated by recent declines in oil prices.
“The state’s fiscal situation demands a critical look and people should be prepared for several of these projects to be delayed and or stopped,” said Pat Pitney, Alaska’s budget director.
Walker’s administration will decide on project priorities in 2015 because legal budgeting deadline is 18 February.
He directs each agency working on the projects to stop hiring new employees, signing new contracts and committing any new funding from other sources, including the federal government.
Oil taxes and royalties were expected to represent nearly 90 per cent of Alaska’s unrestricted general fund revenue in 2014.
Proponents of the North Slope gas pipeline say the project will help advance development of a larger pipeline that the state is pursuing with big oil companies. Critics however say the project is too expensive.

Folashade Olubayo
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