A new measure passed this week by the Senate will allow for the construction of a new gas line through Denali National Park. Bill S. 302 permits a seven-mile stretch of pipeline to be built along the existing highway right-of-way in the park, along with distribution pipes to provide natural gas to park facilities. Lisa Murkowski, the bill's sponsor, said that a coalition of environmental groups had gotten behind the legislation, since it would enable park and local transportation to run on natural gas rather than dirtier diesel fuel.
“A natural gas pipeline route through the park would not only be less expensive to build, but could also take advantage of the existing utility corridor, preventing disturbances to wildlife and environmental impacts on undisturbed lands further to the east or west of the park boundary,” said Murkowski. The bill must pass the House and undergo further environmental review before going into effect.