Alaska high court rejects Alyeska appraisal claim

The Alaska Supreme Court has rejected claims by Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. that the state erred in its appraisal of right-of-way land leased for the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says the pipeline operator argued the Department of Natural Resources misinterpreted a statute governing the lease-price calculation.

Alyeska had argued that the state should have adopted its interpretation of that statute as a regulation under the Administrative Procedure Act and therefore should have provided public notice and allowed public comment.

State law requires that the right-of-way lease price be adjusted every five years. The department hired an appraiser and in 2002 informed Alyeska that the annual right-of-way rent would be $236,000.

Alyeska appealed all the way to the state Supreme Court, which issued its decision Friday.