JUNEAU, Alaska, March 12 (UPI) -- Alaskan lawmakers welcomed a decision by the U.S. Senate to appoint legislative aide Larry Persily as the new federal coordinator for an Alaskan gas pipeline.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Persily as the federal coordinator for the Alaskan natural gas project Wednesday. He once served as an aide to former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, a Republican.
U.S. President Barack Obama aims to expand Persily's post through an Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Projects.
His appointment comes as Alaskan lawmakers discussed efforts to build the pipeline with top officials in Washington this week.
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, who recommended Persily for the position, said the former journalist brings key experience to the job, the Juneau Empire reports.
"With more than three decades of experience in Alaska and more than a decade working on oil and gas issues, Larry is uniquely qualified to take this position, work with the White House on behalf of Alaskans and get Alaska's gas to market," said Begich.
Alaska is considering two pipeline projects to move natural gas to markets in the Lower 48. Persily said he was unsure when he would start his new job in Washington.