Gas Line Investment Explained   Leave a comment

Alaska is a weird state in terms of how we do resource development. The Statehood Compact requires that the people of the state not own their subsurface mineral rights. The State of Alaska holds them in trust for us. I doubt the federal government meant to create such a situation, but Alaskan leaders who were out of the box thinkers turned lemons into lemonade when we discovered oil on the North Slope. Alaska went from being the poorest state in the union to being the richest. But no Alaskan citizen owns what is beneath their land.

I’ve used this analogy before. The State of Alaska is like a corporation. Sean Parnell is our current CEO. The Legislature is the board of directors. The citizens are the shareholders.

We’ve tried to 40 years to build a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to anywhere we could market it. We came the closest we ever had in 2008 when Sarah Palin negotiated AGIA, but things changed and it looked like it wouldn’t be built … again. Alaskans came to the conclusion that the producers were never going to build it … that seems obvious from their behavior and unfulfilled promises over the last 40 years … and so we have decided to join the investment to make it happen.

Yes, I am a small-government advocate and I do not agree with government getting involved in the capitalistic venture … except … I’m sitting on $4 a gallon diesel fuel costs and it takes 1500 gallons to heat my modestly sized home every winter. My electric bill is more than $200 a month IF we sit in the dark a lot and don’t heat water. The EPA is about to shut down wood burning in Interior Alaska, which will drive up that diesel fuel cost. I NEED natural gas and state investment in the gas line is the ONLY way it happens.

So, Bradner’s Report is an instate publication that offers indepth analysis of Alaska issues and they had access to a subject expert on the issue of the gas line. This is the best analysis of the benefits and risks of this project that I have read so far.

AkLegDigest Suppl 5-24-14

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