Bill Walker Responds to State of the State Address
January 20, 2010
Today Bill Walker released the following statement regarding Governor Parnell’s state of the state address.
“With his support of AGIA, Governor Parnell continues to ignore the economic realities of a changing world. While he recognizes that bringing Alaska gas to market is the biggest opportunity ahead of Alaska, he has committed to stay the course in a process that everyone knows will fail.
As an Alaskan, I am deeply troubled by the Governor’s willingness to place our fragile future in the hands of outside interests and foreign governments. If the State does not take control of the process and construct an all-Alaska pipeline to Valdez there will not be a gas pipeline.
The Governor’s “permit and they will come approach” has repeatedly failed to secure an Alaska natural gas pipeline. Both TransCanada predecessors in the 1980’s for a line through Canada, and the Yukon Pacific Corporation in the 1990’s for an All-Alaska project, expended hundred of millions of dollars securing final regulatory approvals hoping to attract producer participation with that strategy. It failed then and will fail now.
Further, since AGIA passed, the U. S. Department of Energy has estimated that the United States has sufficient gas for the next 100 plus years due to recent proven shale gas reserves. Yet the Governor continues to tell the people of Alaska that there is demand for our gas in the lower-48, even going as far as to suggest we will soon become American’s next great ‘gas province.’ Let me be clear – his misrepresentation of the facts about shale gas is beyond out of touch, it is out of line.
Planned gas import terminals in western Canada have reversed course and are now being developed as gas export terminals (Kitimat, B.C.). Billions are being spent to ramp up production all across North America in the newest energy gold rush, and Exxon Mobil has even acquired the second largest shale gas company for $41 billion. Companies, states and countries have reacted around the globe, yet we continue to pursue the AGIA process knowing it charts a course into Canada that leads nowhere.
As governor I will keep Alaska’s jobs, gas and future within Alaska, develop a pipeline on our timeline and under our control, and will sell Alaska gas to world markets. Our Gas, Our jobs, Our Future.”