Begich Statement on Alaska Stand Alone Gas Pipeline Report
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich released the following statement after the release today of a report from the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation and the Alaska Stand Alone Gas Pipeline Project:
"Alaskans have been dreaming of ways to develop Alaska's enormous natural gas reserves for much of my lifetime. As we consider the options for getting Alaska's gas to market, we must do so in ways that provide affordable gas to Alaskans, jobs to our residents and a fair return to the State of Alaska.
"The proposal issued today by the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation is a welcome development in our quest to produce Alaska's gas. I commend state legislators for commissioning the report and Dan Fauske and his team for producing it. This report especially focuses on Interior and Southcentral gas supply problems, which are real and must be addressed in a cost-effective manner.
"Though I share the frustration of many Alaskans over the slow pace of developing a pipeline project to serve Alaska and the Lower 48, we should not lose sight that a large line would do far more for our state's economy and local gas needs than any other project. A large-capacity gas line also would help spur the billions of dollars needed in new exploration and production investments to put more oil into the oil pipeline.
"Alaska's congressional delegation has worked to smooth the path for either option. We've sponsored legislation to increase the loan guarantee for financing as well as negotiating an easement for an in-state line through non-wilderness areas of Denali National Park. We also worked with the Fairbanks North Star Borough to move a comprehensive pipeline and oil field training center forward, making sure Alaska workers are well positioned for new jobs created by the industry.
"The delegation is ready and willing to do whatever else is necessary to move a project along. I hope the governor and state legislature also start talking with North Slope producers about potential fiscal terms that could lead to the bigger prize - a $40 billion gas pipeline from Alaska. There are strong indications that Lower 48 gas markets, especially electrical utilities, will need more gas in the decades ahead. The state should aggressively compete and grab a share of that market."