It's Sunday night, the quiet before the storm
Big AGPA Surprise: FERC PF14-21-000
Northern Gas Pipelines
It's Sunday night, the quiet before the storm.
, the reality of Alaska's TWO critical issues will hit the fan harder than ever.
First, comes a new LNG issue that changes everything...well, not everything; the project's still uneconomic.
We'll comment more on it next week. We will also bet thatthe governor, legislators, talking heads and mainstream and social media mavens will be gushing with opinions that are certain to accomplish at least one thing: distract decision makers from the most important issue du jour: THE ALASKA FISCAL CRISIS.
Here is our compacted version of the big, big surprise Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) filing (PF14-21-000) by the old Alaska Gasline Port Authority (AGPA).
AGPA is the former organization of Alaska's governor, consisting of municipalities whose export license request the Department of Energy (DOE) dismissed on March 7, 2013 -- while leaving AGPA an opening to refile at a later date!
This new, robust and very thorough "comment" filing is dated February 1, 2017 and criticizes the Ak-LNG project route and site analysis FERC filing. Ak-LNG is now controlled by temporarily elected and appointed state government officials.
We will only observe this: AGPA's municipal owners that have spent vast amounts of public dollars, over the years, to promote an Alaska LNG export project, do not appear to have conducted a press conference to explain the rebirth of their organization and answer questions 10 days ago (Or, mea culpa if we missed it.)
We wonder if the citizens of the North Slope Borough, Fairbanks and Valdez were alerted before our email alert, or if the Governor or the state-owned Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) knew about it.
From 37,000 feet it may not make much difference to most citizens if some future, viable Alaska North Slope gas export project builds an export terminal in Nikiski, Alaska or Valdez. But it could be a big deal to Alaska's producers who may have safety concerns about the Valdez oil terminal or adjacency issues with the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) right of way. One supposes the Kenai Peninsula Borough, whose citizens had hoped to see enhanced economic activity in their backyard, could consider its citizens and institutions harmed or at least threatened.
Who knows, maybe the powers that be have coordinated to present a new idea to those invited to an Alyeska resort Alaska LNG marketing seminar in a couple weeks.
No matter wherever any LNG terminal may find itself, the Ak-LNG project is still economically infeasible at this time and until proven otherwise.
Logically, any public money and time spent beating that tired, old, controversial LNG horse into action now -- against the tide of high LNG competition and low LNG prices -- is time and money not being devoted to the state's fiscal crisis.
And as far as being "Alaska's number one get well card", a viable answer to Alaska's fiscal crisis, we have observed that under the best of circumstances today, an LNG export project could not be completed before the state's coffers are empty -- except for the constitutionally protected corpus of the Alaska Permanent Fund.
Second, we hope most decision makers will remain focused on resolving their current fiscal crisis and its closely related cousin: "establishing a viable, constitutional limit on government spending". The legislature and governor should reject distractions of uneconomic, government-controlled LNG export projects, alternative energy statewide subsidies, and most other regular orders of legislative business and lobbying pressure. There is simply NO TIME AND NO MONEY TO CONSIDER routine, lower-priority matters in face of an approaching, economic disaster.
And legislators, beware of snake oil salesmen in the administration or lobbying community bearing "shining objects". They will claim that their proposal, "has a zero fiscal note". When you "follow the money", the trail likely leads to public money from some source flowing toward special interests ... and to loss of your own valuable time fiddling with small matters while the fiscal crisis burns with greater and greater intensity.
Let's all get a good night's sleep; we'll need it!