Trump Signs Presidential Permit for Alaska, Canada Railway
President Donald Trump has signed a Presidential Permit authorizing the construction of the Alaska to Alberta (A2A) Railway.
Governor Mike Dunleavy, who requested the permit in February 2019, said, “The A2A rail crossing between Canada and Alaska will be a game changer for Alaskans… The rail link between our state, Canada, and the rest of the country has been a dream for many generations. This is a big win for Alaska and our entire country.”
If constructed, the A2A rail line would run approximately 1,500 miles (in total) and connect Alaska’s rail system to Alberta, Canada. According to the company, “This project supports resource development in the North by mobilizing stranded commodities in regions within Alaska and Canada,” commodities such as oil and minerals. It’s estimated the project will create thousands of jobs in Alaska.
At the time the permit was requested, A2A anticipated spending upwards of $2 billion in Alaska on construction, which would include upgrades to current Alaska Railroad infrastructure.
“The A2A project represents tremendous potential, not only for our economy but for the delivery of affordable energy for American families,” said Congressman Don Young. “Very frankly, A2A means jobs and opportunity, which are sorely needed amid this ongoing pandemic. This endeavor will strengthen our country’s already close relationship with Canada and allow us to work hand-in-hand to responsibly develop our resources. The Presidential Permit means this project, and the economic potential it brings, can move forward.”
With the presidential permit in hand, A2A will need to work with the Surface Transportation Board to begin a NEPA review process and apply for various permits related to interstate railroad commerce. Before a decision to build can be finalized, the company also needs to work with the State of Alaska, the Alaska Railroad Corporation, and private landowners along the route on land acquisition for the approximately 200-mile portion of the line located here.