Alaskans received some welcome news yesterday when the Alaska Legislature approved Bill 3001, which allows for about $160 million to be put towards advancing the Alaska LNG (AKLNG) project. AKLNG, a proposed $45 to $65 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project, would be the largest capital investment in the history of the state.
The bill’s passage offers a bright spot for Alaska after the federal government’s recent decisions dealt crushing blow after crushing blow to Alaskans by denying them the opportunity to reap the benefits of their state’s natural resources. As Gov. Bill Walker (I) said, following the passage of the bill,
“As we grapple with a $3.5 billion deficit and declining oil prices and production, it is essential that we advance a gasline project that is projected to bring in billions of dollars in annual revenue. … We know the markets need the liquefied natural gas, and it’s critical that we act expeditiously to advance this project.”
Under current plans, AKLNG consists of an 800-mile natural gas pipeline, which will deliver North Slope natural gas to treatment and liquefying facilities in the Nikiski area on the Kenai Peninsula, where it will be processed and subsequently transported to world markets.
Just like offshore Arctic oil and gas production, AKLNG, with its potential of creating up to 15,000 jobs, will be a massive employment boon for the state of Alaska. The Alaskan government could also earn revenues of about $1 billion per year. Furthermore, the project could help meet the massive infrastructural needs of the state.
By approving AKLNG, Alaskan legislators are sending a strong message that the Alaskans they represent want more oil and gas development in their state – now, and in the future. The Alaskan people have spoken once again. For their sake, Arctic Energy Center hopes the Obama Administration is listening.