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All-Alaska gas pipeline is gaining high test support.

A financial genius, a legislator visionary and the Anchorage Daily News, god love 'em, together with a small army of others, have seen the blue flame at the end of the pipeline turn to green. In so many words, they suggest it is high time for Alaska to stand up on its hind legs and secure its own future. Some of them are pretty direct in their remarks and none too complimentary of major oil companies in Alaska and elsewhere. Their comments have all been published before, but are critically important to read again. Selected quotations are set forth below.

In a few days time, on Feb. 25 to be exact, the law passed by a super majority of more than 138,000 Alaskan voters, creating the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority (ANGDA)--will be one year old. Through it, Alaskans gave the Authority a very clear mandate to build an all-Alaska gas pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez where gas would be converted to LNG and shipped to the West Coast and other consumers drastically needing it. What has happened during the year? A tremendous amount of precious time and resources have been wasted promoting the "Canadian" highway pipeline! How come? Read on.

"Let's not be confused. North Slope producers look at things globally. Alaska gas delivered to Valdez would compete with their other projects around the world. Either delaying delivery of Alaska's gas to market or having it transported through a very expensive line through Canada that reaps huge profits for them at the expense of our state, is in their best interests, not ours. BP has announced the sale of Indonesian gas to the West Coast, in direct competition to Alaska gas reserves. Recent announcements that gas-to-liquid works, but not for Alaska, only confirm their commitment to bypass Alaska's interest." David Gottstein, Anchorage financial consultant, from a longer article in The Anchorage Daily News, Jan. 2, 2004.

Earlier, from the Dec. 14, 2003, ADN, AK Rep. Eric Croft, D-Anchorage, published a list he titled "Top 10 Reasons for an Alaska Gasline." Selected quotations include:

#10: "... For all my life we have waited for Outsiders to make decisions for us. We waited for Congress to act on: statehood, the oil pipeline, ANILCA and, most recently, on the gasline. We constantly wait for the courts to rule on lawsuits affecting our environment, our jobs, our future. Now we are waiting for corporate boards in Texas or London to decide when to develop our gas. It is time we decided our own future."

#5: "... brings me to the best-kept secret in politics today. Building and owning a gasline provides hundreds of millions of dollars to fill the fiscal gap. It brings in more than either an income or a sales tax and, under very reasonable estimates of future natural gas prices, can bring in more than both combined. Why would anyone want to pay taxes before developing our resources?"

#2: "... The U.S. is currently too reliant on foreign sources of oil and gas. In the coming decades, Americans will need a large amount of natural gas to heat homes and run businesses. Would it be best for the U.S. to buy it from: (a) the Middle East (b) Indonesia (c) Russia (d) Alaska?"

And finally The Anchorage Daily News, setting forth its "Alaska Agenda" on Jan. 3, 2004, wrote: "For decades Alaskans have dreamed of a transportation system to deliver North Slope natural gas to market. It is a natural twin to the trans-Alaska oil pipeline and the long-awaited next great bonanza in Alaska energy development.

"Determining whether and how the project can be made feasible is job one for every stakeholder-from state policymakers to North Slope producers to construction contractors to potential gas customers. In that effort, determining how to protect Alaska citizens' legitimate interests is the primary responsibility of state government."
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Title Annotation:From the Publisher
Author:McCorkle, Vern C.
Publication:Alaska Business Monthly
Geographic Code:1U9AK
Date:Feb 1, 2004
Words:646
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