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Tuesday, August 14, 2018
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Murkowski: Gasline construction costs will be impacted by tariffs

Higher steel tariffs imposed on China by President Donald Trump will add up to a half a billion dollars to the proposed AK-LNG project, said Sen. Lisa Murkowski last week.

Murkowski was on a panel with Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who is Senate Majority Whip. The two spoke during CERA Week, a Houston energy conference.

Murkowski was asked if her constituents had raised a concern about the unavailability of certain kinds of steel.

Hawkins

“This is a big deal up north, as we’re trying again to build out so much of this that we’ve been waiting for. Again, whether it’s actual  pipe itself or the infrastructure that is going into these drilling operations…A lot of discussion about Alaska’s LNG and the opportunities that we will have, looking to build an 800-mile pipeline. Where are we going to get that pipe?

“The back-of-the-envelope numbers is that with these tariffs, we might be in a situation where it’s not only hundreds of millions, it might be as much as a half a billion dollars added on to the most expensive infrastructure project that we have seen in this country. So these are real numbers. This has real impact,” Murkowski said. “This is not coming at a good time for us.”

Last week, Keith Meyer, the head of AGDC, brushed off reporters’ questions about the impact of increased tariffs, saying it would not add much to the massive project, which is estimated to cost between $43-60 billion.

[Watch the panel discussion about energy and trade]

Also last week, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan joined six other Senators, including John Barrasso of Wyoming, Joni Ernst of Iowa, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who signed a letter to Trump in which they asked him to consider alternative measures and withdraw his tariff order.

[Read the letter to President Trump]

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • We don’t want the gas line built in the first place. I guess Senator we know what you want built. Your an obstructionist of the Trump Agenda. We want jobs brought back to America. We need to take care of our own people. We need to bring made in the USA goods back. We have our own resources to build our own steel here. Make Alaska Great Again.

  • Since Walker has given away the gas line to China, tariffs wouldn’t apply to China’s own materials for their gas line. I can’t believe Lisa doesn’t now that 🙂

  • Tariffs wouldn’t apply to China owned materials! Oh wait maybe Lisa doesn’t know what Walker did during her absence!

  • So instead of a really, really, really expensive boondogle it will now be a really, really, really expensive boondogle.

  • Why would the cost of pipe be of the slightest concern when we all understand that the pipe dream pipeline will never be built? That it’s simply a failed governor’s fantasy of “legacy”!

  • Actually, the tariffs contemplated by the Trump Admin on the steel used in that pipe and on manufactured steel pipe itself would apply. Rightly so.
    We don’t need the PRC with its self-appointed for life despot Xi dictating the terms of any pipeline in the United States, including Alaska’s. However, the market is not there, so why is this project even being given anything other than lip service?
    Has anyone read the gov’s “contract”? I have. It is another Frank Murkowski and Sarah Palin do nothing agreement. Excepting the part where the PRC supplies the materials, labor, and management–which is what that document is all about. I wonder how Governor Walker’s union buddies feel about that?

  • Walker, Murkowski and Sullivan should therefore seek an Alaska exemption from the Jones Act. That would help all sectors of the Alaska economy.