The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) today authorized the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation to construct and operate the Alaska LNG Project. It was a long-awaited approval for a project that seems unlikely to be built without a major private-sector partner who can pay for it and get financing.
“Today’s federal authorization is a key step in determining if Alaska LNG is competitive and economically beneficial for Alaska. I commend the AGDC team for their diligence. The ongoing project economic review and discussions with potential partners will determine the next steps for this project,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
AGDC President Frank Richards said, “FERC’s authorization validates that the Alaska LNG Project can be safely built and operated, delivering numerous potential benefits with manageable environmental impacts. This approval, a major milestone in the development of the project, signifies the completion of a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation that has engaged environmental and energy experts at dozens of federal and state regulatory agencies.
Alaska’s Congressional Delegation also acknowledged the years of work by AGDC and by the FERC agency to develop Alaska’s vast supply of natural gas.
The gasline was to be the signature achievement of former Gov. Bill Walker, who chased off the private sector partners and developed a partnership with Communist China to develop the $47-60 billion project for Alaska. In order for it to be economically feasible, it will need another major partner, as many Alaskans do not believe the Chinese should have control of the gasline.
The Center for Biological Diversity offered its opposing statement: “Moving forward with this risky Alaska LNG project at a time like this is totally unacceptable,” said Miyoko Sakashita, ocean program director. “The Trump administration should focus on public health and shoring up our economy, not rushing approval of a dirty fossil fuel project that will harm polar bears and our climate. This project is bad for Alaska, bad for America, and bad for our planet.”
The board of directors of AGDC is meeting today in Anchorage to discuss next steps for the Alaska LNG Project, which consists of a gas treatment Plant on Alaska’s North Slope, an 800-mile pipeline, and an LNG facility in Nikiski, Alaska.
Today’s FERC announcement culminates six years of public input, engineering, science-based environmental research, and cultural resource studies incorporating more than 150,000 pages of environmental, engineering, and cultural data.