Federal agency delays impact statement for gasline project


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission added three months to the deadline for the draft environmental impact statement that was due today for the Alaska LNG Project.

The draft EIS is now expected to be released in June, with the final document due one year from now, and a final commission decision by June, 2020.

Its likely the federal government shutdown was likely a factor in the revised schedule, which puts the entire process back four months. Also, the chairman of FERC passed away recently and the agency is searching for a new chairman; meanwhile it has a 2-2 partisan split that makes decisionmaking harder.

“The revised schedule for the EIS is based upon AGDC meeting its commitment to provide complete responses to outstanding data requests on the dates it has identified,” FERC wrote, ignoring its own internal difficulties.

But the timeline delay is good news for AGDC, which has not yet provided information on numerous topics requested by FERC. AGDC is working to get third party’s engaged with the process, particularly with permitting and other expertise need. The delay does not impact the project’s viability, sources say.

It is not the first revision on the environmental impact statement schedule. Last year, under Gov. Bill Walker, FERC had issued a plan to have the final EIS completed by December, 2019.

Joe Dubler, the president of AGDC issued a statement: “FERC’s comprehensive analysis of Alaska LNG now includes more than 150,000 pages of environmental and engineering data, including responses to more than 1,700 FERC queries submitted since AGDC initiated this permitting process 22 months ago. Previous FERC scheduling changes accelerated the permitting calendar, and we believe that today’s revision does not affect the prospects for Alaska LNG. We look forward to working with FERC to complete this process and obtain the permits required to bring Alaska’s North Slope natural gas to market.”

The $43-60 billion project includes an 800-mile gasline, bookended by a gas treatment plant on the North Slope and a liquefaction plant at Nikiski, with an adjacent export facility to take the product to Asian markets.

This process has been underway for 22 months, but the state has been pursuing a natural gasline since 2006.


  1. P:ipeline? Oh yes, I remember that one!!! First it was Palin and TransCanada…give “em 500 Million, that took 40 years to get to the point of planning after congress approved it twice to transverse Canada. Then comes Parnell…with secret meetings and secret agreements……Then comes Walker….give Transcanada another 60 million for a total of 560 million to go out the door and never be seen again. Then Walker hiring all the consultants that Obama recommends for a few more million. And, change the route to Nikiski…Whoopi!!!
    (No wonder we can’t make a budget.) Now its the EIS and workable “PIPELINE” that has been in the works for 13 years….give or take a few months…..should have been 10 to 20 billion cost to build to give China a break and buy and build it all…and now its a pipeline to cost 40-60 billion and still can’t get it together because the FERC is responsible for the delay…Oh my!!! Strange isn’t it…the pipeline should cost, truly about $25B if you run it down the oil pipe lane and ship from Valdez with all Alaska workers and investments or not at all…and it is so nice to see all the businesses heading down to the Gulf of Mexico where real work and development is happening!! And….everyone along the new route self-imagined by Walker group is salivating just waiting to spend and make bundles of millions to add to the Permanent Dividend Fund.. The cheering team has added about 400 letters and documents to look like there is real development but in fact its just, “we’re all for it” conversation letters and documents so FERC can spend time reading and cheering, because that is job security for them.!! But wait folks…..we’ll be ready in about another 15 years!! Hooray!!!!

  2. I am amazed that after hundreds of millions of dollars and decades of supposedly expert management, we still do not have basic project front end documemts such as the pre EIS and the pre FEED. These are both major project front end studies that verify if the widget is environmentally compliant and profitable.

    I am beginning to wonder if the AGDC has not purposefully issued these because it would disprove the viability of the megaproject. This would quash millions of appropriations and big buck employment of buddies.

    At this juncture,all the dream projects that don’t pencil out should be stopped. Pursuing political pet projects is expensive, and we don’t have the money to joust with whimsical windmills. We can’t even pay for the basic stuff, much less the pie in the sky projects.

  3. There is only way to use 21st Century technology to make North Slope natural gas economic. We need the F-35s coming to North Pole to destroy LNG tankers that now carry gas to Asia. We also need them to destroy existing gas lines and gas lines now under construction from Russia. If we cannot do that then every dollar spent on bringing North Slope gas to tidewater is wasted – $5 billion so far in current dollars. So we need to use 21st Century to complete 19th Century economic strategies; otherwise the gas is best used the way it is being used today – to produce oil. Personally, I could go either way, but if we are going to use the F-35s we all need to hoard some ammo because one outfit or another will probably try to come here to argue the point.

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