Gov. Mike Dunleavy is pushing for construction of a $6 billion gas line between Point Thomson and Fairbanks to bring natural gas to Alaska’s road system.
Many of the necessary permits already are in place, he says, and research is completed to build such a line to combat Alaska’s high energy costs, some of the highest in the nation.
“Backed by significant private sector interest, and the real possibility of funding from the federal government, this opportunity to create thousands of construction jobs couldn’t come at a more opportune time for our state,” he wrote in an op-ed piece.
He says the state has “reengaged the private sector in the funding and planning of this project” and slashed the prospective costs by “applying advances in technology and manufacturing that occurred in the rapidly maturing natural gas industry.”
Such a line makes much more sense than the $39 billion Alaska LNG Project, which included an 807-mile pipeline to move natural gas from the North Slope to a liquefaction plant in Nikiski for shipment to Asian markets.
A line to Fairbanks would fuel industries and provide affordable, clean energy to Alaska’s military installations, businesses and residents. It also would bring jobs and investment.
All in all, a good deal for the state. Maybe it is time for Alaska to think big again.