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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Maybe it’s time

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.

Read more at The Anchorage Daily Planet.

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Latest comments

  • Which form of government has it making expenditures in the place of private industry? If this makes fiscal sense, let private money step up and do it. All that I can think of is the grand success in Venezuela since the government took over the oil infrastructure.

  • Maybe, but probably not. This project has been looked at many times, and no oil and gas company has shown interest. That should tell us something. The likely outcome is that the state will end up with another big, white elephant to add to its ever increasing herd, the care and feeding of which has cost the state bazillions of dollars over the years. Will we ever learn? If we haven’t by now, maybe, but probably not.

  • If Dan Fagan says to do it, I agree. As long as Bill Walker and the Chinese Communist Party are not involved.

  • Alaska’s problem for the end use of gas, is we always elect used car salesmen to be Governor.

    If we would of just built 50 miles of pipeline a year, when the price of steel was right, Fairbanks would of been heating and electrifying years ago.

    Instead, the State built a $20 Million White Elephant of a coal fired plant at Healy, spent like a Billion bucks in studies to get gas to where they already have more than they know what to do with and for what?

    This isn’t a new plan. Some of us have been pushing a common sense approach for 40 years.

    • “Would’ve”, not “would of”.
      Come on man!

  • Might as well. These idiots in Juneau are going to spend it on payola to special interest. I’m sure they’ll grease the wheels of contractors buddies, and we will pay three times what it’s worth as the grift machine goes into high gear, but at least we will have something to show for it.

    • Yes Lawrence, something to show for it. Something that will provide clean burning energy to a vast region of the State. Too bad we pissed away untold billions on things that we have nothing to show for it. How about roads? Built any since, I dunno, 1976?
      I worked on the last State Highway built in that year. We built all of our road infrastructure prior to oil $. D.O.T. has been pretty much planning and maintaining for the last 40 years or so. Too bad, we could have had something to show for it.

      • Absolutely. Right now the crooks get rich and the politicians hook up their buddies and we get nothing. This way, the crooks will get rich and the politicians will hook up their buddies—but—and this is key: we will actually get something for all the grift. So I’m for it- I’m just being honest. This won’t be a clean deal- it’ll be as corrupt as everything government touches—but-there will actually be a functional asset that may actually help people, once all the grift and smoke clears…

  • Lawrence,
    Don’t count the chickens yet. The most likely intent for a gas line will be for export sales, not easing the BTU burden on Alaskans. We will be an afterthought, if at all. Am I hearing echoes of Walker? I have come to the conclusion that “those idiots in Juneau” really believe their own prevarications and suppositions. Same old song, same old game. They get our money, we get the short end.

    • It’s a long shot- but it’s a thing, not a program. If we are going to piss the money away, this is a lottery ticket I would feel better buying.

  • I’ll stick with burning wood.

  • Just be sure to make it big enough for a couple gigawatt power plants near Fairbanks.

  • Maybe a railroad to Ambler and Red Dog to improve the transportation infrastructure so that the whole of the state of Alaska can benefit from expansion of mineral development and inexpensive freight transportation to and from the west coast.

    • I like those ideas too. Roads to resources and rural communities have been talked about for years, while we have squandered money on all
      Sorts of programs and services that don’t benefit the state long term, but justify a lot of bureaucratic salaries and large contracts to friends of the bureaucracy. Roads, people can argue, may or may not be waste, but again, at least they are an ACTUAL thing we get at the end of it. Think of all the money we have wasted the last 15-20 years and no new roads anywhere really- certainly no new parts of the state opened up.

      • The Circle mining district has about a thousand miles of class B roads built by the miners, at no cost to the state.
        The mining companies offered to build the Ambler road and estimated it would cost them about a million bucks.
        The state steps in and say’s no, we cant have any road-building which doesn’t scoop up federal funding for us to divert into our own pockets … and turned it into a hundred million buck highway.

        • (Class C roads)

  • The Pogo road is a prime example, unless your working at that mine then you cannot use that road. Cannot use it for hunting or wood getting or any recreation. All of us Alaska peons are shut out.

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