Thursday, January 22, 2009

Alaska needs the 24 in NG pipeline to south central, NOW!

Last session (2008), the Legislature appropriated $4M to ANGDA to perform additional studies regarding early delivery options for the proposed ANGDA “bullet” NG pipeline, which, I hope, anyway, will provide NG for the Mat-Su Valley, the Kenai Penninsula and Anchorage.

Man oh man. When you want something screwed up, let government get involved.

First, the Governor asked for $8M for ANGDA for the study, and I assume other uses.

The Legislature cut that amount in half.

Normally, I would say, good job on cutting costs.

Then, one finds out what the money is to be used for, which is just another study on top of hundreds of millions spent on studies over the last 10 years regarding moving our NG from the North Slope to market.

Why is it necessary to reinvent the wheel in the face of a 2005 study undertaken by DNR that focused on a bullet line to south central?

ANGDA focused on the immediate--and I mean immediate, as it is 2008, folks--NG crisis in this area. ANGDA’s solution was a 24 inch diameter bullet line to remedy the shortsightedness of the Murkowski Administration’s Canadian give away to the exclusion of the impending NG shortage in this area.

The Conoco Phillips-BP NG pipeline announced a few weeks ago is no solution, as that will not start construction for at least another 10 years.

What good does another study do, when the estimated time when Alaska will have to start importing NG is around 2012, and, if the line were started today, we might have NG flowing down here by 2012, if the environmentalist will allow Alaskans to meet their energy needs with this pipeline.

Of course, we all know, that the second construction is announced, every greenie organization in the nation will jump on the litigation bandwagon to raise money. Alaska has always been a cornucopia of issues for fund raising for these organizations.

Remember TAPS and the years of litigation to halt or slow the construction?

Therefore, why is our Governor and Legislature acting to delay the only solution that promises to provide NG from Alaska before we run out in this area?

I have to ask our Legislators and our Govenror, what’s the point of any appropriation that does not culminate in an immediate start in construction of the ANGDA pipeline?

The permits are in place, the studies have been done, let’s get on with it!

I am puzzled by the need to study additional means of delivering NG to south central or elsewhere for that matter.

Delay, delay, delay and do nothing, but more studies?

In 2012, and at the latest, 2014, we will be buying imported NG from the Producers. NG that will come from a very high priced foreign source--the Middle East, Sakhalin Island or from Indonesia. NG that will cost far more than the local source from the North Slope. And, joke of jokes, imported by LNG tanker.

Remember, it was just too expensive to transport Alaska NG to a U.S. market by LNG tanker.

Conversely, the Producers have already stated that LNG transported by LNG tankers will be means to resolve the Cook Inlet NG shortage if there is no pipeline built by then.

Interesting how in that case it will not be too expensive to import foreign NG to Alaska.

Couple a dramatic increase in the cost of NG to our homes, the rapidly increasing cost of motor fuels—if you think it is expensive now, just wait!—and the ever increasing burden of local government run amuck, who will be able to afford to live here?

Between property taxes and fuel costs, life as we know it now will be considerably degraded, as everything comes by ship, airplane or truck, which means food, clothing, and anything on the store shelves will be ever increasing in price.

Remember the Carter years with 18% inflation?

We can at least mitigate the home heating bill, if ANGDA can get started on a gas line.

To put Alaskans to work immediately, and to provide relief for an impending crisis requires our Governor to direct ANGDA to get to work, and for the Legislature to have the courage to underwrite the project.

Instead, our elected officials did what elected officials always do in the face of impending crisis, they called for another . . . study.

State employees had better not get any cost of living increases or other benefit increases until there is a solution to the NG crisis. They need to feel the pain just like the rest of us peons.

Looks like natural gas to diesel conversion for home heating is going to get a big boost, if the State does not give the ANGDA proposal impetus and money, instead of lip service. Time is something that is running out.

Already, Agrium has closed the ammonium nitrate plant at Nikkiski due to there being no natural gas available for the projection of ferilizer for Alaska's agricultural industry. Not only did that closure cost the State 60 jobs, but will drive the cost of our agriculture up, as fertilizer must once again be . . . imported.

The natural gas LNG plant that is being used to export natural gas to Japan is now scheduled to be converted into a receiving plant for LNG imports INTO Alaska. A minimum of 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas on the North Slope of Alaska, and Alaska may have to import natural gas if we cannot get a small pipeline built by 2014. Now, that's just wrong.

ANGDA needs a very serious priority. Now.

Otherwise, some legislators and a governor will go down in history as seeing the importation of LNG when a solution was immediately at hand.

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