Now is the Time for Alaska LNG Pipeline

Now is the Time for Alaska LNG Pipeline

September 8, 2022

Alaska’s abundant – yet currently stranded – natural gas reserves have been in the news quite a bit lately.  As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a subsequent worldwide re-shuffling of gas supplies, the estimated 250 trillion cubic feet of gas on Alaska’s North Slope has renewed importance.

That amount – which could supply the entire demand for the United States for nearly a decade – has been stuck in the ground with pipeline proposals coming and going for nearly 20 years due to market economics and high construction costs (estimated just shy of $40 billion) for the transport from the North Slope to tidewater in Southcentral Alaska. 

As recently as 2017, then-Governor Bill Walker was ready to sign over much of the control and revenue from a proposed 800-mile pipeline to companies under Communist China’s control, because that was the only financing option available. 

Under that agreement, China had the opportunity to take 75 percent of the liquified natural gas produced by the project in exchange for providing 75 percent of the funding to build it.  That would have been a boondoggle for the Communists, and a horrible deal for Alaska.

Now, however, the Alaska LNG project seems increasingly feasible, with financing options being made available at much better terms than before, as financiers see the enormous market potential of Alaska’s stranded gas reserves.

The LNG pipeline would bring thousands of construction jobs to the Last Frontier, along with hundreds of full-time jobs afterward.  The revenues and royalties would be welcomed news for Alaska and our local economies, and the U.S. would have another asset in its global energy leadership mission; one weakened by this current administration, but one that could be turned around with new executive and Congressional focus.