Saturday, February 23, 2008

Absence of Consensus

The Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) was intended to create a gas pipeline project in an orderly step by step manner. The State of Alaska would offer a $500 Million inducement, bidder would submit proposals, proposals that meet the States list of "must" have would undergo legislative review, and a license would be granted to the winner.

With one week to go in the public comment phase of the AGIA it's safe to say that the process is not solidifying behind the qualifying bidder TransCanada. The public cover the entire spectrum, here's what people are saying:

Ted Stevens, in an address to the Alaska Legislator said "The right climate for this investment in our State must exist. Originally considered a $20 billion project, recent financial analysts’ comments indicate the cost will be $40 billion. No entity will commit that kind of money – whether $20 or $40 billion – without certainty in the financial aspects of the project’s economics.

In other public comments Stevens stated "that
Congress will not provide additional federal money for TransCanada's proposal".

This comment was directed at the TransCanada notion that the US Government should act as a "bridge shipper" of Alaskan gas if the North Slope producers fail to commit sufficient gas during the first open season.

Governor Palin disagrees with and defended the AGIA process and progress. The rift between the senior Republican leads seems to be growing.

The other camp of political leaders in Alaska, the State Legislator evaluating the Port Authority LNG option.

Upcoming Events:

February 27th - Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Exxon Valdez
case. A decision for Exxon will send emotional and political shock waves through the Alaska Gas Pipeline debate.

March 6th - AGIA public comment period ends

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