Sunday, March 9, 2008

Alaska Gas Pipeline Gets a Federal Reality Check

Last week, Guy Caruso, Chief of the Energy Information Agency gave Testimony before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Caruso testified that "The Alaska natural gas pipeline is expected to be completed in 2020, later than previously anticipated, because of delays in the resolution of issues between Alaska's State government and industry participants."

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski made the statement that "we anticipated that Alaska’s gas would be online in about 2012. A couple years ago the projection was it was going to be here in 2014. Last year when you came to speak to us the assessment was going to be 2016. This year you bumped back to 2018."

This is how Murkowski described the current efforts of Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin "As you know we’re waiting anxiously, from the State’s perspective— the new Governor is rolling out her new legislation of inducements to get participants so we can get this gas line moving forward."

Murkowski doesn't sound very enthusiastic about Palin's process or progress. The EIA estimate seems to imply that the State and producers will reach agreement at some point down the road. Doing the math - that point down the road could be after Palin leaves office.

Murkowski went on to talk about North Slope production cost and rates of return for producers - the kind of then you might expect from an Economics major. Fact and figures that appear to be lost on the Governor with a degree in Journalism.

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