Nenana, AK – Community members around Alaska who are advocating for a pipeline that will deliver gas to Alaskans and address high in-state energy costs, are voicing disappointment in comments made by gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker. The Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) Community Advisory Council, a volunteer group advocating for the small diameter pipeline that would bring gas to Alaskans, issued the following statement this week, following Walker’s recent comments that he would cut funding for the ASAP project if he is elected, and that his primary goal for a gas line is to take advantage of export opportunities in Asia:
“It is discouraging to hear that Bill Walker is focusing entirely on a large export line to Asia, instead of supporting the state’s alternative smaller line that delivers gas to Alaskans. There’s a real chance that Alaska won’t find a market opening at the right price for sale of our gas overseas. That’s why the Governor, the Legislature and our communities have supported continued work on ASAP, which is Alaskans’ backstop. If the big line doesn’t come through, ASAP will. With ASAP on the table, Alaskans are guaranteed to get the reliable, less expensive energy they desperately need. The Alaska LNG project isn’t certain. The state and industry are spending money now on feasibility studies, to see if there is enough demand at the right price to support an economic project. If there isn’t, or if industry backs out for other reasons, the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) is ready and waiting to go to open season on the smaller line. This would get gas to Alaskans, and could also support a much smaller export volume if demand exists.”
Members of the ASAP Community Advisory Council are beholden to no one, other than the communities and constituencies they represent. The Council has worked for three years with one focus: get Alaska gas to Alaskans. The Council was established to bring stakeholders and project personnel together to discuss, collect and distribute timely, factual and reliable project information for the purpose of educating Alaskans about the ASAP project while identifying and minimizing social and environmental impacts in an effort to deliver the greatest benefit to Alaskans. Current CAC members include Tim Navarre (Kenai Peninsula), Jason Mayrand (Nenana), Qaiyaan Harcharek (Barrow), Bill Sheffield, Dan Coffey and Matt Larkin (Anchorage), Don Dyer (Mat-Su Valley), Terry Hinman (Denali Borough), Kathryn Martin and Joe Bovee (Ahtna region), Julie Duquette (Fairbanks), Rocky Riley (Minto), Ron Long (Seward) and Sarah Obed (Doyon).
Communities and organizations that are on record in support of the ASAP project include: City of Fairbanks; City of Kenai; North Slope Borough; City of North Pole; City of Nenana; Matanuska-Susitna Borough; Kenai Peninsula Borough; City of Seward; Anchorage Mayor’s Energy Task Force; City of Homer; Kenai Chamber of Commerce; Big Lake Chamber of Commerce; Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce; Copper Valley Development Association; The Alliance; Alaska Miners Association; Resource Development Council; Alaska State Chamber of Commerce; Associated Builders and Contractors; Alaska Bankers Association; Alaska State Home Building Association; Associated General Contractors Alaska; Alaska Hotel and Lodging Association; Doyon Incorporated; and, the Alaska Trucking Association.