[Alaska] Governor Sarah Palin [on June 3, 2009] lauded the substantial progress that has been made toward building a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope into Alberta, Canada. Since the passage of the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), two competing projects have made significant progress in building a natural gas pipeline (AGIA Progress, 2009, Â¶1).
“I am so very proud of our gasline team which works hard every day to make progress on this vital project for our state, without any need to seek publicity or achieve political advantage,” Governor Palin said. “With no need for grandstanding, they have moved this project along with stakeholders and federal regulators, and that is going to pay enormous dividends in the future” (AGIA Progress, 2009, Â¶2)
Two commissioners however, are disappointed that Alaska’s junior senator has failed to recognize the progress that has been made on one of the largest construction projects in North America. In a speech to the World Trade Center Alaska, Senator Mark Begich expressed frustration that Alaska has not moved forward on the gasline. In a joint letter to the senator, Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin and Revenue Commissioner Pat Galvin provided a progress update and urged the senator to keep abreast of the latest developments (AGIA Progress, 2009, Â¶3).
Salient points from the letter:
“We must believe that you are uninformed about the current situation in Alaska regarding this project. The Alaska gas pipeline will be the largest and most complex private sector project in the history of North America. The lead time required to execute the project successfully is measured in years, not days or months” (Galvin & Irwin, 2009, p. 1).
“Through the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), including the contribution of $500 million, the state of Alaska has put its “skin in the game” to advance this project. As a result of AGIA, we have two competing projects expending significant resources to design and engineer the pipeline, and to develop the commercial framework to conduct an open season in 2010. Both projects have pre-filed at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and [TransCanada Alaska] TC Alaska has committed to hold an open season by July 2010″ (Galvin & Irwin, 2009, p. 1).
The authors noted that the Obama administration supports this pipeline, and “…[W]e have heard nothing from him or members of his administration that reflects frustration with the significant progress that is now occurring. Finally, an overwhelming majority of Democrats and Republicans in Congress have supported the pipeline as an essential
element of a comprehensive energy policy (Galvin & Irwin, 2009, p. 2).
This sentence: “We must believe that you are uninformed about the current situation in Alaska regarding this project” — really says it all regarding Senator Begich’s commentary at Alaska’s World Trade Center. The Senator is not particularly friendly to the Governor’s interests. His comment about AGIA was obviously a thinly veiled attempt to take a potshot at her.
The AGIA project is making a 30-year-old dream a reality. It was born out of Governor Palin’s subject matter expertise on energy generation, production, transmission, and distribution.
Galvin, P.S. and Irwin, T.E. (2009, June 3). Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. State of Alaska, Department of Natural Resources and Department of Revenue. Retrieved June 4, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/pdf/BegichLetter-GaslineProgress_May2-2009.pdf
Governor Palin lauds AGIA progress. Commissioners urge Senator Begich to adopt a Bipartisan Approach. (2009, June 3). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved June 4, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1882