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US Energy Secretary Bodman Calls For Gas Pipeline Decision This Summer


July 06, 2006

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman has sent a letter to Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski and the Alaska Legislature urging action this summer on approval of a pipeline system to transport Alaska North Slope natural gas to market.

In the two-page letter, Bodman argues that now is Alaska's opportunity to get its gas into the marketplace, and if the state "does not conclude necessary legislative and contractual work promptly, Alaskans may lose the opportunity to pursue this project for several years or even a decade."

In his letter, Bodman commended the state's leaders for the work they have done on the project so far, and added, "I encourage recognition not only of the State's interests, but of the strong National economic and security interests in developing the State's natural gas resources. I strongly believe that the National interest is best served by a decision this summer on the critical legislative and contractual issues currently being considered by the State and its leaders."

Governor Frank H. Murkowski said he welcomes the support of the Department of Energy, which follows on last week's signing of a memorandum of understanding among 15 federal departments and agencies to expedite permitting of the Alaska Highway gas pipeline project, and a letter to Alaska legislators from Vice President Dick Cheney urging action on the project.

"It is clear that the Alaska Highway project is an important piece of the nation's energy security picture, and the Bush Administration is solidly behind it," Murkowski said. "DOE estimates the nation will need an additional 13 billion cubic feet of gas per day in the next 10 years. Our project provides 4.5 billion of those, and is expandable to six billion.

"As state legislators return to Juneau next week to resume work on the petroleum production tax and issues related to the gas pipeline contract, I hope they will be mindful of how crucial Alaska's oil and gas resources are to the nation. In light of the gas pipeline's great potential for Alaska and as a key element in the nation's energy program, the support of the Department of Energy is much appreciated."



Secretary Samuel Bodman's letter (pdf)


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Ketchikan, Alaska