Alaska Natural Gas Production
December 15, 2004
Murkowski said that Chairman Domenici last week called on the public to submit proposals for how the country can generate more natural gas. He urged that the ideas be submitted to the committee by Jan. 7, 2005 with the most promising ideas to be discussed at a half-day meeting of the committee, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 19.
"Obviously we made great progress this year by winning the financial and regulatory incentives that should permit construction to proceed on an Alaska natural gas project to bring 4.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas to market a day by next decade. But that gas likely will only meet about 10 percent of our nation's gas shortage by 2025.
"America needs to produce more natural gas to meet our needs and Alaska certainly can play a bigger role in producing that gas. Anyone with specific ideas on how we can produce more gas from Alaska should speak up now," said Murkowski.
Murkowski noted that a comprehensive energy bill will again be before Congress next year. Along with the already passed financial, regulatory and judicial incentives needed to construct an Alaska natural gas pipeline, last year's comprehensive energy bill included provisions to speed leasing and improve oil and gas production from the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska on the state's North Slope. She said she expects the same provisions to be included in new energy legislation that will be introduced early in the 109th Congress.
But she said now is the time for additional ideas on how to increase gas production from Alaska, whether it be opening new provinces on or offshore to gas production, or whether it involves innovative thinking on how Alaska could help facilitate moving liquefied natural gas imports to the Lower 48.
"Given our shortage of gas, now is the time for all good ideas to increase Alaska production to be considered," said Murkowski, noting that the country today consumes about 23 trillion cubic feet of gas a year, consumption expected to increase by 30 percent within 15 years. While the U.S. could meet demand by importing liquefied gas from overseas assuming regasification plant sites can be approved and permitted -- such imports will worsen our balance of payments deficit, harm America's job outlook and hurt America's energy independence, by making us more dependent on foreign sources of energy, just as we are now for oil.
"The last thing this country needs is to become anywhere near as dependent on imported gas as we are now for imported oil," said Murkowski, noting the United States today imports nearly 60 percent of the petroleum we consume daily.
She said any ideas can be submitted to her Washington office or sent directly to the Energy Committee. The point of contact at the committee is Lisa Epifani who can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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