Murkowski, Sullivan Urge Energy Department To Complete, Without Delay, Draft SEIS for AKLNG Project

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (both R-Alaska) sent a letter yesterday to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm expressing their support for the Alaska LNG Project (AKLNG), and urging the department to “complete, without delay, finalization of the draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS)” for the project. The letter calls for the DOE to reissue their approval of the project.

“Given the United States is on the brink of an economic recession, coupled with record energy prices, completion of the regulatory process for AKLNG should be a top priority,” Senators Sullivan and Murkowski wrote. “AKLNG is the only federally permitted LNG export project on the West Coast, has 41.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas readily available, and provides a number of strategic geopolitical benefits. In fact, AKLNG would provide a supply of long-term, clean natural gas critical to our energy security and the growing global demand for energy, given Alaska has enough available gas to reduce our reliance on authoritarian foreign adversaries. Our global network of allies, military strength, world-class energy resources, dynamic economy, and most important, our democratic values and commitment to liberty, will put the United States at a distinct advantage, compared to the dictatorships of countries like China and Russia, if utilized correctly.

“AKLNG also provides a significant number of environmental benefits. Given the shorter shipping routes from Alaska to meet the growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) demand of markets in Asia, Alaska natural gas generates less carbon equivalent emissions than other U.S. LNG exports and far fewer emissions than other fuels. Further, AKLNG’s associated carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) capabilities are an important aspect of the project and moving towards a low-carbon future. Alaska’s North Slope has the potential for 205 million metric tons of carbon dioxide sequestration, which is the equivalent of planting 4 billion tree seedlings over the course of ten years, or offsetting the annual emissions of 55 coal-fired power plants or 44 million cars. AKLNG would also require no additional drilling and utilize the existing infrastructure on Alaska’s North Slope, and the development of spur lines off of AKLNG’s pipeline into Alaska’s cities, towns, and villages, would all but alleviate existing air quality issues, such as the presence of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 in Fairbanks.      

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“Lastly, the draft SEIS identifies critical socioeconomic benefits associated with AKLNG. This project would create tremendous employment opportunities for hardworking Americans, including Alaska Natives, and new revenue for the State of Alaska, mirroring the economic boom communities in the state saw following the development of the North Slope in the late 1970s. Just look at the immense support AKLNG has received from the men and women who build this country, including the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), the Alaska chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), the Alaska chapter of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), and affiliates like the Fairbanks Building-Construction Trades Unions, Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 375, Laborers' Local 341, and Laborers' Local 942.”

To read the full letter, click here. To learn more about the AKLNG project, click here.

Related Issues: Energy