Murkowski urges federal approval of Alaska LNG export project

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) called on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to reissue its approval of the Alaska LNG Project, which will deliver natural gas for commercialization and for in-state distribution.

The Alaska LNG Project, also known as AKLNG, is being developed by the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., which expects to deliver on average about 3.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day, much of it for international markets, from the state’s North Slope gas fields.  

Sen. Murkowski, along with Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK), in an Aug. 29 letter sent to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm asked that the department’s June 24 draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the project be quickly completed and that the DOE reissue its order for 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,” wrote Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan.

The AKLNG is the only federally permitted LNG export project on the West Coast and has more than 41 trillion cubic feet of natural gas readily available, according to their letter. The project also will provide several strategic geopolitical benefits, as well as a significant number of environmental benefits.

For example, AKLNG would provide a supply of long-term, clean natural gas critical to America’s energy security and the growing global demand for energy, Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan wrote, and with the shorter shipping routes from Alaska to Asia, Alaskan natural gas would generate less carbon equivalent emissions than other U.S. LNG exports and far fewer emissions than other fuels.

Additionally, the draft SEIS identifies socioeconomic benefits associated with AKLNG, such as “tremendous employment opportunities” and new revenue for the state, according to their letter.

“Given the almost eight years of cooperation between all applicable federal agencies, their comprehensive environmental impact assessment, which totals almost 6,000 pages, and their unanimous issuing of permits and approvals for the project, [we] urge you to recognize the immense geostrategic, environmental, and socioeconomic benefits AKLNG will bring and act promptly to approve it,” wrote the senators.