The Morning Headlamp—Feds could be ready to support AKLNG

Could Ex-Im Help Finance AKLNG? The U.S. Congress has reauthorized the Export-Import Bank of the United States, after a five-month period when the bank was prevented from issuing loans while congress wrangled over its reauthorization.   The bank has been used to  boost trade by helping finance operations of American companies overseas. With the bank operating again, it could now be available to play a role in financing AKLNG, according to an article by the Dispatch News’ Pat Forgey.  As Forgey notes, “Among the companies using [the bank] are Alaska LNG partners ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil, in the Australia and Papua New Guinea LNG projects respectively. State officials say that while they have not yet developed a financial plan for AKLNG, the Export-Import Bank could be considered as a source of financing should the project be found viable for a final investment decision.

Alaska Writes to FERC. About 60 individuals, citizen councils, nonprofits, Alaska Native tribal organizations, federal, state and municipal offices provided federal regulators with their lists of concerns they want to see covered in the environmental impact statement for the proposed AKLNG project.  As detailed In a written update from the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s Larry Persily, comments have come from entities such as the State Division of Forestry stewardship office, The North Slope Borough, The Tanana Chiefs Conference, Concerned Citizens of Nikiski, The National Park Service, and The Environmental Protection Agency. Most of the comments were suggestions on how to make the project better for the affected communities and the environment, such as protecting wildlife habitat, avoiding damage to wetlands and scenic views, providing affordable energy for Alaskans, and minimizing noise and lightning. Only a handful of comments — all from outside Alaska — were in opposition to any construction of the LNG project.

Warming up the Interior. During the years the state has worked on bringing natural gas to Fairbanks, attempting to  refine and lower prices of just about every part of the project except for trucking. A new, 75-foot, five-axle, 13,000-gallon capacity liquefied natural gas trailer, owned by Alliance member Heil Trailer , was on display at the Pipeline Training Center on Monday night as it begins a months-long trial in the Fairbanks Natural Gas utility’s fleet of trucks. “It’s a proven platform,” said Nathan Langford, a Heil engineer of the one-of-a-kind trailer system. “The axle layout and everything is proven. The new technology here is tailoring it just for the Alaskan market.”

The International Business Times covered Alaska’s ongoing financial woes as a result of free-falling oil prices. Coverage highlighted the now astronomical deficit as well as a background of Alaska labor statistics that are compounding the issue. The article concludes by discussing the current economic climate with Richard Murphy, the Snedden chair of journalism at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Murphy, who lived through the great Alaska recession of the mid-1980s when oil dipped to $10 per barrel, said that seeing unfinished infrastructure projects at the university “looks like the future.”


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First Reads

Feds help competing LNG projects, but could now also help Alaska gas exports
Alaska Dispatch News, Pat Forgey, December 14, 2015

Public submits wide-ranging comments to FERC
Alaska Business Monthly, Larry Persily, December 14, 2015

New tanker designed to haul natural gas across Alaska is under evaluation
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Matt Buxton, December 15, 2015

Falling Oil Prices Spell Dark Times For Alaska’s State Finances, And Even Bleaker Days For Its Residents
International Business Times, Craig Medred, December 15

Interior legislators, Fairbanks officials meet to talk about state funding for projects
Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Matt Buxton, December 15, 2015


Alaska Politics News

Native corporations contribute much to Alaska’s prosperity, and there’s potential for more
Alaska Dispatch News, Gerad Godfry, December 14, 2015