Homer Alaska - Elections

Story last updated at 5:49 PM on Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Debbie Brown

What do the candidates think?

The assignment: Candidates for Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor and the District 8 seat for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly were invited to submit a 500-word guest column. Candidates were given free rein to write about what they thought was most important.

Candidate for Mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough


Debbie Brown

Together we can take control of our future.

Our Kenai Peninsula greatly depends upon state funding for education, roads, and more. Nearly 90 percent of state revenue comes from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) that is rapidly declining in throughput. Bad news! Alaska Department of Revenue (DOR) is forecasting less than .5 million bpd by FY 2018. This is only one-fourth TAPS original oil capacity.

Good news! The LNG News September 14, 2011 reports Asia is once again looking to the U.S. for LNG, a result of Japan's March 2011 earthquake impact on their nuclear energy facilities and partly due to ongoing growth. Alaska once supplied 100 percent of Japan's LNG. (Nikiski) Japan is the premium market former Governors Egan, Hickel, Hammond, and now Anchorage Mayor Sullivan, and Bill Walker (All-Alaska Gasline) see as the only viable, lucrative market for Alaska's gas.

In 2010 the Legislature passed HB-369, tasking the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (ADGC) to produce a plan for developing an in-state natural gas pipeline that could be made operational by December 31, 2015. The project plan would include analysis of possible routes and selection of one which:

• Is economically feasible;

• Makes natural gas available to residents at lowest possible cost;

• Uses state land, existing state highway and railroad rights-of-way to the maximum extent feasible;

• Uses existing highway and railroad bridges, gravel, equipment yards, maintenance facilities, and other existing facilities/resources to the maximum extent feasible.

ADGC reported in July 2011, selecting the smaller volume bullet-line option. Sadly, this analysis was limited by Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA). The AGIA legislation prevents Alaska from assisting in a gasline project with volume greater than 500 mcf of gas per day, which is less than one-fifth the volume available for export from the North Slope.

The state funded AGIA, Trans-Canada/ExxonMobile open season closed a year ago. No information has been provided verifying economic viability of this gasline project. BP/Conoco Phillips (Denali pipeline) project has been dumped for no interest in moving Alaska's gas into saturated Canada or Lower 48 markets.

USGS reports of increased Cook Inlet gas potential and increase of Cook Inlet exploration lease bidders have spiked optimism. But what if Cook Inlet gas doesn't come online as quickly as forecasted or projects under development and evaluation don't come to fruition?

Knowing we have a serious opportunity to again supply Japan with LNG, we'd be remiss building an inadequate volume bullet-line project that cannot meet demand of LNG markets, and in-state energy needs. The rewards of building the larger-volume All-Alaska gasline to tidewater (Nikiski) to export LNG will benefit every community in Alaska with lower cost energy, state revenue sharing, jobs, infrastructure, and value added business opportunities. Why risk our own economic and energy security by continuing the failed AGIA process? Policymakers, industry leaders, and everyday Kenai Peninsula residents should urge the Legislature to regain control of Alaska's future by exiting AGIA to build a large-volume pipeline from North Slope to tidewater by 2016.