WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - It is full steam ahead for an Alaska pipeline project. The Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas project has cleared a major hurdle. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has laid down a timeline to get the project started. The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation says it should be smooth sailing to get the project underway. The president of AGDC says he's looking for support on Capitol Hill for the $43 billion project.
Keith Meyer says he expects broad support from officials for his $43 billion dollar project.
"All around for Alaska this is a very transformational project. It's a very large job creator. It's a very large economic engine," said Keith Meyer.
Meyer says the project will create thousands of jobs in the state. It would span more than 800 miles, from Prudhoe Bay in the north, to Nikiski, producing around 3.5 billion cubic feet of gas per day, much of it for expor to China. He says his company should have an environmental impact statement from FERC by the end of 2019, clearing the way for construction and eventually service by 2024 or 2025.
"The gas supply in the North Slope is one of the world's largest concentrations of stranded natural gas. So this has potential for over a hundred years," said Meyer.
As with many pipeline projects, there's pushback from environmental groups. The Center for Biological Diversity is promising legal intervention.
"This proposal is so bad, we certainly will sue against it and the federal courts will decide if it passes muster or not," said Bill Snape, senior counsel for the organization.
Snape says the project will be disastrous for Alaska's environment, something he says his organization will vocalize to FERC at every opportunity. He says instead of building this pipeline, Alaska can create jobs in the renewable energy sector.
"Developing this type of fossil fuel infrastructure takes us in the opposite direction of where we need to go," said Snape.
We reached out to FERC about the ongoing process. They were not available for comment.