Palin Proposes In-State Gas Pipeline

In a press conference in Juneau on March 3, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin revealed a plan to encourage the construction of a $4 billion in-state natural gas pipeline.

"We've got to do this project," Palin said. "We've got to see it come to fruition, or our state will be a state that imports natural gas despite the fact that Alaska is sitting on some of the world's richest reserves of gas."

On Feb. 27, 2009, the Alaskan governor submitted two pieces of legislation to the House and Senate rules committees concerning the in-state gas pipeline. The March 3 press conference offered more information about the legislation and the proposed pipeline.

"Alaskans have been excited about the progress made toward our big gas line, which will secure our fiscal future as we take this abundant resource to Lower 48 markets," Governor Palin said in a statement. "But we know that we cannot wait for that project to come to fuition before addressing our own heating and power-generating needs. My administration is committed to getting the ball rolling now on a pipeline strictly for Alaskans."

Reuters reports that the in-state pipeline would traverse some 800 miles from the North Slope to the population centers along southern Alaska's Cook Inlet. With a diameter of 24 inches, the pipeline would have a capacity for 500 MMcf/d, beginning in 2015.

The in-state pipeline project would precede the massive endeavor to build an Alaskan pipeline from the North Slope to North America, which is expected to be operational by 2018.