Lawmakers would be wise to make hay while the sun shines; while the country remains on the sidelines debating liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports – the shippable form of natural gas – global demand is quickly being met elsewhere.A recent study by the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank, concluded that as foreign suppliers begin to flood global markets, projects planned for in the States face tougher odds of reaching fruition – including the proposed AlaskaLNG project, which would be the largest capital investment in the history of Alaska.
Valued between $45 billion and $65 billion, the AlaskaLNG proposal has the potential to create as many as 15,000 jobs during the design and construction phases and another 1,000 permanent positions for long-term operations.
That may very well prove to be the elixir the state economy needs.
A comeback will take a concerted effort among state policymakers and industry partners to ensure that any LNG venture Alaska undertakes is done right.
Political uncertainty, fiscal solvency, and a lack of financial commitments all have the potential to derail projects like AlaskaLNG. History has demonstrated time and again that the only way mega-infrastructure projects are successful is if all parties are collaborating in good faith and taking the time necessary to make thoughtful decisions that aren’t beholden to artificial deadlines and schedules.