RDC Comment Letter:
Port MacKenzie Rail Expansion Comments
March 7, 2008
Mr. John Duffy, Borough Manager
350 E. Dahlia Avenue
Palmer, AK 99645
Dear Mr. Duffy:
The Resource Development Council (RDC) is writing to support the Port MacKenzie Rail Expansion, connecting the port to existing Alaska Railroad track in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
RDC is a statewide business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism, and fisheries industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.
The expansion of rail in the Matanuska-Susitna valley to connect to Port MacKenzie would extensively promote resource development, in both the region and statewide. Transportation of materials, shipment of commodities, and delivery of fuel are all areas of significant cost to many businesses and communities in our state. Improving transportation routes can dramatically reduce these costs to enable responsible resource development while achieving maximum economic benefit. Moreover, track expansion will create exciting new opportunities and promote expansion of current projects, all of which provide jobs to Alaskans, stimulate the economy, and provide needed funding for our government.
Additionally, the connection of Port MacKenzie with the railroad will increase traffic and usage of the port. While other area ports remain overwhelmed and congested, the deeper waters of Port MacKenzie can accommodate large vessels and, with a railroad at port site, deliver supplies to the outlying areas.
Thank you for the opportunity to support this important project.
Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.