April 13, 2012
Mr. Peter Wikoff
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1011 East Tudor Road, MS-231
Anchorage, AK 99503
Re: Shadura Natural Gas Development Project
Dear Mr. Wikoff:
The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc., (RDC) is writing to support the proposed Shadura Natural Gas Development Project in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
RDC is an Alaskan business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska's oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism, and fisheries industries. Our membership includes all of the Alaska Native Regional Corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC's purpose is to expand the state's economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.
Given the shortfall in Southcentral Alaska’s gas supply, the proposed Shadura Natural Gas Development Project is clearly in the public interest. According to a recent update to the Cook Inlet Supply Study by Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska, chronic shortfalls in gas supplies will begin in two years, forcing local utilities to import expensive natural gas from abroad, leading to higher prices of energy. The Shadura project will provide a stable source of energy for local communities and utilize a valuable resource for Alaskans.
More than half of the state’s population depends on natural gas from the Cook Inlet region for home heating, electricity and commercial enterprise. Continued development of Alaska’s natural resources is critical to the state’s economy and the quality of life of our residents.
The Shadura project will provide new jobs on the Kenai Peninsula and royalties to shareholders of Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI). CIRI owns the subsurface rights to the project area and under the provisions of the Cook Inlet Land Exchange, CIRI has the right to access its oil and gas resources in the subsurface estate within the refuge. The proposed project represents a step forward in meeting the economic obligations of the Native people of Alaska as envisioned by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Revenues CIRI receives from the project will be shared with other Native corporations and their shareholders across the state through Section 7(i) revenue-sharing provisions of ANCSA.
RDC is confident NordAq Energy and CIRI will work diligently to inusre a successful, environmentally-sound project. The project area will impact only a fraction of the refuge. RDC urges the Service to clearly recognize the many benefits of the Shadura project to Alaskans and the local economy, and that this project can move forward with minimal impact on the refuge.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments on the Shadura Natural Gas Development Project.
Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.
View Action Alert