October 3, 2019

Ms. Kimberly Bose
Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Avenue, NE, Room 1A
Washington, D.C. 20426

Re: Alaska LNG Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Docket Number: CP17-178-000.

Dear Ms. Bose:

The Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. (RDC) is writing to encourage the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to move expeditiously to a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and a positive Record of Decision on the Alaska Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Project. Should the Alaska LNG Project move forward, it would be one of the most important projects to Alaska’s economy. The $43 billion project would be the largest integrated natural gas/LNG project of its kind.

RDC is an Alaskan 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 Alaska LNG Project would provide significant economic benefits to Alaskans from the Arctic coast to the southern reaches of the state through the creation of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in new revenues to the State of Alaska and the federal government. Other benefits include access to a generation of domestically-produced clean natural gas for homes and businesses. The project is expected to generate 29,000 jobs during construction and approximately 1,000 jobs during operation.

Connection to the Interior Gas Utility would provide a long-term, economic energy supply for Fairbanks and interior communities. Interconnection of the main gas pipeline to the existing Southcentral pipeline network would provide long-term energy supplies for residential, commercial and industrial users. The additional in-state natural gas could also support new resource development projects in need of affordable energy. 

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement found that most project impacts would not be significant and would be reduced to minor impacts with the implementation of proposed avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures. Moreover, a 40-plus year track record in Alaska has demonstrated that oil and gas development can coexist with traditional subsistence activities, cultural resources, wildlife, and the environment. 

In Alaska, the project would reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the use of natural gas. Through potential sales, it would also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide clean energy to a significant portion of the world population. 

RDC acknowledges that there are special interests that oppose further development of fossil fuels in the Arctic and elsewhere. However, oil and gas development in Alaska could ultimately prove indispensable as forecasts indicate our nation’s energy demands will increase over ten percent in the next quarter century. Despite sharp increases in alternative energy sources, the majority of these growing energy demands will continue to be satisfied through the use of fossil fuels, and as along as there is a market for oil and gas, the resources should be developed and produced here in Alaska where operations and emissions are strictly regulated and best management activities are employed to avoid and minimize impacts. 

RDC encourages FERC to move forward to the FEIS and a positive Record of Decision. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Sincerely,

Resource Development Council