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This is my effort to share my thoughts with readers about concerns facing our country today.  I believe there is a good chance my grandchildren may be the first generation in the history of this great country not to have a better standard of living than their parents. If so, our generation is to blame. The clock is running out for damage control. .

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Wednesday
Jul232008

Natural Gas From Alaska

Thanks to T.Boone Pickens politicians are beating the drum for natural gas for transportation. Good Idea, we have lots of it in Alaska. Two ways to get it here. One, convert it to LNG and ship it by tanker. Two, build a pipeline. The pipeline is more cost effective and less of an enviormental risk. Let's build the pipeline, right? Wrong.

Two dreaded Major Oil companies, BP and Conoco have announced they will spend $600 million dollars to drum up support for the project. Drum up support? Is support needed for this? Why isn't McCain all over this? It would be the largest commercial endeavor in the history of North America. No tax dollars involved. Five billion for a processing plant and 30 billion to build the 2,000 mile pipeline.

How much natural gas. Thirty trillion feet of gas that is now being injected into wells and setting dormant since we can't get it here. It would displace NGL imports that is coming from the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

It is estimated that it will take at least 10 years to build this pipeline. Over 1,000 permits will be required. Negotiations with tribes in Canada and Alaska for the right of ways. And, the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin must get on board.

National security and the U.S. economy is at state. When pundits talk about a moonshot, this should be a start. Why not have Bush meet with the Prime Minister of Canada and Governor Palin and clear the decks?

Natural gas as it comes out of the ground can't be used for commercial purposes. It must be processed. It's not rocket science. The sulphur and impurities must be removed. But, the gas is there, the drilling is mostly done and we could build the pipeline in half the time if the decks were cleared. All the government has to do is help the process along. No money, no science, just get it done.

You will see the blowhards who are jumping on T.Boone's bandwagon, like Rahm Emmanuel, who was beating the drum last week for natural gas saying this is the solution to coal. It is and it is the solution to sending money to the Middle East for oil. 

These are difficult times and will get more difficult as we let traditional ways stop progress. This is the economic equal to war. Let's treat it that way and give BP and Conoco the permits to spend the $35 billion in what congress calls windfall profits and start digging.

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