ANCHORAGE – Current production of natural gas in Cook Inlet is in decline and could lead to a significant gap in LNG delivery for the heavily populated Rail Belt service area of Alaska in the coming years. Importing LNG to these areas would exponentially increase costs that would be passed on to the consumer.

Earlier today Governor Dunleavy announced that he is proposing legislation that would encourage potential contractors to further develop natural gas wells in Cook Inlet.  The Alaska House Majority applauds the Governor’s recognition and efforts to address this serious issue facing Alaska. Members of the Alaska House Majority have been busy addressing this issue as well as other critical energy concerns as we are committed to finding effective solutions for the benefit of all Alaskans.

“As Chair of the House Special Committee on Energy and a member of the Governor’s Energy Security Task Force, our primary concern in addressing this pressing issue has been to explore strategies aimed at mitigating the anticipated rise in gas prices within the Cook Inlet, while also striving to secure the lowest possible price per kilowatt for consumers. To prevent the looming energy rate increases, we are diligently scrutinizing all available options and proposing the most effective solutions for both gas and new energy development. In preparation for the upcoming session, I am currently reviewing a series of legislative proposals slated for this session, including two of my own, which have emerged as a response to this challenge. This endeavor has been informed by over 200 hours of meetings this summer with the Energy Security Task Force, and The House Special Committee on Energy has been intensely focused on addressing the challenges of the looming Cook Inlet gas storage situation.” Stated Representative George Rauscher (R – Sutton).

“The looming natural gas shortage in the rail belt is one of the most important issues our state currently faces.” Commented Resource Committee Chair, Representative Tom McKay (R- Anchorage). “My office has spent much of the interim focused on potential policy solutions and it is extremely encouraging that the governor’s office is similarly concerned. We owe it to Alaskans to find local solutions for jobs and economic stability and look forward to working with the Dunleavy administration on this matter in the House Resources Committee.”

Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee Representative Ben Carpenter (R – Nikiski) stated, “I applaud the Governor and his team for addressing Alaska’s looming energy crisis with what sounds like a reasonable proposal to incentivize natural gas production in Cook Inlet. If Alaskans are to prevent or lessen the duration of a dramatic increase in our household gas and electric bills in the next 12-24 months, more natural gas must be produced locally. Paying for imported liquid natural gas at a premium is not a reasonable solution when we have abundant reservoirs in our backyard. I look forward to discussing this proposal in the months ahead.” 

We anticipate working with the Governor and all interested parties in securing long-term solutions for providing the energy needs of Alaskans for years to come.