Jan. 23, 2002 The Valdez Star champions a natural gas pipeline terminating in Valdez

Posted: Monday, January 28, 2002

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that a natural gas pipeline would be an economic boon for the entire state. Everyone agrees, at some point, it would mean jobs for Alaskans and increased revenue for the state.

What they don't agree on is the route which is the one thing everyone should agree on. Bottom line, cheapest route to build is better.

With that in mind, consider this: Valdez already has the infrastructure, experience and route permits in hand to build a pipeline.

Economics 101 says go where the goods are plentiful and cheaper. The route is already in place and proven, meaning the miles and miles of tedious trenchwork that accompanied the placement of the oil line would be eliminated. That would mean months cut from the time the line could actually go into production.

The pipeline's terminus here would also expose Alaskans to the riches of the Canadian and U.S. west coasts as well as markets throughout the Pacific Rim and even as far south as Mexico. Add to that the fact the U.S. would remain in control of its natural gas throughout the entire process and eliminate any surcharges that may arise.

The idea of taking the Over the Top route or following the Alaska Highway through the Yukon and Alberta is a costly pipe dream. The best way for Alaskans and all Americans is for the project to run from the North Slope fields to Valdez.

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