Acronyms are often the key to helping people promote a good idea. Take AGIA for example. Everyone in the state knows what that means. Now we are all trying to figure out how it affects us and getting gas to Southcentral and other markets. After all, isn't that what we want? Alaska gas for Alaskans to maximize monetary return to Alaskans on our natural resources as set forth in our State Constitution?
In addition, we want our gas to get to market now, ensuring future generations of Alaskans have secure jobs and economic stability.
The problem is the only company that has submitted a bid under AGIA that has met all the requirements will not be building it in state, as most Alaskans want ... out go all those jobs, worst of all, the value-added economic stimulus that having gas transported through a gas line built and owned by Alaskans would secure.
I propose that the residents of Alaska form APIC the Alaska Pipeline Investment Corp. to finance building the pipeline from the North Slope to Valdez.
The core concept of APIC is:
* Every man, woman and child who is a legal resident of Alaska by Dec. 31, 2008, would hold one share in APIC.
* Money now invested outside of Alaska, our money, would be brought home and invested in a project that would multiply it many times over the way it's currently being invested.
* Once gas is being transported through our pipeline, dividends, paid on tariffs, would be paid to each APIC shareholder, over and above the current Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.
* Shares would be retained by the people they were issued to, or their heirs.
* APIC shareholders, not the oil companies or the state of Alaska, would collect tariffs in the billions of dollars each year.
* Reimbursement to the permanent fund would be top priority, as well as continued corpus investment in the permanent fund and contributions to the General Fund of the state and budget reserve.
* APIC would promote Alaska sovereignty and management authority, lessening dependence on federal funding for infrastructure, health and education.
Alaskans, APIC's time is now. We cannot afford to lose high-paying jobs, as just happened in Kenai with the closing of the Agrium plant.
We can't afford the high cost of heating our homes, nor the high electric bills brought about with declining gas reserves in Southcentral. Most of all, we can't afford to be at the mercy of the oil companies or even the federal government in developing our natural resources.
While we wait for government to sort all this out, APIC can be the people's number one pick for Alaska's future. APIC, building a pipeline now.
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