Letter to the Editor: Rethink the LNG pipeline

Forget that $55 billion pipeline to get LNG from Prudhoe. All we need to do is let that Japanese consortium or oil companies build a liquefaction plant at Prudoe. They already have LNG tankers and barges to carry gas from Prudhoe around the coast to Naknek on the Bristol Bay side of the Alaska Peninsula. The a 115-mile road would need to be built form Naknek headed toward Lake Illiamna and going to McNeil Cove on the Cook Inlet side. The road on land managed by BLM wouldn’t be difficult to build, crosses only one river, wouldn’t exceed 600 feet and isn’t park land. Eventually a pipeline could be built when we can afford it right alongside the road, but for now gas cold be trucked from Naknek to McNeil Cove in semi-trailers capable of holding up to 13,000 gallons of LNG. The Alaska Railroad is now certified to ship LNG, so maybe a railroad could move gas from Naknek to McNeil Cove, whichever is most economical.

Shipping gas right from Prudhoe could benefit many towns along the coast, with the Gas Storage Act that passed a few years ago, 95% of Alaskans could be using natural gas from Prudhoe. This road could also decrease shipping costs to the whole west coast of Alaska, promote tourism, promote recreational sport fishing opportunities to Lake Illiamna. Someday ferry service could go from Homer to McNeil Cove and maybe from Naknek to Nome or Utquigvik and Pebble’s ore could be shipped out without harming Bristol Bay.

If we don’t do something soon, beside just dreaming of a pipeline we can’t afford and the Inlet runs out of gas, our electric rates as well as our natural gas will skyrocket in cost. Isn’t this road more practical than the Ambler road, the Juneau road, the Susitna dam or the Knik Arm bridge?

— Brother Tom Patmor, Clam Gulch

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