The decision before this Special Session of the Legislature is as important and serious as any that has been made since statehood some 50 years ago. It will direct the economics of our state for the next 50 years. Our Solons have a grave responsibility.
ConocoPhillips (Atlantic Richfield) and BP have a 50- and 40-year history of being dependable and steadfast partners of oil development in our state. They discovered oil on the Kenai and at Prudhoe. We can't just ignore their proposal to build the "Denali Line". They own a majority of the known gas reserves on the slope. It would certainly seem a good solution if both proposals were considered by the Legislature.
A $500 million cost to the state for the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act without a construction commitment seems inappropriate. It would seem that support of the gas producers should be made mandatory before this half a billion dollars is released.
We will remember what the Legislature does in Juneau during the next 30 days. It will be critical to our next 50 years that they make the best decision for our families and for our future. It is as big a decision as the Legislature of the state of Alaska has ever made.