Pipeline probability contingent on overcoming fear

Posted: Friday, July 06, 2007

Lew Williams is half right ("Will environmental lobby curb interest in gas line?" Sunday's Juneau Empire).

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If Alaska tries to run a pipeline down the Alcan, environmentalists will stop it dead. Even if it made it across the Canadian border, it would never get past Kluane National Park and Preserve.

Nevertheless, a gas pipeline to Valdez would use an existing corridor that is already permitted. That part of the project is a done deal. It will start next year. The big hurdle will be getting permits to build a liquefied natural gas plant and bring tankers into Valdez.

Environmentalists were extremely successful in halting the permitting of such plants and tankers in California. They used scare tactics to convince Californians that liquefied natural gas plants and tankers could blow up and kill thousands of people. The only West Coast plants that ever will be built are in Baja California and British Columbia.

If Alaskans can figure out how to overcome irrational fear, they're good to go.

D.K. "Dan" Lilja

San Diego

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