I am writing in response to Lew Williams' column ("Will environmental lobby curb interest in gas line?" July 1) that suggests the environmental community is lying in wait to kill the gas pipeline. As a former resident of Ketchikan and a member of the Ketchikan Borough Assembly, I am very familiar with his tendency to paint the entire conservation community with a broad anti-development brush. Let me set the record straight on the conservation groups I represent.
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The Alaska Conservation Alliance, which represents 40 conservation organizations within Alaska, is officially on the record as supporting the construction and operation of the natural gas pipeline. In April 2006, we issued a policy paper and press announcement explaining our support for this important energy project. And more recently, I wrote an op-ed encouraging passage of Gov. Sarah Palin's Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.
The big question for Alaskans is not whether the conservation community is out to kill the gas pipeline, but rather, can we use our natural gas as the bridge to a more sustainable energy future that taps Alaska's incredible potential for wind, geothermal, tidal and hydro power? To this end, the Alaska Conservation Alliance stands ready to be a constructive partner.
Alaska Conservation Alliance,
Alaska Conservation Voters
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