Friday, January 30, 2015

John Burnett — Oil Folly in the Last Frontier

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is getting in the way of his state's energy potential.

Alaska is at a critical crossroads that will not only impact its own future, but could influence the pace of America's ongoing energy boom, along with the security of its allies in Asia. 

For decades, Alaska, whose oil fields once stood as a symbol of America’s natural bounty, has been a shadow of its former self, as oil production in the state declined dramatically amid competition from other energy producing states. 

If the state has any hope of reclaiming its place among global energy leaders, it rests with an ambitious $45-$65 billion project by the state and three private partners to extract gas from a vast reserve on the icy northern tip of the Alaskan frontier known as the North Slope. But the future of the project – already in its initial environmental and engineering fieldwork stages – could be in question, as it becomes hostage to the state’s rapidly changing political landscape and its increasingly unstable fiscal situation.

Read complete article here