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Viable gas plan

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Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 12:55 am

Letter to the editor

Sept. 17, 2012

To the editor:

The members of the Lowell Group, formerly known as the Rail Safety and Development Group, have been working diligently for years on a project to get natural gas trucked from the North Slope to Fairbanks to serve the Interior’s heating and auxiliary energy needs. This would be a “bridge project” until such time that a 48-inch gas line can be built on the pipeline corridor to Valdez. 

In 2009, we proposed to have the Alaska Gasline Port Authority be the lead agency in this endeavor, but our plan was unfortunately defeated by strong negative lobbying in Juneau. Since then, many proposals have surfaced only to confuse the public and to postpone any practical action.

Because of that, the Lowell Group, all volunteers, have now developed a written, definitive Natural Gas to Fairbanks and the Interior plan to be presented to the governor and Legislature at this next session. 

This plan is available for review, comments and suggested improvements at our website, www.gasin2years.com.

We are asking for immediate strong support for what now is the only written viable plan available to bring the high energy costs down in the state in a timely manner. 

Recently the Fairbanks North Star Borough government has joined in the mix with the idea of becoming an energy management company. Other than assuming utility powers from the cities of North Pole and Fairbanks, they have not presented any plans to get gas to the Interior. Instead, the borough will form a nine-member board and then task it to develop the plan to get gas to the Interior. 

The Lowell Group has the plan in place. We have worked many many months as volunteers on this plan. We need natural gas, and with this plan, when funded by the governor and supported by our Legislature, we will have natural gas in two years.

Most importantly, we need this community to show support by speaking up now with letters to the editor and with communications to our legislators and to our governor. Energy costs are killing the viability of the Interior.

Don Callahan

Fairbanks 

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