The failure to admit the truth about the Dunleavy gas pipeline dream disguises the reality of the proposed federal public works project.
The Dunleavy administration finds it hard to say out loud that the dream promoted by the governor and the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. would be a federal public works project.
But that is the only way to describe a $6 billion project that would require a $4.5 billion subsidy from the federal government.
Frank Richards, the president of Alaska Gasline Development Corp., gave an overview to a legislative committee Tuesday and talked a lot about the private sector and getting the private sector to lead the way and reducing the risk for the private sector, etc.
But first, he said, the Dunleavy administration wants $4.5 billion from the feds to take the risk out of the $6 billion pipeline to Fairbanks, now dubbed the “first phase” of the project that would continue south to the coast.
With President Biden and Congress ready to push a massive infrastructure bill, the Dunleavy administration sees an opening for some gas pipeline action.
Richards said there is an “opportunity for the federal government potentially to provide Alaska an opportunity to be able to capture some of those funds to be able to advance this project.”
Richards forgot to mention to legislators that former Gov. Sean Parnell and former Sen. Mark Begich are each getting paid hundreds of dollars an hour by the state to promote the opportunity.
Alaska news organizations have not done much to explain that this is not a private project and it’s not a project in which Dunleavy wants to invest billions, though it is a project in which Dunleavy wants the feds to invest billions. Dunleavy has falsely portrayed his “plan” as one that relies mainly on the private sector.
“The good news is that, in addition to private funding, there is a strong possibility of federal funding,” Dunleavy said in his press release.
Dunleavy is comfortable attacking President Biden and big spenders in Washington, D.C., but he is not comfortable in admitting that his pipeline dream depends entirely upon winning the cooperation of Biden and the big spenders in D.C.
Dermot Cole is a longtime Alaskan, an author of several history books and a former Daily News-Miner staff columnist who now writes an occasional column on Alaska politics and history at Reporting From Alaska, www.dermotcole.com. His email address is email@example.com.