The Biden administration latest approval of the Alaska LNG project moves it closer to final approval. After the administration approved the Willow Oil Drilling Project last month, the Alaska liquefied natural gas project is on the verge of becoming another major fossil fuel project to be approved in Alaska.
The Alaska Gasline Development Corp’s (AGDC) project will export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to countries that the United States does not have a free trade agreement with. The Alaska LNG project is a “$38.7 billion infrastructure project” that, if it gets the necessary investments and all required permits, will be operational by 2030, according to a press release.
Frank Richards, president of AGDC, said the project will “provide Alaskans and U.S. allies with a significant source of low-emissions, responsibly produced energy consistent with international environmental priorities.”
Reuters reported that the Alaska LNG project “includes a liquefaction facility on the Kenai Peninsula in southern Alaska and a proposed 807-mile (1,300-km) pipeline to move gas stranded in northern Alaska across the state.” A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Energy said the administration’s decision only approves the Alaska LNG project’s exports.
But environmental groups said the project could result in over 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution emissions annually, according to a press release.
“Make no mistake: though proponents may try to confuse us by calling it ‘natural gas,’ LNG is a fossil fuel, NOT a solution,” Jeff Ordower, 350.org’s North America director, said. “This plan is yet another ‘carbon bomb’ that will disproportionately harm frontline and Indigenous Alaskan communities and will exacerbate the effects of climate change across the country and world.”
The Biden administration’s environmental review of the project concluded there were significant economic and international security benefits and that opponents of the project “failed to show the exports were not in the ‘public interest,'” Reuters reported.
“President Biden has again betrayed his own climate promises and further eroded trust by allowing Alaska LNG to move ahead on public lands,” Ordower said. “Approving the Willow Project was already a major betrayal of frontline communities, but Biden claimed that he would stop all other fossil fuel development in the Alaskan Arctic.