Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: The speech where Obama supports the gas line - his message to the AK Democratic Convention

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The speech where Obama supports the gas line - his message to the AK Democratic Convention

Here's where Barack Obama became the one and only candidate to support the Alaska gas line.

And we have to give props to the only media outlet that pointed it out...the paper that's frequently ahead of everyone in Alaska...the Fairbanks Newsminer:
Who’s the latest elected official to pledge action on crippling fuel costs in Alaska? Barack Obama, of course.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama (a U.S. Senator) talked about energy costs and the gas line this weekend in a taped address to the state Democratic convention.

Obama said most people in Washington don't realize that even energy-rich Alaska is struggling with high fuel costs.

"Record oil prices are driving oil industry profits through the roof while Alaska's working families struggle to heat their homes and feed their children," he said. "That must change. We need to invest in a clean-energy future by pursuing the Alaska pipeline."

Then he said this.

"You've already taken ownership of this effort in Alaska, but you need a president who's fighting with you to make it a reality, and that's the kind of president I'll be."
Is he endorsing AGIA? It's the closest that any presidential hopeful has come to doing so.

And it's possible that a president could be the boost the project needs.
More recently, TransCanada has proposed using the federal government to ensure sufficient shipping commitments to get the project moving and/or to lessen any incentive to "goldplate" the project to make more money off it at the expense of shippers.

So, it's not inconceivable that Washington or even the president could play some role in getting a gas line built.
It sounds like the Legislature is already leaning towards TransCanada...a move I think is good news:
Daily News reporter Wesley Loy had lunch at McDonalds in Juneau today with House Speaker John Harris. Harris told Wesley he figures there’s already enough votes to give TransCanada the license and $500 million state subsidy to pursue the pipeline.
Per the Alaska Legislative Digest:
There seemed to be steadily growing support among legislators for approval of the license through the weekend, particularly after legislative consultants said there would be “no harm” in approving the license. If the final vote comes in July as expected, TransCanada will be able to salvage a portion of the current field season, it said.

As discussed in previous posts, the amount of steel required to build the pipeline could revitalize the US Steel Industry if it was made here...in states where Sen. Obama could really use the "bump." Also, the TransCanada line proposal provides a reasonable opportunity to provide energy to Alaska - especially in the rural communities.

Who is going to run with this?


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