Alaska Gov. Bill Walker in early February wrote to President Trump with his wish list for the state's pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, asking for environmental regulatory exemptions for the project as well as federal loan guarantees.
Walker told Trump that Japan "looks very favorably" on importing LNG from Alaska and said the federal government can assist the state "in bringing this important American infrastructure project to fruition." Trump has said U.S. infrastructure development is a key priority of his administration.
The governor said the federal government can help the Alaska LNG project with "relatively minor amendments to an existing federal loan guarantee previously passed for an Alaskan gas pipeline project, concessionary financing and/or guarantees (such as a first-loss investment) of up to 25% of the total investment for each project, and some changes to regulations that would provide Alaska with greater oversight of the existing and well-established pipeline corridor."
Walker is asking for a $40 billion federal loan guarantee for Alaska LNG, a now-state-run project that would pipe North Slope natural gas to a liquefaction plant for tanker export to Asian countries.
Some of the other items the governor is seeking are federal tax-exempt status for the project; exemption from federal wetlands compensatory mitigation requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA); and removal of Environmental Protection Agency veto authority for federal authorizations under CWA.
Regulatory concessions/accommodations also are being sought from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"Alaska is America's last frontier and is one of the most resource-rich areas in the world," Walker said in his letter to Trump. "Building the gas pipeline will allow Alaska and the United States to increase exports of important raw materials, opening up vast mining opportunities in Alaska by having access to lower-cost energy, and enable value-added development of other goods."