It’s the election, stupid

The Alaska Gasline Development Corp. says it has signed yet another “letter of intent,” this time with Tokyo Gas in its attempt to find someone, anyone, to buy Alaska’s gas or invest as part of a proposed $43 billion project to move North Slope gas to China and other Asian markets.

What is in the document is anybody’s guess. The state agency says it is not releasing it to the public.

AGDC last month signed another non-binding deal with three Chinese-owned entities, including the state-owned oil and gas company Sinopec. The state corporation did not release those documents days after the signing. About half the document, it turns out, is in Chinese characters and the signatures of the Chinese who signed were blacked out for “privacy” concerns.

What was not in the document was anything concrete. It must leave much to be desired for those hoping to build the Alaska LNG Project. None of the provisions in the vague, weasel-worded document – and who knows what is in the Tokyo Electric agreement – is binding in any fashion.

You have to wonder why Gov. Bill Walker and the AGCD would be touting these “agreements” as if they meant something. You have to wonder why they are being less than forthcoming about the deals. You have to wonder why they are using public funds to obtain these pieces of paper.

Rep. Dan Saddler told the Juneau Empire it appears AGDC is “in the middle of a charm offensive” directed at Alaskans.

While the corporation is “coming out of their shell a little bit to explain things a bit better,” he told the newspaper after a House Resource Committee, it did not get to the guts of any agreement with Chinese firms or any other companies AGDC is dealing with.

The best reason – the only reason – we can think of for showboating the “agreements” is next year’s election. That would be sad.

With Walker’s lack accomplishment, with his abandoning Republicans to run with a Democrat and playing footsie with unions, with his filling agency jobs with Democrats,  he needs something to boost his chances if he actually runs for re-election. We will not even mention his failed drive for an income tax despite four special sessions this year or his cutting Permanent Fund dividends in half for two years in a row and then leaving the money in the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve.

If a handful of tentative agreements is all he has to show for four years and tens of millions of dollars being spent, maybe he should sit out next year’s election.







One Response to It’s the election, stupid

  1. Morrigan December 7, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    From BBC today, December 7:

    “China coal-to-gas switch delayed to avert heating crisis

    The Chinese government has scaled back its ambitious plans to eradicate coal-fired heating for this winter amid a shortage of gas.

    Beijing had ordered the nation’s northern provinces to convert from coal to cleaner fuel by the end of this year to reduce pollution.

    However, in many places the transition had not been completed or gas supplies proved inadequate.

    Millions have reportedly been left without proper heating.

    China’s Ministry of Environment had issued a statement telling the northern regions that have not finished converting to gas or electric heating may burn coal, the South China Morning Post reported.

    “Keeping people warm in winter should be the number one principle,” the statement said.

    Separately the Chinese National Petroleum Corp said on Thursday that the country might face a shortage of gas if “extreme” cold weather hit the country.”


    So the question is: By showing us they can revert to coal-fired heating any time they wish, pollution be damned, did the Chinese just show us who will be top dog in this operation, Alaska Gasline Development Corp. be damned?


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