Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz traveled with Alaska Sen. Mark Begich to a stakeholders meeting in Anchorage on Aug. 18.
Although the meeting was “off the record,” Moniz made some very interesting comments—especially in light of his department’s recently revised LNG export procedures—during a post-meeting news conference. As reported in the Alaska Journal of Commerce, Moniz said:
- “We want to be very explicit to say that we will treat Alaska differently. The public interest [determination] is not an issue for us.”
- “Alaska’s gas will not affect markets in the continental United States, so a ‘public interest’ [analysis] will still be done but it will be largely a formality.”
- “A conditional export license for Alaska will be granted when the project moves further along in its development [… and that] will aid Alaska in efforts beginning this year to market LNG in Asia.” [Ed. Note: The new DOE LNG export procedures published in the Federal Register on Aug. 15 eliminated the practice of issuing conditional approvals for LNG export projects in the lower 48 states.]
- “The Alaska project has been in a gestation stage for a long while […] and DOE feels it important to get huge stranded gas reserves on the North Slope onto world markets.”
- “This is a private sector project and we want to do all we can to facilitate it, and not be seen as an obstacle.”