AK LNG Meeting & 4th of July Weekend Events
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Hope you'll get out and enjoy your 4th of July weekend! Below are activities happening around town. While there weren't many legislative hearings this week, the House and Senate Resources Committees met in a joint meeting to receive an important update on the AKLNG Project.
As we work to figure out our fiscal plan, work on the AKLNG Project continues. This week the House and Senate Resources Committees met for a seven hour meeting to hear an update from Steve Butt, the AKLNG Project Manager and the new head of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) Keith Meyer. AGDC works on behalf of the State in the project. Mr. Butt reported that work based on the original framework for the project is on track and materials anticipated to be done by this fall will meet the schedule. Also, since their last report to the Legislature they researched doing the project with a 48" pipe vs. a 42" pipe. This was done at the request of the State because Governor Walker was promoting a larger line project. After spending several months researching this they concluded that the 42" pipe was the best option. So, work done on time and on budget and the project has been narrowed to a 42" pipe. That's the good news.
The bad news, according to Mr. Butt, is that due to market conditions of both low prices and an abundance of supply the AKLNG Project may not be competitive relative to other projects around the world, and there are many. It all comes down to the cost of supply. What the AKLNG Project has done over the last several months is rework many aspects of the design to bring down the overall cost and in turn the cost of the gas that will be produced. But, the cost may not be low enough to be competitive at this time. Gas contracts are multi-year contracts and when one expires there is a window of opportunity for a new supplier, like the AKLNG Project, to sign a new contract to provide gas. Utilities, for example, sign these long term contracts because they need a reliable supply for their customers. AKLNG was set to go online sometime in the 2023-2024 time frame and that would coincide with when there are contracts expiring and buyers looking for a new, stable gas supply. However, with current market conditions it may be necessary to hit the pause button and wait for conditions to improve.
That's one possible outcome. The new head of AGDC has another, supported by the Governor. Mr. Meyer doesn't deny that there are challenges to the AKLNG Project going forward, but he supports the Governor's position that the State of Alaska should take on a bigger role in developing the project. This means the State of Alaska would be taking on greater risk in the project and often these projects have substantial cost overruns. Under the current structure, the risk is split between the four project sponsors, not just the State on its own. This iteration of AKLNG is about five years in the making so it's unclear whether a fundamental change to the project structure would cause a long delay or could be incorporated into the work plan quickly. The new concept being suggested by the Governor has many unknowns so I hope we will receive information as soon as possible. The State is spending hundreds of millions of dollars, just this year, and if the project is not going forward at this time we need to act quickly so we don't spend unnecessarily.
This also factors into overall decisions on a fiscal plan because if the State were to take on a bigger role it would be very costly. The new concept would involve getting more investors involved, but would also require the State to contribute huge sums of money to keep the project alive. I want to understand what Governor Walker is proposing and how he would want to the State to pay for it. And, we have to recognize that as much as we all want a gasline, it may not be the wise choice at this time while we are struggling to pay for basic essentials.
Municipality Launches Homeless Camp Reporting Portal
On June 29th, the Municipality of Anchorage released a portal for residents to report homeless camps in their area. The portal, part of #ANCWorks!, will help the Anchorage Police Department contact campers in a timely manner, and expedite camp clean up.
"We are excited to launch this portal to make cleaning camps more responsive and responsible to community concerns," stated Mayor Berkowitz.
This portal creates an easy way for residents to report a camp and allows the Municipality to collect data, and streamline the process. Coupling this portal with the new 10 person Parks and Recreation team prioritizes homeless camp clean up as well as connects vulnerable members of our community with services.
To report a camp, click on the Anchorage Police Department-Homeless Camp link on #ANCWorks!
4th of July Events This Weekend
Anchorage July 4th Celebration Parade at the Delaney Park Strip on 9th & 10th between E & I Streets from 8 am to 6 pm.
Freedom Motorcycle Ride at the House of Harley-Davidson (4334 Spenard Road) at 12:30 pm.
Celebrate the freedom to ride this Independence Day. Meet at the House of Harley-Davidson after the downtown parade around 12:30 p.m. KSU by 1 p.m. We're free to ride wherever we want so the destination will be decided once everyone is all together. Feel free to wear your red, white & blue. All motorcycle brands and people welcome.
4th of July Parade on the Old Glenn Highway (12319 Old Glenn Hwy) at 2 pm.
The Chugiak Fourth of July Parade will be held starting at the Latimer fire station on the Old Glenn Highway and finishing at the Chugiak Senior Center. Turn out to watch - or march in - the parade, and bring a sack to collect all the candy thrown out during the event.
Muse Fourth of July BBQ at the Anchorage Museum (625 C St) at 12 pm.
Price: $14.00 to $22.00
Celebrate the 4th of July on the museum lawn. This annual event is an opportunity to celebrate the holiday and enjoy the sun with Muse’s barbecue specialties. Menu includes buttermilk fried chicken with caramelized onion pan gravy, hamburgers, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, organic green salad, and pecan pie. Anchorage Museum is open 9 am to 6 pm July 4; regular admission applies.
Anchorage Bucs Annual Double Header With Fireworks Show at the Mulcahy Stadium (16th Ave & Eagle St) from 7 pm to 11:30 pm.
Price: $10.00 to $15.00 — General Admission $10 Reserved Box Seats $15
The Anchorage Bucs are taking on our cross town rival, the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in a 7 pm double header at Mulcahy Stadium on Mon July 4th, at 7pm sponsored by BP Alaska. Following the games, see Anchorage’s ONLY Independence Day Fireworks Show. Dazzling Fireworks show to follow the games at Midnight. Gates open at 5:30 pm. Purchase tickets at the gate. Be there early to get good seats. Visit anchoragebucs.com for all Buc related information.