We are a state that daily reinjects back into the ground at Prudhoe Bay more natural gas than is consumed each day in the states of California, Oregon and Washington combined. And yet we pay the highest cost for heating our homes and electricity anywhere in North America and perhaps the world. Here is why: we have not figured out a way to economically bring our natural gas from the North Slope to our communities to be able to use it ourselves.
It is time to start using our existing infrastructure, highways and railroads, to move energy to Alaskans either as gas, propane or electricity fueled by economical natural gas from the North Slope to the areas of Alaska that sorely need it. These concepts are now being worked out by various State agencies and proponents of the use of alternate fuels for heating in Bush communities.
Alaska needs a comprehensive long term energy policy that will provide abundant energy to make it economically feasible for industry to take root in Alaska and to provide for cost effective heat and power for all Alaskan homes. My Administration will provide the regulatory environment to encourage in-state processing of our resources. Abundant energy at a reasonable cost will provide the heat and power to make Value Added Resource Development possible.
The first phase is the all-Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline. However, we will not stop at the use of our gas. We will promote the development of hydroelectric, tidal, thermal and other renewable energy sources where feasible and cost effective. Alaska has vast and recoverable coal reserves that should be put to use to fuel Alaska.
Let us not forget that coal can be converted to natural gas and liquid fuels. Alaska can change the paradigm of energy use. I will work to diversify Alaska's energy resources.