DECATUR , IL - U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman made the following statement this morning in response to reports that Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski and Alaska North Slope natural gas producers have reached agreement on key provisions of a contract that will allow production of Alaska North Slope natural gas to move forward.
"I am very encouraged by these reports that the State of Alaska and the producers have reached an agreement. This is an important step in bringing substantial amounts of Alaska's natural gas to consumers in the lower-48 States, enhancing the diversity of supply that is a cornerstone of our nation's energy and economic security.
"While I understand that there still are details of the agreement that have not yet been finalized, and the people of Alaska and the Legislature must still review the agreement's terms, this is an encouraging step forward in the process.
"Alaska's natural gas is vital to our ability to meet the growing demand for natural gas in the lower 48 States. It is critical to our Nation's security that we move forward promptly to build the necessary infrastructure and begin production of Alaska North Slope gas. We at the Department of Energy will work to diligently to carry out our responsibility as the interim Federal Project Coordinator and to administer the loan guarantee program that Congress has authorized for the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline."
Craig Stevens, 202/586-4940