The Center for Biological Diversity announced its attempt to intervene in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceedings on the state of Alaska’s plans to build the nation’s largest-ever liquid natural-gas project.

Alaska LNG had been described as a “gigaproject” by those involved, with an estimated price tag of $45 to $65 billion. The Alaska LNG project until Jan. 1, 2017, involved a partnership of energy majors including BP (ticker: BP), ExxonMobil (ticker: XOM), ConocoPhillips (ticker: COP), and TransCanada (ticker: TRP).

The project is viewed as a way to produce and ship LNG to Asia primarily. The project proposes an 807-mile pipeline, a liquefied natural gas facility and the shipping of 20 million tons of LNG abroad every year.

Alaska’s Gasline Development Corporation, the only party currently pursuing the project, submitted its application to FERC on April 17.

Gov. Bill Walker has asked the Trump administration to fast-track approval and exempt the project from dozens of environmental rules. Walker sees the project as a must-have for Alaska’s economy, but the pricetag for the proposed project is huge.

“We’re intervening to protect polar bears, the climate and Alaskans from this monstrous project,” an attorney for the CBD said.

Natural gas would be shipped to overseas markets on tankers through Cook Inlet and the Gulf of Alaska, passing through the habitat of endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales and critically endangered North Pacific right whales, whose population is down to just of 25 individuals, according to the group.

The Asia-Pacific region is the Alaska LNG project’s intended market.

The project would also involve the construction and operation of a gas-treatment plant and associated 60-mile pipeline on the North Slope. As currently proposed the 807-mile pipeline would transport natural gas from the gas treatment plant to the liquefaction facility in Nikiski, and have a daily capacity of 3.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Alaska’s application asks FERC to approve the project by December 2018 so that it can have the project operational by 2024.

 


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