We recently welcomed a South Korea delegation representing the largest LNG purchaser in the world. We also held discussions with a consortium of Japanese companies.
There is no doubt we have come a long way toward a gasline, but we still have a long way to go. Here's the roadmap I propose for AGDC:
First, we need to boost AGDC's ability to build an all-Alaska gasline, or to participate with others in building one. Representative Hawker and the Speaker have filed legislation to add horsepower to AGDC's engine.
Without sacrificing accountability, we can unite around that legislation, and accelerate AGDC's work. We can accelerate a merger between the State's two parallel paths, and help avoid redundant costs between the projects.
Together, in the committee process, we will ensure that AGDC can commercialize Alaska's gas for the maximum benefit of all Alaskans.
While AGDC needs to be stronger, the Alaska Pipeline Project needs to make a firm commitment to an all-Alaska gasline.
Tonight, I set another important benchmark for the private parties involved in the Alaska Pipeline Project: By February 15 - one month from now - they must select a concept on an all-Alaska project.
Let me be clear: That means describing and detailing the project and pipeline specifications. More specifically, it means telling us the size of the pipe and the daily volume of gas. It means telling us the location of the gas treatment plant, and detailing the number of compressor stations to move the gas along.
It means telling us the size and scope of the liquefaction plant and LNG storage tanks. It means telling us the number of off-take points to ensure that Alaskans can utilize our gas for our needs.
Most importantly, we want to ensure that APP's concept components are designed to ensure Alaska's gas goes to Alaskans first.
By this spring, I call on the companies to finalize an agreement to advance into what's known as the pre-FEED stage of a gasline - that's "pre-front-end engineering and design," for those of us who are not engineers.
They must ensure a full summer of field season work will commence this year, and once into that pre-FEED stage, the companies will be spending hundreds of millions of dollars - private sector dollars - on this project.
With concept selection made, a pre-FEED commercial agreement executed, and a summer field season completed in 2013, the project will finally move at the speed that Alaskans demand and our future requires.
To keep the state of our state strong, let us choose a future of affordable and abundant energy. Despite all our energy sources, energy costs remain a huge burden on Alaskans. That needs to change.
That's why we developed the Interior Energy Plan, a strategy that includes low-interest loans, gas storage tax credits, and cash for a moveable gas liquefaction plant and distribution system.
This plan jump-started private sector efforts for transporting natural gas in the Interior. It will slash energy costs for homes and businesses.
Tonight, I ask you to grant legislative authority to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA) to move this Interior Energy Plan forward.
I also ask you to fully fund Power Cost Equalization, renewable energy grants, and our budget request for the Susitna-Watana Hydro project.
Taken together, these investments will keep us on the road to achieving our goal of 50 percent renewable energy. It's an important goal that we set, and it's a commitment that we intend to keep.