JUNEAU, Alaska, April 5 (UPI) -- Alaskan lawmakers need to stand together to make plans for a natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48 states a reality, the federal Alaskan pipeline czar said.
The U.S. Senate in March confirmed Larry Persily as the federal coordinator for an Alaskan natural gas project.
U.S. President Barack Obama aims to expand Persily's post through an Office of the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Projects.
Persily told lawmakers in Juneau that a natural gas pipeline to the Lower 48 could become a reality despite internal differences and pressure from lobbyists for coal, the Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News Miner reports.
Advocates note Obama has placed a natural gas pipeline in Alaska on a list of top five green energy projects for the United States. However, opponents say new technology to exploit gas locked in shale deposits in the Lower 48 undermines the need for the natural gas pipeline to feed U.S. markets.
"(You've) got to get the country thinking more about natural gas," urged Persily.
TransCanada is competing with Denali, a joint venture between BP and ConocoPhillips, to build a natural gas pipeline in the state.