Although Alaska and Hawaii hope to one day shake hands over a natural gas deal, neither one is quite ready for the plunge.
One reason is that vast gas resources available from Alaska’s North Slope and potential gas from offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean have no way to get to market. A proposed multibillion-dollar pipeline that would reach markets in Mainland states has been halted because the U.S. is saturated in natural gas from current production and other sources.
Although Anchorage’s natural gas supply is plentiful, infrastructure development and drilling rigs are not.
There is no doubt that Alaska will be a large supplier of natural gas, but questions remain as to when.
Hawaii, on the other hand, is looking to make a transition to cheaper, cleaner, and renewable energy sources that will meet the environmental demands desired.
Hawaii is not ready for a transition yet. Decisions must be made when it comes to infrastructure.
Another roadblock could be the Jones Act, which requires the use of vessels that are built, owned, registered, and crewed by U.S. citizens. Such regulations add expense to Alaskan natural gas development and transportation.