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Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System - Statement on Signing H.J. Res 621 Into Law

November 08, 1977

The energy crisis presents an unprecedented challenge that calls for creative solutions. That is why I take special pride in signing today the joint resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives approving my choice of the Alcan project to carry Alaskan natural gas through Canada to the lower 48 States:

This pipeline project will span almost 5,000 miles across the North American Continent. It will be the largest privately financed energy project ever undertaken. It will deliver an additional 1 trillion cubic feet of reasonably priced natural gas to American markets every year. It will save American consumers $6 billion over what other routes would cost during a 20-year period.

But despite the scope of this project, it is sobering to realize that it will add only 5 percent to the Nation's supply of natural gas. And natural gas itself will account for only 25 percent of our total energy supply. Even with the Alcan project we will continue to be gravely dependent on imported oil to meet our energy needs. Later this evening I will discuss with the Nation in more detail the enormous challenge which lies ahead, and the consequences of our failure to act on a comprehensive national energy program.

I want to compliment the Congress on their swift response to my recommendation in the midst of their consideration of the National Energy Plan. I also want particularly to thank Senator Jackson, the floor leader in the Senate, and chairmen Morris Udall and Harley Staggers in the House, as well as subcommittee chairmen John Dingell and Teno Roncalio for their efforts in securing early approval of the resolution.

I am asking Ambassador Towe to convey to Prime Minister Trudeau the proud sense of partnership we feel today at embarking upon this new joint venture. As the Prime Minister and I observed when our agreement was announced, the two countries working together can transport more energy more efficiently than either working alone. The United States will gain the use of our Alaskan gas reserves at the lowest possible cost, and Canada will benefit through access to its frontier gas reserves and the economic activity of constructing and operating this project.

Ultimately, it will be our willingness to consider solutions like this that may well determine this Nation's ability to survive the threats posed by the energy crisis. I will talk more about that tonight. Alcan is just one step in a long series of steps-represented in part by the National Energy Plan--that we must take. We should be both proud of the progress we mark today and humbled by the task that lies ahead.

Note: As enacted, H.J. Res. 621 is Public Law 95-158, approved November 8.

Jimmy Carter, Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System - Statement on Signing H.J. Res 621 Into Law Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242618

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