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Joint Statement by the President and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau on the United States-Canada Agreement on a Natural Gas Pipeline

September 08, 1977

Today, we have agreed in principle on the elements of a joint proposal to construct the Alcan-Foothills pipeline along the Alaska Highway to transport Alaskan natural gas through Canada to the lower 48 States and at a later time Canadian gas to Canadian markets.

This joint undertaking will be the largest single private energy project in history. The detailed agreement we hope to sign next week is an example of how both countries can work together to meet their energy needs.

After the agreement is signed, each of us intends to submit our decisions to our respective legislative bodies for the appropriate authorizations and assurances. We are both hopeful the project will be approved.

Major benefits from this project will accrue to both countries. When the pipeline is built, Canada will have a much greater ability to develop its own gas reserves, particularly in the frontier regions of the Mackenzie Delta.

The U.S., in turn, will have the enormous benefit of new natural gas supplies from the North Slope of Alaska at a significantly lower cost-of-service price than could have been achieved through an all-U.S. route.

This agreement serves the mutual interest of both countries and the national interest of each. Its underlying rationale is that both countries working together can move more energy more efficiently than either country working by itself. Under the expected cost estimates, this agreement improves the 20-year cost-of-service average price in 1975 dollars to the American consumer by at least $.08 per thousand cubic feet over the price that would have resulted from the route through Dawson and $. 12 per thousand cubic feet for the Canadian consumer. At the expected volumes, the project will result in a $6 billion savings for American consumers over the life of the project when compared to the proposal to liquify and ship the gas from Alaska.

While providing Canada the opportunity to accelerate development of its gas reserves and providing for billions of dollars of additional investment in the Canadian economy, this pipeline will stimulate the gas industry in Canada, and together with the early prospect of connecting new sources of supply, will generally enhance the availability of gas to meet market needs.

The potential to secure increased Canadian, as well as Alaskan supplies, and the magnitude of consumer savings that can be achieved by an all-pipeline route guarantee the superiority of this proposal.

We have decided to embark together on this historic project which holds the promise of great benefits to both countries, and which confirms anew the strength of the ties that link us.

Jimmy Carter, Joint Statement by the President and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau on the United States-Canada Agreement on a Natural Gas Pipeline Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/241664

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