WHITEHORSE—Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie and Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski are traveling to Washington next week for a series of meetings with top decision makers as a follow-up to joint meetings in Ottawa earlier this year.
The two key issues for the leaders will be the Alaska Highway pipeline project and the proposed rail link connecting Alaska and Yukon with southern Canada and the United States.
"The work we’re doing in partnership with Governor Murkowski in Washington will be extremely important in the development and advancement of these two projects," Fentie said.
"Key meetings with decision-makers in the US government will help us move forward and get one step closer to fulfilling our commitment to Yukoners to growing a healthy, diversified economy that is putting people and communities to work."
Fentie and Murkowski will meet with:
- Frank McKenna, Canadian Ambassador
- Norman Mineta, Secretary of Transportation
- Samuel Bodman, Secretary of the Treasury
- Lynn Scarlett, Assistant Secretary of Policy for the Department of the Interior
- Lisa Murkowski, Alaskan Senator
- Don Young , Alaskan Congressman
- Pat Wood, Federal Energy Regulation Commission Chair
They also have meetings set up with several Alaska gas producers.
"By working together on both sides of the border, we can get much further in ensuring that Yukoners and Alaskans, Canadians and Americans are able to take advantage of the opportunities and benefits that will come with these projects," Fentie said.
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Contact: Peter Carr Andrea Buckley Cabinet Communications Director, Communications Government of Yukon Executive Council Office (867) 667-8688 (867) 667-5270
Backgrounder: Alaska Highway Pipeline Project (AHPP)
For more information, please visit: http://www.emr.gov.yk.ca/oilandgas/pipelines.html
The Alaska Highway pipeline would begin at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, parallel the oil pipeline to Fairbanks, and then follow the Alaska Highway through the Yukon and northeast B.C. and on into Alberta. The AHPP will carry gas to southern markets.
" Approximately 830 km, or 30% of the route, would be in the Yukon.
" The pipe itself would be 42-52 inches in diameter.
" Pipeline capacity would be 2.5-5.6 billion cubic feet/day.
The construction and operation of the AHPP is expected to generate up to 375,000 person years of employment within the Yukon and Canada over a 24-year period, and pump billions of dollars into the Canadian and Yukon economies.
There are currently two proposals for the Canadian portion of the AHPP.
" TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. has a proposal under the Northern Pipeline Act.
" The North Slope Producers are advancing a proposal that would be regulated under the traditional National Energy Board process.
" The pipeline would help us to ensure Yukon gas reserves are not stranded. The Yukon has eight sedimentary basins, and adding Yukon gas to the pipeline would stimulate economic development in the territory.
" Yukon could supply natural gas energy to residential, commercial and industrial sectors, advancing northern development.
" Over the longer term, employment in the Yukon would increase by between 1,000 and 2,000 jobs per year.
" Because skilled labor will be required for the project, opportunities will be available for education and training in project-related occupations.
" The project will create new business opportunities in construction, transportation, manufacturing, communication and utilities, business services, accommodation and food, and other services.
" Yukon's GDP, or economic output, would increase by an average of 30% over the construction and operation period.
" Regulatory certainty in Canada. The Government of Yukon is working with industry, First Nations and the federal Government to address this issue.
" Capacity for Yukon preparedness. Yukon is working to ensure all parties, including First Nations, have the resources necessary to actively participate in northern pipeline development.
Map showing the proposed Alaska highway pipeline route:
Please contact Anthony DeLorenzo, Yukon Executive Council Office (email@example.com, 867-667-5339) for electronic versions of this graphic.
Backgrounder: Alaska-Canada Rail Link
Early in 2002, the US President signed the Rails to Resources Bill into law. This bill authorized US involvement in a joint US/Canada body to conduct a feasibility study for building a rail link from Alaska, through Yukon, to northern British Columbia. Congress set aside $6 million US for this purpose and the US State Department sent a formal note to Canada asking that it participate.
To date, the Government of Canada has not officially responded to the US Governments request, which has had active support from all affected provincial and territorial governments. The Government of Yukon continues to encourage Canada to respond and proceed with a bilateral feasibility study on the proposed Alaska-Canada rail project.
From the Yukons perspective, we are confident that the study once completed will demonstrate a wide spectrum of benefits to Canada. Our preliminary analysis indicates a number of potential benefits, should the rail project become a reality:
§ It would allow for further economic diversification in the north, and provide a great boost to key industries, such as oil & gas, mining and tourism.
§ It will promote natural resource development, by providing key transportation access to the rich resources of Alaska and Yukon, both explored and unexplored.
§ As part of a larger transportation corridor, it will contribute to greater synergies with other key projects, including the proposed natural gas pipeline and enhanced telecommunications infrastructure.
§ It will allow for increased trade flows within North America and to an exceedingly important group of trade partners across the Pacific.
§ It will reduce transportation costs, and ease ongoing and significant congestion issues in the North American transportation network.
The advantages of proceeding with a joint Canada-US study are numerous, including:
1. It will allow governments to pursue the research required to assess the merits of this railway without committing either government to action beyond the conduct of the study.
2. It will allow for a clear dialogue on a vision for the north, and the opportunities that would arise through the development of a transportation corridor connecting Alaska and Yukon to the greater North American network.
3. It would demonstrate cooperation with the US on a matter that they see as important for both trade and security reasons.