An Oil Giant, Alaska Faces Gas Crisis

Poor infrastructure, focus on oil exploration behind costly supply issues
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2008 8:07 AM CST
A demonstrator wearing a costume stands behind U.S. Minerals Management Service Director Randall Luthi (R) while he testifies before the House Select Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee....   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Alaska—home of America's largest energy reserves—is facing a major energy crunch. The problem is a lack of infrastructure to get natural gas where it needs to be, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "It's the goofiest thing in the world, to be sitting on top of some of the biggest energy reserves in the world and have these challenges," one official says.

Industries reliant on natural gas are being forced to shut down, and energy prices are skyrocketing in the state's rural areas, the Monitor reports. Meanwhile, some are considering a shift to renewable forms of energy to supply small towns, but that takes money to get started. "Alternative energy is very expensive capital-wise," one electric official said.