Sen. Sullivan says Alaska's natural gas could play a role in curbing effects of climate change

Published: Mar. 17, 2019 at 6:45 PM AKDT
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Top military leaders are urging President Trump to consider climate change as a threat to national security, and U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan says Alaska natural gas can be a big part of the solution.

Channel 2 spoke with Sullivan on this divide between the Trump Administration and certain military experts. Sullivan says he acknowledges climate change as a threat, and the U.S. should consider a plan to utilize Alaska’s large supply of natural gas to export to foreign markets.

“I always say one of the best ways you can work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is ship clean, burning Alaska natural gas to Japan, to Korea, to Taiwan, to China,” Sullivan said. “That would do more to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions than almost any other thing that we can do.”

Sullivan did not criticize the president's stance on climate change, but did not understate the impacts a changing climate has on Alaska’s strategic military infrastructure.

“You come to Alaska, you see that climate change is clearly happening,” Sullivan said. “There’s no doubt about it. It’s happening all over the state.”

President Trump has turned to his social media platforms to express skepticism about climate change.

He is challenging the science, despite warnings from the Climate and Security Advisory Group -- a voluntary group comprised of over 40 military experts calling for executive action to “address the security risks of climate change at all levels of national security planning.”

But Sullivan believes Alaska may have one solution that can make everyone happy. He says his role as a U.S. senator from Alaska is to promote widespread use of natural gas as a clean source of energy. The key lies in aligning international government and market interests.

"At some point, there's opportunity to commercialize that gas not just for export, but for Alaskans who need it. It's a great source of low-cost, clean-burning energy for us," Sullivan said.