Thursday, November 15, 2012

First Nations and Alaskan Tribes show support for Alberta-Alaska rail link

Canada's First Nations and Alaskan Tribes have expressed support for a new "purpose built" railway that would link Alaska with Yukon, northern British Columbia and northern Alberta to the rest of North America.

The railway, being proposed by G Seven Generations Ltd. (G7G), would provide access to Pacific tidewater for the import and export of commodities, including oil sands products.

"The greatest strength of our Alberta-Alaska railway concept is the support it has received from First Nations along the route," G7G CEO Matt Vickers said. "Studies have already demonstrated that a rail link to Alaska is a viable alternative to the oil pipelines currently being planned through British Columbia. This approach is timely because it promises significant economic benefits to First Nations communities and all of Canada, while avoiding many of the environmental risks associated with current pipeline proposals and related supertanker traffic off BC's West Coast."

A key advantage of G7G's rail link is that it would utilize the existing marine terminal in Valdez, Alaska, which is facing a declining supply of oil from Alaska's North Slope. The estimated 2,400-kilometer (1,500-mile)-long railway would run northwest from Fort McMurray, AB, to connect with the Alyeska Pipeline at Delta Junction, approximately 130 kilometers (80 miles) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) currently carries oil from the North Slope to the Valdez marine super tanker terminal.

G7G will now complete the project's feasibility study and community information meetings. The next phase is the approval process, which will include full community consultation and accommodation and lead to the development of the business plan.

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