The Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act (ANGTA) of 1976 was enacted in response to energy shortages being faced by the United States, including insufficient natural gas supplies. It was determined that the nation needed prompt construction of a natural gas transportation system for delivery of Alaskan natural gas to the lower 48 states. In an effort to encourage the expansion of this energy market, Congress enacted ANGTA under the Natural Gas Act of 1938. The purpose of ANGTA was to expedite the construction and operation of a pipeline transportation system, and to establish a decision-making process involving administrative, executive, and congressional participation in the natural gas transportation system. In order to ensure efficient formulation of the construction and operation plan, limits on judicial review, limits on the ability of federal and state authorities and other persons to comment, and presumed conclusiveness of the environmental impact statements were all included in the Act. Construction and operation of the Alaskan pipeline began three years after ANGTA was enacted.
Economic, political, and environmental imperatives have prevented the construction of a gas pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48 states. Declining natural gas prices in the late 1980s, high capital costs of construction, and concerns about the environmental impact of the pipeline have, at various times, combined to prevent the project from going forward. Rising energy prices and a more favorable political climate eventually produced renewed interest in the pipeline. The Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act, enacted on October 13, 2004, established the expedited federal review of a natural gas transportation project that would carry Alaska natural gas to the border of Alaska and Canada. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy and 14 other federal departments and agencies signed an agreement to expedite the permitting and construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline.
- U.S. Department of Energy. Federal Agencies Collaborate to Expedite Construction of Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline.
- U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Act Draft.