While efforts to build up infrastructure for North Slope natural gas to be distributed amongst Fairbanks residents is consuming much of the Borough commissioners’ time, State government has been busy strengthening ‘intentions and mutual cooperation’ about liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments with Japan through memorandum of agreements. Gov. Sean Parnell signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in September state positive terms per LNG exported from Alaska. Though this is not a contract it does keep things moving so that there are meetings and continued communications. Japan has had to diversify its fuel stocks since shutting its nuclear power plants down the last couple years since the Fukashima meltdown, and natural gas has been on the top of their list in replacing nuclear. Though not known by many, it is U.S./Japanese fuel exporting that large in part provoked Japan’s aggression against the U.S. almost three quarters a century ago when Dean Acheson pushed for barring exports of precious oil from Japan’s war machine in Asia (1940). Japanese Prime Minister Konoye even offered to secretly meet after the fact on behalf of Emperor Hirohito with a willing FDR in Juneau among other places to ease sanctions and remove Japanese troops out of China, but other American politicians -and ironically Chiang Kai-shek – foiled the effort. Tojo then replaced Konoye and headed the drive toward Pearl Harbor….. the rest is history. Fuel is important and moves nation’s destinies!

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