Alaska is the answer to a number of critical national security questions in our nation’s history. For example, during World War II, the 1,800-mile Alaska highway was built in just eight months to pry open military access to the North Pacific theater. In 1973, the OPEC oil embargo drove up the price of gasoline more than 40 percent; Congress quickly authorized the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and Alaska went on to start producing 20 percent of the nation’s oil.
Energy security equals national security and now Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens the world’s energy supply. Europe draws 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia, perhaps why Russia chose to invade in the dead of winter.
And although the U.S. recently became the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), serving allies across both the Atlantic and Pacific, our supply is still stretched thin. Today we have limited ability to meet additional European energy needs if the Russian spigot closes. A recent Wall Street Journal report notes “Given that U.S. LNG cargoes have Asian customers, where supply is also tight, there isn’t infinite wiggle room.”