"If there weren't already enough barriers to building a gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope, the Lower 48 recently entered its biggest-ever natural gas boom.
Just as the prospects for the Alaska gas line seem to be growing brighter, new drilling techniques have unlocked vast pools of natural gas all over the Lower 48, from Texas to Pennsylvania. For now, demand isn't keeping up. Prices have swooned and drill rigs are idling.
Pundits, politicians and industry executives have been speculating for months about what bountiful, cheap gas in the Lower 48 means for the North Slope's gas.
Emphasis on the word speculating.
Analyzing the economic prospects of North Slope gas requires looking into a murky future that begins in 2018 -- the earliest year that an Alaska pipeline would be finished and North Slope gas could arrive in the market -- and projecting out 30 years beyond that."