A meandering blog with no clear topic. You will find me talking about knitting, building, kids, social and economic issues, Alaska, and lots of other stuff.

Thursday, September 27, 2007



A fertilizer factory here in Alaska, which has provided jobs for up to 300 people, has shut down. You can read about it in the link above, and I heard about it on NPR this morning as I was driving to work. It's not shutting down because it is losing money, not profitable, as is the case for most businesses that don't succeed. It is shutting down because fertilizer is made from natural gas, and there isn't enough. Not enough natural gas. Natural gas is what heats 52% of US homes, is what generates about 20% of our current electricity, and accounts for 95% of all new power plants in the planning/building stages. And there is not enough.

Two winters ago, it shut down for a month due to a shortage of natural gas to make the fertilizer. Last year, it shut down for the entire winter, and reopened in the summer when there was less demand elsewhere for natural gas for heat. This year, it shut its doors for good.

Is this worrisome to anyone else but me? I guess it all boils down to the feeling I have that if there isn't enough natural gas, and there isn't enough oil, and there aren't enough solar, wind, tide, hydroelectric, or other means of power generation to cover, then we are heading for a pretty big mess.


Anonymous said...

It is unforntunate that the State is loosing all of these jobs at Agrium and the State doesn't even seem to care. They care about a $3.0 million dairy that employs a few but a $100 million plus industry employing over 150 people and the Governor doens't care. It is unfortunate. Maybe if it was in the Mat valley she would care??

Anonymous said...

There is not a sortage of natural gas in Alaska… there is a shortage of natural gas in the Kenai area because this natural gas is being EXPORTED out of the state. Instead of employing local people, and creating a finished product, the state has allowed for export of raw resources.