Reality Check: What do Alaska LNG plan, Iran nuclear deal have in common
The year was 2015 -- Gov. Bill Walker was approaching the end of his first year as Alaska's Governor. Rex Tillerson was C.E.O. of Exxon Mobile, the largest oil and gas company in the world.
That fall, Walker was hoping to convince lawmakers to buy out Trans Canada's share of the proposed LNG pipeline project, which they would go on to making the state equal partners with BP, ConocoPhillips and Exon Mobile. Walker's proposal apparently got under Tillerson's skin.
After years of on-again, off-again negotiations on the pipeline, the future diplomat didn't mince words.
In an interview, Tillerson expressed frustration with the way Alaska shifted strategy with every new Governor.
He said, "You can't take a project that is going to take five-six-seven years to execute and require $50 billion to $60 billion of capital and decide every two years, you've got a different way to do it."
Then the statement that made headlines; Tillerson said, "Alaska is their own worst enemy."
I remembered that statement when, now Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, defended President Trump's decision to decertify the Iran deal. The President had threatened to unilaterally withdraw from the agreement, but in the end, apparently, listened to his national security advisers, which include Tillerson.
The President may not like the deal he was handed, but the only thing that seems certain is that he cannot renegotiate it. Certainly not without the approval of our allies, which are part of the deal, or without evidence Iran has violated it.
And despite what the President says, his advisers say otherwise.
"Iran is not in material breach of the agreement and I do believe the agreement to date has delayed development of a nuclear capability by Iran," said Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
To make matters worse, the response from Iran's Foreign Minister sounded surprisingly familiar. The duration of any commitment from now on with any U.S. Administration would be the remainder of the term of that President.
"So people cannot trust anymore the word of the United States," said Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
That's right, the Iranian Foreign Minister said about the U.S., what Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said about Alaska two years ago.
So, you have to wonder if, in Tillerson's opinion, Alaska had become its own worst enemy, then, when it comes to our handling of the Iran deal, who does he think is America's worst enemy now?
John's opinions are his own and not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees.
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