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A renewed sense of optimism for exploration

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It seems there is no end to the good news coming out of Cook Inlet these days.

For a long time, all we heard about was the decline of the industry that had for so long been the buoy for our area -- oil, gas and energy. That perhaps there weren't the resources left, or that the investment wasn't worth the financial risk.

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But, now more than ever, it seems that perception is reality in the Inlet.

Like the residents who believed in its potential, who knew it so well, the companies discovered the same.

Escopeta says it has discovered 3.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Kitchen Lights Unit north of Nikiski during initial drilling and that news has caused ripple effects throughout the community, once again lifting the hopes of residents and producers alike.

Gone for the most part are the days of the major producers relying on older wells. Instead a host of smaller companies are eager to explore, test and prove up the resources in the Inlet. And what they are finding is what we hoped -- our offerings are still flush.

There is a flurry of conversation about what companies are doing, where they are looking and what tests are being done.

Each time they find something, each time progress is made, each time a well proves up it betters the environment -- economically and socially. Jobs, energy security, economic stability, things that our community used to take for granted we can feel comfortable looking for again.

The excitement seems to snowball, drawing more interest from other smaller companies. Good news leads to a renewed sense of optimism of exploration and we're thankful that spirit is alive and well once again.

As things develop and companies have resources to get to market, we need to remember that we shouldn't stand in the way. Our local and state legislators and officials should make it a priority to assist in the clean and responsible development and production of these discoveries.

A great deal of infrastructure and planning is likely needed and therefore a great amount of headache could follow, which we should seek to minimize at all levels.

As a community we've done a good job of building up excitement and interest in our resources, been lucky enough those hopes have started to materialize in the form of discoveries and now we need to make sure we are being as business friendly as possible.

In short: We're continually encouraged by the news coming out of the Inlet. The fact that more and more discoveries are being announced is leading us to be more and more optimistic about our future and that's something to be thankful for.

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