Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin defended the construction of a $26 billion natural gas pipeline on Friday saying this energy resource is needed and will contribute to the U.S. economy, environment and national security.

Some critics question if there is sufficient demand for natural gas for the colossal cost of the project.

Palin said today demand is on the rise and anyone who thinks that the U.S. doesn't need this pipeline is absolutely short-sighted because natural gas is an alternative for America to not rely on foreign sources of energy.

Its going to happen and we are very excited about this development, Palin told MSNBC's anchor Matt Lauer from the '˜Today Show' on Friday.

Yesterday, TransCanada and ExxonMobil announced they reached an agreement to work together to build a pipeline that will allow natural gas to flow from Alaska's North Slope, to Canada and 48 states in the U.S. It is expected to be completed in ten years distributing 4.5 billion cubic feet per day.

Exxon -the world's largest traded oil and natural gas firm - controls the more natural gas reserves in Alaska's North Slope than any other company.

Two other oil giants with significant holdings in the region, ConocoPhillips and BP PLC, have been developing another pipeline project called Denali-The Alaska Gas Pipeline LLC.