[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/12/art.pipeline.gi.jpg caption="Palin is praising a deal to build a $26 billion pipeline in Alaska."](CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is pushing back against critics of the proposed $26 billion natural gas pipeline in her state, saying demand for natural gas is on the rise in the United States.
"By probably 2030, we’ll see about a 40 percent increase in demand for natural gas," Palin told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview set to air at 6 p.m. ET on The Situation Room. "Domestically, we have the supply. The resources are up there in Alaska, and it’s time that we build this infrastructure and flow that very valuable resource into hungry markets throughout the U.S."
Palin's comments come in the wake of questions by some critics of the proposal whether there is an adequate demand for the massive expenditure.
The Alaska governor called those views "short sighted" and said the project is "right for our nation’s security and for our environment, for our economy."
The former Republican vice presidential candidate also praised the recent alliance of TransCanada and Exxon Mobil - the two rivals in the years-long battle of who would build the pipeline - and take a stake in the future revenue it generates.
Palin, who has long courted such a deal, was on hand in Texas to announce the joint-project.
"It’s a great venue that we have, a vehicle called AGIA, the Alaska Gas Line Inducement Act, and believe me, Exxon, the largest company in the world, and TransCanada, the best pipeline building company in the world, I’m sure they would not have aligned and committed to building this project had they not crunched the numbers and figured out that for their bottom line," she said.
Watch Sarah Palin's full interview at 4 and 6 p.m. ET on The Situation Room