Policy: Environment & Energy

Alaska Senate passes bill to advance gas project

News,Business,Alaska,Energy and Environment,Natural Gas

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Senate has passed legislation aimed at advancing a major liquefied natural gas project, over nagging concerns about the role of TransCanada Corp.

The vote was 15-5. Republican Sen. Bert Stedman joined minority Democrats Hollis French, Bill Wielechowski, Johnny Ellis and Berta Gardner in voting against.

Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash had hoped for a resounding vote, as a message to the other project partners and markets about Alaska's resolve to get a project moving.

SB138 sets a gas tax rate that, combined with royalty, would give Alaska roughly a 25 percent equity share in the project, according to Balash.

While many lawmakers say they want a project, some expressed concerns with the role of TransCanada, which would hold the state's interest in a pipeline and gas treatment plant.

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