The latest on the special session: Legislators want to analyze buyout risk, rewards

  • Saturday, October 24, 2015 2:43pm
  • News

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The latest on the opening day of the Alaska Legislature’s special session (all times local):

1:05 p.m.

Republican legislative leaders say they want to know more about the potential risks and rewards surrounding a decision on whether the state should buy out gas pipeline project partner TransCanada Corp.

They also want to know how the state will pay for its share.

The Legislature opened a special session Saturday to consider buying out TransCanada’s share in the project. As currently structured, TransCanada would hold the state’s interest in a gas treatment plant and pipeline.

Gov. Bill Walker is arguing for a buyout, saying it would give the state a greater say in the project.

The House Finance Committee began holding hearings on the issue Saturday.

11:25 a.m.

The Alaska Legislature has gaveled in for the start of a special session focused on buying out one of the state’s partners in a proposed liquefied natural gas project.

The original agenda had included a gas reserves tax, which Walker said would ensure the project could not be stalled if a company doesn’t allow gas it controls to be commercialized.

But the administration pulled the item after receiving written assurances from two of the state’s producer-partners, BP and ConocoPhillips, that they would be willing to make gas available to a project if they are not participating. Terms still must be finalized. Walker was hopeful for a similar commitment from the third producer-partner, Exxon Mobil Corp.

This is the third special session this year; the first two were budget related.

8:30 a.m.

Gov. Bill Walker says he’s excited about the possibility of a gas pipeline.

Walker opened an overview briefing for legislators, the public and others on gas project-related issues ahead of the official start of a special legislative session.

During the special session, legislators will be asked to consider whether to buy-out one of the state’s partners in a proposed liquefied natural gas project. Walker has cast the proposed buyout of TransCanada as a way to give the state a greater say in the project. As currently structured, TransCanada would hold the state’s interest in the pipeline and gas treatment plant.

The House and Senate are scheduled to gavel in to start the special session later Saturday morning

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