- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has signed an agreement with a Japanese energy company formally declaring a commitment to form a partnership in developing Alaska’s liquefied natural gas market.

Walker called the action taken Tuesday with Resources Energy Inc. an important first step for the state’s energy future. Under the previous administration, the state and Japanese agencies agreed to keep the lines of communication open over a proposed mega-LNG project.

Resources Energy CEO Shun Shimizu, who also signed the “cooperation agreement” Tuesday, says the company will first focus on a smaller scale LNG project in Cook Inlet and later would like to work on the larger North Slope gas development.

Officials say Japanese prefectures have been considering LNG to replace nuclear energy following the massive 2011 earthquake that shut down the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

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