- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The latest on the special session in Juneau (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

The Alaska House has narrowly passed a resolution stemming from confusion over the organization of the state’s gas project team.

It’s only a symbolic measure and has no legal standing.

The resolution calls on Gov. Bill Walker to clearly designate the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. as having the state’s voice in the decision-making process for the liquefied natural gas project Alaska’s pursuing with other partners. It also urges Walker to identify those who will support and advise AGDC in that work.

Democratic Rep. Scott Kawasaki says the tone of the resolution says, “We don’t trust you.”

But House Speaker Mike Chenault says concerns were raised about the gas team organization.

While Walker says he’s in charge, Chenault says he can’t be handling the day-to-day issues. Chenault says there needs to be someone coordinating state agencies and AGDC and making sure they’re on task.

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5:02 p.m.

Gov. Bill Walker is thanking legislators for passing a bill authorizing the buyout of one of the state’s partners in a proposed liquefied natural gas project.

In a release, Walker says he applauds the Legislature “for coming together to help advance a project that best serves Alaska’s future.”

With the state facing a budget deficit amid low oil prices, Walker says the gas project is Alaska’s “No. 1 get-well card.”

The House on Wednesday passed legislation authorizing the state to buyout TransCanada Corp.’s interest in the project. The Senate did so on Tuesday.

The other project partners are BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil Corp.

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3:59 p.m.

The Alaska House has adjourned from the special legislative session after approving legislation to buy out one of the state’s partners in a major proposed gas project.

The House concluded its work Wednesday. The Senate passed the buyout bill Tuesday but doesn’t meet again until Thursday, when it can formally end the session.

Gov. Bill Walker called the session to consider buying out TransCanada Corp. The state faced a year-end decision on how or whether to continue its relationship with TransCanada.

The legislation was the only bill on the session agenda, though legislators also introduced and voted on resolutions on offshore lease sales.

The House also debated a resolution urging Walker to clearly describe who’s authorized to help the state-sanctioned Alaska Gasline Development Corp. as it participates in the gas project.

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12:48 p.m.

The Alaska Legislature has approved buying out one of the state’s partners in a proposed major gas project that many hope could be a boon for the state as oil production drops.

The House voted 39-0 on Wednesday. The Senate passed it 16-3 on Tuesday.

Lawmakers have been meeting in special session since Oct. 24 to consider Gov. Bill Walker’s recommendation that the state buy out TransCanada Corp.’s interest in the project.

Under a deal predating Walker’s term, TransCanada held Alaska’s interest in a pipeline and gas treatment plant, while the state-sanctioned Alaska Gasline Development Corp. held Alaska’s interest in liquefaction facilities. With the buyout, the gas line corporation is expected to acquire TransCanada’s interest.

The legislation authorizes $157 million for buyout- and project-related costs. Of that, an estimated $68 million will go to TransCanada.

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9:10 a.m.

The House Finance Committee has advanced legislation to authorize a buyout of one of the state’s partners in a major proposed liquefied natural gas project.

The version of the bill that advanced Wednesday morning is the same that passed the Senate on Tuesday.

A vote by the full House could come as early as Wednesday.

The Legislature is meeting in special session to consider Gov. Bill Walker’s recommendation that the state buy out TransCanada Corp.’s interest in the project. Under an arrangement predating Walker taking office, TransCanada would hold the state’s interest in a pipeline and gas treatment plant, and the state-sanctioned Alaska Gasline Development Corp., or AGDC, would hold the state’s interest in liquefaction facilities.

If the buyout is approved, AGDC would acquire TransCanada’s interest.

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