- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The latest after Alaska Gov. Bill Walker called lawmakers into a special session to deal with natural gas pipeline issues:

5:10 p.m.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker on Thursday called lawmakers into special session to kick-start stalled consideration of the Alaska natural gas pipeline project.

Walker is also proposing that the state buy out a Canadian partner in the project.

Walker says this may be seen as a bold move, but he tells The Associated Press that had it been done years ago, “we might be looking at a gas line.”

The multibillion dollar project remains in the preliminary design phase. TransCanada is one of four partners in the project. Walker says if the Legislature agrees to buy them out, it will be just seen as a business decision.

Walker also intends to push for a legislation package to reinstate a reserve tax on North Slope resources in the ground that are not developed. He says it’s time Alaska starts acting like the sovereign owner state it is.


4:06 p.m.

Gov. Bill Walker has called lawmakers into a third special session this year. It starts Oct. 24 in Juneau.

Walker said the special session will address the proposed natural gas pipeline and buying out a Canadian partner.

The pipeline is seen as a way for the state to inject new revenue into state coffers as North Slope oil production dwindles and oil prices plummet. The partners in the proposed pipeline are Exxon Mobil, BP, ConocoPhillips and TransCanada

Under an agreement that predates Walker’s administration, TransCanada, a Canadian pipeline company, would hold the state’s interest in the pipeline and gas treatment plant, with the state having an option to buy back part of that interest

Walker proposes buying TransCanada’s share to give the state a voice in the negotiations.

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