Removing TransCanada from Partnership will Advance Pipeline Project and Increase Alaska’s Ownership Share

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2015

JUNEAU – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives joined the Alaska Senate in approving legislation funding the buyout of TransCanada from the long-awaited AKLNG natural gas pipeline project.  Removing TransCanada from the AKLNG partnership increases the state of Alaska’s total ownership share in the pipeline and associated infrastructure up to twenty-five percent.

“The state of Alaska can reap tremendous financial rewards by increasing our ownership share in the natural gas pipeline project,” said Rep. Chris Tuck.  “With TransCanada out of the way, Alaska will now be on equal footing with our other partners.  This will protect our sovereignty as the owners of the resource and ensure the benefits of a pipeline are shared by all Alaskans.”

TransCanada’s participation in the AKLNG project was a holdover from the administration of Governor Parnell.  However, it was envisioned that TransCanada would not be needed to advance the project and provisions were included in the AKLNG authorizing legislation allowing for the removal of TransCanada from the partnership.  Governor Bill Walker exercised his authority for the state to take advantage of the clean “off ramp” provided for in SB 138 and the legislation approved today by the House funds that “off ramp”.  The legislation also funds the state’s share of work that must be done over the next several months to advance the AKLNG project to the next phase of development.

“The testimony in committee showed that removing TransCanada was without question the obvious thing to do to protect Alaska’s interests and advance the AKLNG project,” said House Finance Committee member Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks).  “With TransCanada in the project Alaska had to accept all the risk with limited rewards on our investment.  Now the risk stays the same but the reward is bigger and has the potential to help our long-term future.”

Senate Bill 3001 was approved Tuesday in the Alaska Senate by a vote of 16-3.  The bill was approved unanimously today in the Alaska House of Representatives by a vote of 39-0.  The bill authorizes $69 million to buyout TransCanada, $75 million to pay cash calls for remaining Pre-Feed work by the December 4 deadline, and $13.6 million for state agencies to continue working on the AKLNG project. 

“Buying out TransCanada has the potential to earn Alaska billions of dollars in additional revenue if the AKLNG project becomes a reality,” said House Resources Committee member Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage).  “That was just too good of a deal to pass up and I am thankful my colleagues in the House and Senate came to that same conclusion.”

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