Lawmakers are in Juneau this week for a special session on the state’s massive gas line project.
The session may be a little less contentious – and a little shorter – than expected, after the Governor pulled one item on the agenda, at the last minute.
At a press conference Friday, less than 24 hours before lawmakers gaveled in for their third special session of the year, Governor Bill Walker announced that he would not introduce his most controversial proposal – a bill to tax natural gas reserves.
Walker said he was taking the step after receiving assurances from the state’s partners in the Alaska LNG project, that if any one company pulls out, it will not withhold its gas from the pipeline.
Walker released letters from BP and ConocoPhillips, and said he had verbal assurances from ExxonMobil, that they would negotiate some kind of withdrawal agreement by Dec. 4.
“What it gives is the assurance that we’ll have gas for our gas line,” Walker said.
Without the reserves tax, there is one major item on the agenda: whether the state should buy out TransCanada. That company currently shares the state’s one-quarter stake in the project.