Rhonda McBride talks with the governor about natural gas legislation
JUNEAU – With one month to go until the 2014 legislative session comes to close, the House is rushing to finish work on Gov. Sean Parnell’s natural gas legislation.
After a debate that dragged on for six hours Tuesday, Senate Bill 138 passed the Senate 15-5.
Leading up to the vote, Democrats introduced 16 amendments, which they say are necessary to fix major flaws in the bill identified by two consultants for the Legislature, who have not been invited to testify at numerous committee hearings held so far.
SB 138 is what’s called “enabling legislation.” It sets the stage for the state to work on what’s been dubbed the “Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas Project” in partnership with three oil companies – Exxon Mobile, ConocoPhillips and BP – as well as TransCanada, the largest pipeline company in North America.
There’s never been a partnership like this in state history. Typically, the state and the oil companies have been at odds, but the bill funds the state’s efforts to investigate whether ownership in the project is a good idea — and whether the megaproject can find the financing or enough customers for Alaska’s gas.
KTVA’s Rhonda McBride sat down with Parnell Wednesday and asked him about the amendments and other issues involving the AKLNG project.