JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) _ The Alaska Senate has passed legislation aimed at advancing a major liquefied natural gas project, over nagging concerns about the role of TransCanada Corp.
The vote was 15-5. Republican Sen. Bert Stedman joined minority Democrats Hollis French, Bill Wielechowski, Johnny Ellis and Berta Gardner in voting against.
Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash had hoped for a resounding vote, as a message to the other project partners and markets about Alaska's resolve to get a project moving.
SB138 sets a gas tax rate that, combined with royalty, would give Alaska roughly a 25 percent equity share in the project, according to Balash.
While many lawmakers say they want a project, some expressed concerns with the role of TransCanada, which would hold the state's interest in a pipeline and gas treatment plant.