JUNEAU --The Parnell administration's natural gas proposal, which supporters say could lead to the biggest infrastructure project ever built in Alaska, cleared a divided state Senate Tuesday on a 15-5 vote over the opposition of four Anchorage Democrats and a single Republican.
The liquefied natural gas measure was debated for about five hours Tuesday with Democrats proposing 16 amendments, all of which failed to varying degrees, including one that would have made Alaska a majority owner of the ambitious project.
... The legislation, Senate Bill 138, creates a framework for a three-part project that the Parnell administration says is designed to bring Alaska's vast reserves of natural gas to commercial markets in Asia.
The components are a North Slope treatment plant, an 800-mile gas pipeline and a natural gas liquefaction plant and export facility planned for Nikiski.
... The proposal makes the state a partner with the North Slope's major oil producers -- BP, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips -- and pipeline company TransCanada Corp. in a project that would cost $45 billion to $65 billion. The state would be a direct investor with a 25 percent share -- although it could turn over all or a majority of its share of the pipeline and a North Slope gas treatment plant to TransCanada.
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