The Alaska state Senate voted 15-5 to pass legislation that would enable the large diameter, natural gas pipeline to move forward. The vote was 15-5. Four Democrats and one Republican voted against the bill. Democrats proposed 16 amendments–ranging from greater ownership in the line to a change in tax structure–all of which failed.
At anywhere from $45 to $65 billion, if built, it will be one of the biggest, most expensive projects in the world.
The proposal partners the state with BP, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips as well as Canadian pipeline company TransCanada Corp. It’s the latter partnership which appears to be the major concern for most who voted against it, including Republican Sen. Bert Stedman, who wrote the following letter detailing his concerns. The legislation now moves to the House. It’s not normally so, but in this case that chamber appears to be the more deliberative body.