Alaska House and Senate lawmakers have approved a bill (SB 3001) to facilitate the buyout of TransCanada Corp.’s stake in the Alaska LNG project to pipe, liquefy and export North Slope gas to global markets.

The bill was approved during a special session called by Gov. Bill Walker to consider the buyout (see Daily GPI, Sept. 23).

The bill authorizes an appropriation to the Alaska LNG project fund of about $68.45 million to acquire the interests of TransCanada. Additionally, the bill authorizes appropriations totaling $75.6 million related to the state’s continued participation in the project. This would fund the state’s share of preliminary front-end engineering and design work.

“As we grapple with a $3.5 billion deficit and declining oil prices and production, it is essential that we advance a gasline project that is projected to bring in billions of dollars in annual revenue,” said Gov. Bill Walker. “We know the markets need the liquefied natural gas, and it’s critical that we act expeditiously to advance this project.”

Last July, Walker told NGI his staff was working out the details of a potential buyout of TransCanada (see Daily GPI, July 10). Since taking office, the governor has argued for the state to have a larger role in the long-sought project to commercialize Alaska North Slope natural gas. “I think it’s important that Alaska, as a sovereign, has a seat at the table…” he said in July. “It’s no reflection on TransCanada in any way at all. It’s just a matter that I’ve long felt that Alaska needs a seat at that table.”