The Morning Headlamp – Special Session Day 13 –: Bye For Now, Juneau…TransCanada buyout passes, ending special session, but lawmakers’ concerns don’t go quietly…AKLNG is AK economy’s white knight…

That’s a wrap, for now… The Alaska Dispatch News, Alaska Journal of Commerce, Juneau Empire among others, covered the House’s unanimous vote approving Governor Bill Walker’s proposed $160 million deal to buyout TransCanada from the AKLNG megaproject. Echoing the Senate’s decision a day earlier, House Speaker Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski) called the deal “the right call to make, regardless of what side of the aisle you were on.”

The approval was not much of a surprise, as AK lawmakers showed strong support for SB138, the framework for developing Alaska’s natural gas, and AGIA, legislation that formalized the current TransCanada agreement. The two votes saw close to 80% support, if not higher, across both chambers of the Legislature.

However, following the Senate’s lead again, the House passed a resolution calling for unanswered questions from this month’s special session to be addressed. Rep. Charisse Millett (R-Anchorage) acknowledged that the administration’s lack of clarity in special session hearings “should scare all of us.” Headlamp suspects that lawmakers’ questions will not be ending with the Special Session…

Alaska Dispatch News covered reports of  looming cuts as a result of the recent fall in oil prices. Producers ConocoPhillips and Repsol both have made employment cuts and pulled out of potential projects as oil prices have made for a tight financial environment. Some estimates  indicate that the worst is yet to come. According to Rebecca Logan, general manager of our very own Alaska Support Industry Alliance, “Come January or February it will be a whole different picture.” Headlamp hopes that the state takes its new role in AKLNG seriously, thousands of Alaskans are relying on this megaproject’s success to jumpstart AK’s economy…

A News Miner editorial praises both Houses on their ability to put partisan differences aside and work together to facilitate a bicameral approval of the AKLNG appropriation proposal, “The TransCanada buyout was the best way to ensure progress continues toward that line, and the Legislature, to their credit, didn’t let partisan differences sunder the bill. There’s plenty of ground left to cover on the way to gas line construction, but this session’s action was heartening.” Headlamp also applauds the cooperation.   


First Reads

House Approves TransCanada Buyout

Alaska State House of Representatives, November 4, 2015

Alaska House approves gas pipeline bill, wraps up special legislative session

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, November 4, 2015

Oil patch slump oozing anxiety throughout the industry

Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, November 4, 2015

A step forward on gas line: Speedy special session shows Legislatures potential sans partisanship

News Miner, Editorial, November 5, 2015


Alaska Legislature News

Legislature approves governor’s gasline proposal, TransCanada buyout

KTUU, Austin Baird, November 4, 2015

Pipeline plan passes

Juneau Empire, James Brooks, November 4, 2015

Attorney General grilled over transparency

Alaska Journal of Commerce, Tim Bradner, November 4, 2015


Alaska Energy News

Arctic drilling complaint clears Legislature

Juneau Empire, James Brooks, November 5, 2015

State approves Point Thomson pipeline

Juneau Empire, November 5, 2015

US denies company’s request to delay pipeline review

WTAE, November 5, 2015