JUNEAU, Alaska, March 19 (UPI) -- Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell said a Senate vote in favor of a liquefied natural gas project was a vote in favor of his state's economic future.
The Alaska State Senate passed Bill 138 and sent it to the House of Representatives for approval. Parnell said the bill creates a framework for the state to become a co-owner of an LNG project planned by BP, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and pipeline company TransCanada Corp.
Parnell said in a statement he applauded the vote.
"Our legislation paves the way for Alaskans to become owners in the project and ensures an open, public process going forward," he said in a statement Tuesday.
The Senate bill passed 15-5, with four state Democrats and one Republican voting in opposition.
Opponents, like Minority Leader Sen. Hollis French, said the bill makes it possible for the state to eventually cede its stake in the project to the energy companies planning the $45 billion project.
"Let's don't be the caboose on the train. Let's be the conductor," he was quoted by the Anchorage Daily News as saying.