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  Alaska gov. may bypass lawmakers to OK gas pipeline
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Last EditedRP  Oct 12, 2006 09:15pm
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News DateFriday, October 13, 2006 12:55:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionOutgoing Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski said on Thursday he may sign a deal for a $20 billion North Slope natural gas pipeline even if state lawmakers fail to approve the measure, which has been criticized as too generous to oil companies.

Murkowski leaves office on December 4 after losing a reelection bid in August.

"We're looking at that as an alternative, but it's far too early to make a definitive determination," he said at a news conference.

"We're going to continue to work on it. We might have a surprise before we leave," he said.

Even if Murkowski forges ahead without lawmaker consent, the action may not be binding. A June 22 opinion by Alaska's legislative counsel said the contract Murkowski wants would be illegal. The legislature has refused to change those laws.
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