With the announcement a week ago by Senate President Lyda Green that she will not seek re-election, there has been talk that Kodiak’s Gary Stevens might become the new leader of the Senate Majority. Reached during a break in the AGIA hearings in Anchorage, he says he has considered the possibility.
— (Stevens 1 24 sec “… advantageous, I think, in lots of ways.”)
Stevens says Green resigned because it looks like the state will grant Trans-Canada the gas line contract:
— (Stevens 2 32 sec “… with her district, I think, at that point.”)
Green became the senate president by pulling together a coalition of moderate Republicans and all the senate Democrats, leaving a half-dozen more conservative Republicans in the minority. Stevens says the majority organization accomplished a lot in the past two years:
— (Stevens 3 15 sec “… it was a very successful legislature.”)
After this year’s general election a new legislature will be seated in January, and the senators will have to form a new majority. Whether it’s drawn along party lines or once again a coalition is up in the air.
In the meantime, the legislature is spending much of the summer in special session over the gas line, holding a series of meetings around the state, including taking testimony from Big Oil representatives.
— (Stevens 4 16 sec “… once we get to Juneau in July.”)
Stevens predicted the gas line will be built by Trans-Canada and financed by banks based on the economic might of the big oil companies who participate. He also said he is not interested in allowing the Russian petroleum company Gazprom (Gas-prom) to participate in a project so important to Alaska.