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Murkowski's loss throws Alaskan gas line into doubt
Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski's defeat in last month's Republican primary leaves the future of his proposed natural gas pipeline project with ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips in jeopardy. Murkowski used his re-election bid as a referendum on the proposed contract. Public response was overwhelmingly negative – just under 19% of primary voters backed Murkowski and, symbolically, the proposed contract. Voters gave 51% of their support to Sarah Palin, a former small-town mayor who ran on an anti-politician platform. Palin faces former two-term Democratic governor Tony Knowles in the November general election. Palin and Knowles have said that they want to see other proposals before deciding how to proceed with the gas line deal-making. Murkowski's contract would set the tax and other terms for North Slope natural gas development and lead to construction of a $25-billion pipeline to Canada to deliver that gas into the US Midwest.
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