Alaska gas line project gets expected approval of export to free-trade nations



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JUNEAU, Alaska — A federal agency has approved the export of liquefied natural gas from a proposed mega-project in Alaska to free-trade nations.

The U.S. Department of Energy said Friday that the automatic approval, which was required by law, should not be read to indicate the department's views on a still-pending request to export to non-free trade countries, like Japan.

Pacific Rim nations such as Japan have been eyed as possible markets for the project, which is being pursued by the state, TransCanada Corp., and the North Slope's three major energy companies. A final decision on whether to build the project has not been made.

Federal pipeline coordinator Larry Persily said more significant than Friday's order was the relatively little opposition the department received related to the project's export license application.

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