Panel to Advance Common Interests in Natural Gas Pipeline, Related Issues
May 15, 2004
"Alaska and Alberta share common challenges and common opportunities," said Murkowski. "As world-class energy-producing regions, we face special economic, technical, legal and social challenges. By working cooperatively to share our experience and expertise through this Council, we can meet these challenges for the benefit of our selves and our respective nations."
Established in 2002, the Council seeks to provide a forum to promote cross-border cooperation between governments, business, legislators and citizens; to develop informal forums to avoid and resolve potential conflicts; to work in tandem in matters involving their respective federal governments; and to share each others' experience in developing best industry practices.
The council will be closely involved in energy issues, especially those relating to construction of a natural gas pipeline to bring natural gas from the Arctic to southern markets via Alberta's pipeline hub, Murkowski said. It will also address other areas of mutual concern including surface and air transportation, aboriginal rights, international trade and investment, sustainable development, public health, and tourism.
Alberta's Council co-chair is Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations Halvar Jonson. Murkowski has appointed Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes as the leader of the state's delegation, which includes a number of prominent state government, business and civic leaders:
"This is an outstanding group of Alaskans, representing a broad spectrum of experience and interests that will be essential in helping us derive all the benefits possible from cooperating with our counterparts in Alberta," said Murkowski. "I am especially pleased that Attorney General Renkes has accepted the responsibility of leading our state's delegation to the Council. His experience in federal and state government, natural resources and energy issues, the legal rights of Native people, and public administration make him an ideal man for the job."
Murkowski and Klein will meet on Monday afternoon to sign a reaffirmation of the Memorandum of Understanding that established the council, in a ceremony in the Alberta's legislative building.
On Tuesday, Renkes and Jonson
will convene the Council to begin considering strategies to coordinate
efforts on the priority issues relating to the proposed construction
of a natural gas pipeline. Council members will also establish
work plan committees on other issues they identify as priorities.
Source of News Release: