Sitnews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska - News, Features, Opinions...


Governor to Sign Renewal of Alberta-Alaska Council
Panel to Advance Common Interests in Natural Gas Pipeline, Related Issues


May 15, 2004

Juneau, AK - The State of Alaska and the Canadian province of Alberta will reaffirm and advance their common interests as northern energy producers, when Governor Frank H. Murkowski and Alberta Premier Ralph Klein meet in Edmonton on Monday to renew their commitment to the Alberta-Alaska Bilateral Council.

"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:

  • Senator Fred Dyson of Eagle River
  • Representative John Coghill of North Pole
  • Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin
  • Transportation Commissioner Mike Barton
  • Health and Social Services Commissioner Joel Gilbertson
  • Bill Allen, chairman of oilfield services company VECO Corporation
  • Pat Gamble, president and chief executive officer of the Alaska Railroad Corp.
  • Mary Ann Pease, vice president of ACS Communications
  • Steve Borrell, executive director of the Alaska Miners Association
  • Linda Anderson, president of River's Edge Resort in Fairbanks
  • Orie Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Native regional corporation Doyon, Ltd.

"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:

Alaska Department of Law
Web Site


E-mail your news & photos to

Post a Comment
        View Comments
Submit an Opinion - Letter

Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska