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Senate Majority Welcomes PNWER Conference to Anchorage

Delegates from several Western States and Canada to address energy, land, water and other issues facing the Northwest Pacific Economic Region

ANCHORAGE-Today, the Alaska State Senate Majority would like to welcome delegates, their families and volunteers to the working portion of the Annual Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PWNER) Summit taking place this week in Anchorage. The theme of this year’s summit is “The future of The North: Opportunities, Challenges and Regional Solutions.” More than 300 delegates and 300 others are attending the five-day conference focusing on opportunities and challenges of the Arctic and highlighting Alaska’s development potential.

Senator Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, has served in the past as President of PNWER.  During her term, she established an “Arctic Caucus” to bring together the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska to collaborate on resource development in the Arctic.   “Throughout my many years of attending this summit, I’ve seen firsthand how much it helps bring government together with the private industry and academic leaders to collaborate on issues facing our region and develop solutions to improve our economy on both sides of the border,” said Senator Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage.  “This year’s summit is especially important because it is focused on the Arctic and the unique challenges that we face with energy, resource development, Arctic shipping and other vital issues.”

Held in a different location each year, the annual PNWER summit draws hundreds of key business leaders, legislators and politicians from PNWER’s 10 states, provinces and territories in the Pacific Northwest.  The discussions that take place at the summit provide a non-partisan forum to work on a broad range of issues: energy, tourism, transportation, invasive species, mining, innovation, workforce mobility, health care and ocean policy, as well as several other smaller issues.   The discussions are then translated into new policies and pilot programs which guide efforts of PNWER throughout the rest of the year.

“We are honored that PNWER’s annual summit is being hosted right here in our home state,” said Senate President Charlie Huggins.  “The ideas that come out of meetings like this are essential for Alaska staying on the cutting edge of policy and innovation as we approach future legislative sessions.   It’s also a win-win situation, as the PNWER conference and its attendees are currently pouring millions of dollars into Alaska’s economy during their visit.”

PNWER is the only statutory, non-partisan, bi-national, public/private partnership in North America. PNWER is the forum for collaborative bi-national planning involving both the public and private sectors in the states of Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and the western Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

For more information on the summit’s agenda, please go to http://www.pnwer.org/2012annualsummit/Home.aspx.

For more information or to schedule, please contact Carolyn Kuckertz in the Senate Majority Press Office at (907) 748-7714.

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