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Senate Bipartisan Working Group Members to Attend Energy Council Meetings

(JUNEAU) - Seven members of the State Senate Bipartisan Working Group will travel to Washington, D.C., the first week of March to attend meetings with leaders from the major energy producing regions of the United States, Canada and Venezuela.  The Senators are going to take part in the annual "Energy Council 2010 Federal Energy & Environmental Matters Conference".  This meeting is being held jointly with the Interstate Oil & gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) and the Leadership of the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER).

"Having been to the Energy Council many times, I know that the work we do there, the people we meet and the things we learn are invaluable as we make important decisions about our state's oil and gas resources," said Senator Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, a member of the Executive Committee of the Energy Council.  "We will be attending several days of intensive meetings with some of the most knowledgeable people in the world on these issues."

Energy Council is a legislative organization comprised of twelve member states and seven international affiliates. Founded in 1975, it provides a forum for discussing government policies regarding energy and the environment. Alaska has been a member since 1988.  While in Washington, Alaska's Senators will also meet with members of the Alaska Congressional delegation, other elected officials, government leaders and energy experts from member states and provinces, officials at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of the Interior and other federal agencies.

"Oil and gas , of all our natural resources, have the greatest impact on Alaska's economy, and it is essential that our legislators are educated on all the intricacies of the industry," said Senator Charlie Huggins, R-Mat-Su Valley, who is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Council.  "At these meetings, we get to meet with policy makers from other oil and gas producing states and countries, and compare notes, policies and ideas."

In addition to Senators Stedman and Huggins, Bipartisan Working Group members attending the meetings next week are Senators Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage, Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, Linda Menard, R-Wasilla and Joe Thomas, D-Fairbanks.  Three members of the Senate minority are expected to attend as well.  At least nine members of the State House of Representatives have also announced their intention to go to Washington.

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