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Clinton signs bill authorizing U.S.-Canada rail commission

Posted: Wednesday, January 03, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- President Clinton has signed legislation crating a bilateral commission to study the feasibility of building a rail link between Canada and Alaska.

The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska.

It creates a 24-member commission, with half the members from the U.S. and the rest from Canada. The commissioners are to study the economic and technological feasibility of such a rail link.

Negotiations would have to be opened with Canada to encourage that nation to accept the measure and appoint its 12 members.

It appears likely Clinton will leave the matter to President-elect George W. Bush to implement later this winter, Murkowski said.

''It is wonderful that America has taken the step of creating and funding a commission to thoroughly study whether it makes economic and environmental sense to improve transportation through Northwest Canada to Alaska,'' Murkowski said in a prepared statement.

''A railroad extension may be the best way to solve the region's long-standing transportation needs in a way that makes good environmental sense.''



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