Sen. John Torgerson, R-Kasilof, and Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, are in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, this week for the 2002 Global Petroleum Show, as well as a meeting today of the International Alaska Highway Pipeline Committee.
Torgerson was instrumental in putting together the international pipeline committee last year as a way to open lines of communication between parties having a vested interest in the Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline project. It includes lawmakers from Alaska, Alberta and the Yukon. Torgerson is chair of the Alaska Legislature's Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines.
"We are going to further explore the impact of northern pipelines through Alaska and the western territories and provinces of Canada," Torgerson said in a press release issued Monday.
The committee meeting will be about more than just laying pipe, he said. It also will be an opportunity to discuss the benefits of a pipeline project and its logistics, he said.
"We are going to look at work force development through discussions of reciprocity agreements and cross-border training programs to assure a northern-states work force for starters," Torgerson said.
"We are also going to explore ways to synchronize, or at least make more efficient, the regulatory and permitting process. There will also be discussions with members of the 'First Nations' to look at access to resources and employment among the Native societies in Alaska and western Canada, among other topics."
Torgerson and Chenault are part of a bipartisan legislative delegation attending the affair. The others include Rep. Joe Green, R-Anchorage; Sen. Donny Olson, D-Nome; Rep. Jeanette James, R-North Pole; and Rep. Reggie Joule, D-Kotzebue.
The committee meeting is to take place in conjunction with the 2002 Global Petroleum Show. The Alaska Legislature has funded a booth for members of both the private and public sectors to promote Alaska oil and gas development, Torgerson said. Co-sponsors of the booth include the Alaska-based Lynden Inc., Natchiq Inc., Flowline Alaska Inc. and Sourdough Productions. Representatives of the Alaska Division of Oil and Gas will be available to meet with potential customers for state lease sales.
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