EL DORADO, Ark. (AP) -- Gov. Mike Huckabee has been elected chairman of a 37-state coalition that develops energy policy and lobbies Congress on energy matters.
The announcement was made Friday at the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission headquarters.
Huckabee said the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission serves as the ''governors' voice on energy issues and advocates states' rights to govern the petroleum resources within their borders.''
Huckabee succeeds Gov. Tony Knowles of Alaska as commission chairman. The new officers will begin their one-year terms at the commission's annual meeting Dec. 9-11 in Santa Fe, N.M.
Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, a friend of Huckabee and former commission chairman, recommended the Arkansas governor for the chairmanship.
''The fact that Gov. Huckabee is willing to provide national leadership on energy is not only important to Arkansas, but is critically important to America at large,'' Keating said.
Established in 1935, the IOGCC is among the oldest and largest interstate compacts in the nation. It represents the 37 states that produce virtually all of the domestic oil and natural gas in the United States.
Other states that are members of the IOGCC are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina and Washington are associate members.
Huckabee is the second Arkansas governor to serve as chairman of the commission. Sid McMath served as IOGCC chairman in 1952.
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