Governor cancels trip to Washington

Posted: Friday, September 14, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles has canceled his trip to Washington, D.C., to promote federal legislation guiding a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the Lower 48.

John Katz, head of the governor's office here, said the governor changed his plans because of the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center on Tuesday.

''The principal reason is that he feels his place is in Alaska right now,'' Katz said.

Knowles was to arrive in Washington on Sunday and stay through Tuesday.

The Energy Committee, on which Alaska Sen. Frank Murkowski is the ranking Republican, had planned to deal with national electricity distribution policy this week and oil and gas issues next week. The jet attacks canceled those plans and a revised schedule is not yet in place.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, is working on a multifaceted national energy policy bill. He said last week that his bill, known as the ''chairman's mark,'' will contain language to streamline construction of the natural gas line from the North Slope. The bill will not designate a pipeline route.

Bill Wicker, spokesman for the committee's Democratic majority, said Thursday that Bingaman had not yet released the gas line-related language.

''That's still an active work in progress,'' he said.



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