Knowles creates task force to study cost of terrorism

JUNEAU (AP) - A new state task force will study how terrorist attacks on the East Coast will ultimately affect Alaska’s economy, Gov. Tony Knowles said Wednesday.

The 11-member task force will analyze what cost businesses and industry expect to experience as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks and make recommendations on lessening losses, Knowles said.

He announced the formation of the ``Task Force on Jobs and the Economy since September 11th’’ during a speech before the Alaska Chamber of Commerce in Juneau.

``I have the same questions you do about what this means to tourism, oil and gas, air cargo, and other industry sectors, and I am determined that we will answer these questions to the best of our ability,’’ Knowles said.

Debby Sedwick, commissioner of Community and Economic Development, and Chris von Imhof, general manager of the Alyeska Prince Hotel, will co-chair the task force.

Sedwick said the state has not seen a jump in unemployment in the wake of the attacks. But she has heard fears expressed from the tourism industry.

``One of the things the tourism industry wants is an infusion of cash so they can do a media campaign as some states have already done,’’ Sedwick said.

Other members include Dennis Brandon of Cook Inlet Region, Inc.; Judy Brady, Alaska Oil and Gas Association; Eric Britten of CSX; Jim Jansen from Lynden; Mike Burns of Key Bank; Terese Sharp of Fairbanks; Terry Hoefferle of the Bristol Bay Native Association in Dillingham; Scott Goldsmith, University of Alaska Anchorage; and consultant Brian Rogers of Fairbanks.

A report will be filed within 60 days that could include suggested legislation or administrative action to lessen the effect on jobs and businesses, Knowles said.

11/01/2001 - 8:00pm