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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Southern governors, top administration and oil spill response officials to meet in Alabama

Governors from throughout the region, a top Obama administration official, the incoming head of BP and key figures in responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will converge on Alabama later this month.
The annual meeting of the Southern Governors' Association will be at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort just outside of Birmingham in Hoover from Aug. 27 through Aug. 30.
Gov. Bob Riley, the chairman of the association, announced the conference would be in Alabama on Tuesday.
The key topics will be the economy of the South and the oil spill in the Gulf.
Participants are expected to include: Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama; Navy Secretary and Gulf Coast recovery chief Ray Mabus; and Wilma Lewis, assistant secretary for Lands and Mineral Management with the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Admiral Thad Allen, national incident commander for the spill, has not confirmed, according to the governor's office, but has indicated he will attend.
Bob Dudley, the incoming chief executive officer of BP, and Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the oil spill compensation fund, are scheduled to appear at the meeting for a panel discussion on Gulf Coast recovery.
Riley said southern governors, four of which have states directly affected by the spill, must play a leading role in dealing with issues surrounding why the oil spill occurred and what must be done to restore and enhance the environment and economy of the Gulf Coast.
"We have a responsibility to use this year's annual meeting as a platform for a constructive conversation with key leaders within the oil industry, as well as with state and federal decision makers," Riley said in a statement.
He said the panels will be enlightening and productive with the participation of White House officials and BP.
The association includes governors from 18 states and territories in a region that spans from Texas to Maryland.

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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