AD Main Menu

Energy, commerce secretaries expected in Alaska next week

Nathaniel Herz

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will visit Alaska next week, according to U.S. Sen. Mark Begich.

Moniz, a physicist, was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May 2013.

He will participate in a roundtable on Alaska's mega-gasline project on Monday, according to an invitation obtained by Alaska Dispatch News. Begich confirmed the visit in an interview Wednesday.

Kayvon Behroozian, a press assistant at the Department of Energy, declined to provide additional details about Moniz’s visit in a phone interview Wednesday.

“We are hammering out final details,” Behroozian said. But, he added, Moniz “is definitely coming to Alaska.”

Moniz is the third member of Obama’s cabinet reported to be traveling to Alaska this summer.

Thomas Perez, Obama’s labor secretary, visited the state last month, and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will be in Alaska on Thursday and Friday, according to the Washington, D.C. website The Hill.

Begich said the secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, was also planning to visit the state.

A press secretary for the Department of Commerce, Marni Goldberg, said in an email that Pritzker would arrive Aug. 20 and meet with Alaska business leaders and employees of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Foxx and Pritzker will also attend fundraisers for Begich, according to a spokesman for his campaign. Perez attended a fundraiser last month for Begich, a Democrat.

Federal employees are permitted to appear at political rallies and at candidate fundraisers, as long as they don’t ask for money.