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Alaska warns shipper on tanker maintenance

March 19, 2008 at 6:31 PM

JUNEAU, Alaska, March 19 (UPI) -- A top Alaska lawmaker says he'll hold hearings if necessary on the maintenance practices of Alaska Tanker Co.

Alaska House Speaker John Harris told the Anchorage Daily News the three companies that own ATC may have been cutting back on maintenance of the ships that haul Alaska crude to refineries in the lower 48 states.

The speaker said he sent a letter to the companies warning them they would have to face the Legislature in the event of a mechanical failure aboard one of the ships.

"I'm confident they got the message and they'll do the right thing and put the money in that's needed," Harris said.

ATC said in its formal response that its ships had not spilled any crude while at sea for more than five years.

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