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Spin Control

Wed., March 11, 2009, 3:31 p.m.

Come on by

Sen. Patty Murray wants the nation's new energy czar to come West for a visit.

A visit to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, that is. At a budget hearing Wednesday, Murray, D-Wash., extended the invite to Energy Secretary Steven Chu to stop by Hanford and the Pacific Northwest Nuclear Labs at his earliest convenience.

Chu didn't exactly whip out his Day Planner and write something in, as the audio clip shows. He allowed as how he's planning on coming out to Washington at some point.

With a stop at Hanford and PNNL? Murray pressed.

"We haven't made those plans," Chu replied.

"We'll help you plan," she said, helpfully.

Let's see, that planning should probably include . . .

. . . watching out for the state troopers around Ritzville if you fly into Spokane or Seattle and drive to the Tri-Cities, a reminder to turn off 395 for Richland before going across the river, and directions to Spudnuts donut shop for a little sugar fix to start the morning.

Other than that, the DoE probably has the whole "visit Hanford" gig down pretty well.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.