Sen. Rockefeller leaving WA Senate for new job

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- State Sen. Phil Rockefeller is retiring from the Senate and moving to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council.

The Democrat from Bainbridge Island said Wednesday he will leave his seat in June to accept an appointment from Gov. Chris Gregoire. He is scheduled to start as a council member in July, with the appointment lasting until 2014.

Gregoire says Rockefeller has worked tirelessly to safeguard and enhance the state's environment.

The council is tasked by Congress with developing long-term power plans that balance the region's energy and environmental needs. Rockefeller will replace Dick Wallace, who announced earlier this year that he would leave the panel.