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SJR 10: Endorsing, in principle, legislation authorizing oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development on the coastal plain within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, provided the legislation does not contain a provision decreasing this state's royalty.

00 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 10                                                                                          
01 Endorsing, in principle, legislation authorizing oil and gas leasing, exploration, and                                  
02 development on the coastal plain within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,                                            
03 provided the legislation does not contain a provision decreasing this state's royalty.                                  
04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
05  WHEREAS  the Alaska State Legislature has previously recognized the importance                                         
06 of reasonable exploration and development of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife                          
07 Refuge (ANWR) and has adopted resolutions supporting federal legislation to authorize oil and                           
08 gas leasing, exploration, and development on the coastal plain; and                                                     
09  WHEREAS the Alaska Statehood Act contains a binding contract with Alaska that the                                      
10 state will receive 90 percent of all oil, gas, and mineral royalties from federal land in Alaska;                       
11 and                                                                                                                     
12  WHEREAS the federal government has both a moral and a legal duty to honor all                                          
13 obligations set out in the several acts admitting new states; and                                                       
14  WHEREAS the people of the State of Alaska relied on that royalty sharing provision                                     
01 in ratifying the Alaska Statehood Act; and                                                                              
02  WHEREAS the United States Congress included that royalty sharing provision in the                                      
03 compact because Alaska, unlike all other public land states, was not covered by the federal                             
04 Reclamation Act and derived no benefits from that Act; and                                                              
05  WHEREAS the Congress also intended in the Alaska Statehood Act to compensate                                           
06 Alaska for the large federal land reservations that had the effect of stifling beneficial economic                      
07 development; and                                                                                                        
08  WHEREAS the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge comprises a core                                      
09 calving ground of the Porcupine Caribou herd; and                                                                       
10  WHEREAS the Gwich'in Athabascan Indians of northeastern Alaska and northwestern                                        
11 Canada have relied on caribou for subsistence for thousands of years, and continue to subsist                           
12 on the Porcupine Caribou herd, a herd that is essential to meet the nutritional, cultural, and                          
13 spiritual needs of the Gwich'in people; and                                                                             
14  WHEREAS 65 percent of the remote communities in Alaska still lack piped water and                                      
15 other essential services and the people of Alaska rely on that royalty sharing provision to                             
16 address this and other grave health, social, and economic problems; and                                                 
17  WHEREAS the Congress considered other legislation that authorized oil and gas                                          
18 leasing in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that                                                
19   (1)  provided that only 50 percent of royalty revenue from the wildlife refuge                                        
20 would be shared with Alaska, and                                                                                        
21   (2)  contained so called "blackmail clauses" that would void any lease sale                                           
22 should the revenue division and sharing provisions be successfully challenged in court; and                             
23  WHEREAS the "blackmail clauses" infringe on this state's constitutional rights                                         
24 because they penalize Alaska if it tries to protect its rights under the Statehood Act;                                 
25      BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Legislature that the Legislature supports in                                    
26 principle federal legislation authorizing oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development on                          
27 the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but opposes any unilateral reductions                         
28 in royalty revenue from that exploration and development and any attempts by the Congress                               
29 or the President to coerce the State of Alaska into accepting less than was promised at                                 
30 statehood; and be it                                                                                                    
31  FURTHER RESOLVED that the Congress join with the state in providing strict                                             
01 standards for the protection of land, water, and wildlife resources, including the habitat of the                       
02 Porcupine Caribou herd, during the exploration and development of the coastal plain of the                              
03 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.                                                                                        
04  COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the                                
05 United States; the Honorable Al Gore, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and president                            
06 of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the U.S. House of                                           
07 Representatives; the Honorable Bob Dole, U.S. Senate Majority Leader; the Honorable Frank                               
08 Murkowski, Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; the Honorable                                 
09 Don Young, Chair of the House Committee on Public Lands and Resources; the Honorable                                    
10 Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior;  to the Honorable Ted Stevens, U.S. Senator, the                              
11 remaining member of the Alaska delegation in Congress; and to the governors and the                                     
12 presiding officers of the houses of the state legislatures.