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SCS CSHCR 2(CRA): Relating to the extension of the Alaska Railroad to Delta Junction and Fort Greely to support expanding resource development, agricultural, and military activities.

00       SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 2(CRA)                                                       
01 Relating to the extension of the Alaska Railroad to Delta Junction and Fort Greely to                                   
02 support expanding resource development, agricultural, and military activities.                                          
03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
04       WHEREAS the United States Department of Defense has begun to construct an anti-                                 
05 ballistic missile testing and launch facility at Fort Greely, Alaska; and                                               
06       WHEREAS United States Army Alaska is developing new range areas at Fort Greely                                  
07 to support the training of the new Stryker Brigade; and                                                                 
08       WHEREAS the world-class mining operation at Pogo located near Delta Junction is                                 
09 projected to commence construction in the fall of 2003 and operate for at least 11 years, and a                         
10 more cost-efficient transportation system would assist such a mining venture; and                                       
11       WHEREAS the agricultural industry in the Delta Junction area would become more                                  
12 cost efficient, competitive, and able to expand if access to markets were less expensive; and                           
13       WHEREAS a railroad is well suited to provide the transportation support required to                             
14 sustain military operations as well as provide a cost-efficient method of transporting goods                            
15 and services for both mining and agricultural activities in the region; and                                             
16       WHEREAS the Alaska Railroad already has rail lines extending to Eielson Air Force                               
01 Base, which is within 70 miles of Delta Junction and Fort Greely; and                                                   
02       WHEREAS the Alaska Railroad can efficiently provide transportation services for                                 
03 heavy cargo and large quantities of supplies to the region from the ports of Seward, Whittier,                          
04 and Anchorage while economically delivering the region's mining and agricultural products to                            
05 market; and                                                                                                             
06       WHEREAS the extension of the Alaska Railroad to Delta Junction and Fort Greely is                               
07 consistent with the long-term goals of the Alaska Railroad Corporation and the State of                                 
08 Alaska to extend rail service through Canada to the lower 48 states;                                                    
09       BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests Governor                                 
10 Frank Murkowski to encourage the Alaska Railroad Corporation to undertake the extension of                              
11 the Alaska Railroad to Delta Junction and Fort Greely in order to support the region's                                  
12 expanding resource development, agricultural, and military activities.                                                  
13       COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President                              
14 of the United States; the Honorable Donald Rumsfeld, United States Secretary of Defense;                                
15 Patrick Gamble, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alaska Railroad Corporation; and to                              
16 the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the                                      
17 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.