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HJR 19: Relating to the ultra low sulfur diesel fuel requirements of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and their application to Alaska.

00                       HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 19                                                                     
01 Relating to the ultra low sulfur diesel fuel requirements of the United States                                          
02 Environmental Protection Agency and their application to Alaska.                                                        
03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
04       WHEREAS the United States Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that, in                                    
05 order to reduce emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide from large trucks and buses                          
06 into the air, which causes environmental and health problems in parts of the country, ultra low                         
07 sulfur diesel fuels having a sulfur content of not more than 15 parts per million must be used                          
08 nationwide for road vehicles; and                                                                                       
09       WHEREAS rural Alaska depends on diesel fuel for its electrical power generation;                                
10 and                                                                                                                     
11       WHEREAS ultra low sulfur diesel fuel costs more to produce and is less efficient,                               
12 resulting in an overall higher cost to produce the same output as the high sulfur fuel currently                        
13 in use; and                                                                                                             
14       WHEREAS northern Alaska temperatures are colder than most areas of the United                                   
15 States, and fuel additives that create an arctic-grade of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel are                              
16 necessary to avoid fuel failure; and                                                                                    
01       WHEREAS arctic-grade ultra low sulfur diesel fuel is currently manufactured only in                             
02 Alberta, Canada, and must be imported into the state, increasing fuel transportation costs; and                         
03       WHEREAS diesel fuel constitutes only a small part of the fuel refined in Alaska, and                            
04 to modify Alaska refineries to produce low sulfur diesel fuel would be prohibitively                                    
05 expensive; and                                                                                                          
06       WHEREAS ultra low sulfur diesel fuel may not be transported or stored in the same                               
07 tanks used for high sulfur diesel fuel unless the tanks have been cleaned; and                                          
08       WHEREAS the necessary separation of fuel types will make it more expensive to                                   
09 transport more than one type of fuel to rural Alaska; and                                                               
10       WHEREAS the necessary separation of fuel types will create storage problems in                                  
11 rural Alaska and will make it prohibitively expensive for communities to import more than                               
12 one type of fuel; and                                                                                                   
13       WHEREAS electric utilities that serve rural communities estimate that electric costs                            
14 will increase 25 to 33 percent based on the lower efficiency and higher cost of producing,                              
15 transporting, storing, and using arctic-grade ultra low sulfur diesel fuel; and                                         
16       WHEREAS the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has                                                 
17 recommended applying the national plan proposed by the United States Environmental                                      
18 Protection Agency for ultra low sulfur diesel fuel requirements to all road communities and                             
19 major communities on the Alaska marine highway system by September 2006, despite the                                    
20 fact that many of these communities are small and rural and have few heavy-duty diesel                                  
21 trucks and buses; and                                                                                                   
22       WHEREAS, by June 2003, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation                                      
23 must submit a plan for applying the United States Environmental Protection Agency standards                             
24 for the use of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel in rural Alaska communities;                                                
25       BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the state's delegation in                                
26 the United States Congress to request the United States Environmental Protection Agency to                              
27 provide funding to investigate and examine the fiscal and logistical effects of arctic-grade                            
28 ultra low sulfur diesel fuel on the current energy and transportation infrastructure in Alaska;                         
29 and be it                                                                                                               
30       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the state's                                            
31 delegation in the United States Congress to request the Denali Commission to coordinate with                            
01 the United States Environmental Protection Agency to determine the fiscal and logistical                                
02 effects on the state of using arctic-grade ultra low sulfur diesel fuel in Alaska and to consider                       
03 those effects when reviewing fuel storage tank plans for possible funding; and be it                                    
04       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Governor to                                        
05 direct the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to coordinate with the United                                
06 States Environmental Protection Agency and the Denali Commission to determine the fiscal                                
07 and logistical effects on the state of using arctic-grade ultra low sulfur diesel fuel in Alaska;                       
08 and be it                                                                                                               
09       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Governor to                                        
10 direct the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to provide, in its plan for the                              
11 application of the United States Environmental Protection Agency standards, that rural Alaska                           
12 have as much flexibility as possible in the use of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel; and be it                              
13       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Governor to                                        
14 direct the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to reexamine how the United                                  
15 States Environmental Protection Agency standards for the use of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel                            
16 are applied to the state's plan for off-road communities.                                                               
17       COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Christine Todd Whitman,                                
18 Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens and                               
19 the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S.                                          
20 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.