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HJR 9: Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, development, and production.

00                        HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 9                                                                     
01 Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the                                  
02 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, development, and                                            
03 production.                                                                                                             
04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
05       WHEREAS, in 16 U.S.C. 3142 (sec. 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands                                     
06 Conservation Act (ANILCA)), the United States Congress reserved the right to permit further                             
07 oil and gas exploration, development, and production within the coastal plain of the Arctic                             
08 National Wildlife Refuge; and                                                                                           
09       WHEREAS the oil industry, the state, and the United States Department of the                                    
10 Interior consider the coastal plain to have the highest potential for discovery of very large oil                       
11 and gas accumulations on the continent of North America, estimated to be as much as                                     
12 10,000,000,000 barrels of recoverable oil; and                                                                          
13       WHEREAS the "1002 study area" is part of the coastal plain located within the North                             
14 Slope Borough, and many of the residents of the North Slope Borough, who are                                            
15 predominantly Inupiat Eskimo, are supportive of development in the "1002 study area"; and                               
01       WHEREAS oil and gas exploration and development of the coastal plain of the refuge                              
02 and adjacent land could result in major discoveries that would reduce our nation's future need                          
03 for imported oil, help balance the nation's trade deficit, and significantly increase the nation's                      
04 security; and                                                                                                           
05       WHEREAS the state's future energy independence would be enhanced with                                           
06 additional natural gas production from the North Slope of Alaska including what are expected                            
07 to be significant gas reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the development of                           
08 those reserves would enhance the economic viability of the proposed Alaska Natural Gas                                  
09 Pipeline; and                                                                                                           
10       WHEREAS domestic demand for oil continues to rise while domestic crude                                          
11 production continues to fall, with the result that the United States imports additional oil from                        
12 foreign sources; and                                                                                                    
13       WHEREAS development of oil at Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk, Endicott, Lisburne, and                                     
14 Milne Point has resulted in thousands of jobs throughout the United States, and projected job                           
15 creation as a result of coastal plain oil development will have a positive effect in all 50 states;                     
16 and                                                                                                                     
17       WHEREAS Prudhoe Bay production is declining; and                                                                
18       WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, a transportation facility that is a                                   
19 national asset and that would cost billions of dollars to replace, would have its useful physical                       
20 life extended for a substantial period if the additional reserves of recoverable oil from the                           
21 coastal plain were produced; and                                                                                        
22       WHEREAS, while new oil field developments on the North Slope of Alaska, such as                                 
23 Alpine, Northstar, and West Sak, may temporarily slow the decline in production, only giant                             
24 coastal plain fields have the theoretical capability of increasing the production volume of                             
25 Alaska oil to a significant degree; and                                                                                 
26       WHEREAS opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge now                                    
27 allows sufficient time for planning environmental safeguards, development, and national                                 
28 security review; and                                                                                                    
29       WHEREAS the 1,500,000-acre coastal plain of the refuge makes up only eight                                      
30 percent of the 19,000,000-acre refuge, and the development of the oil and gas reserves in the                           
31 refuge's coastal plain would affect an area of only 2,000 to 7,000 acres, which is less than                            
01 one-half of one percent of the area of the coastal plain; and                                                           
02       WHEREAS 8,900,000 of the 19,000,000 acres of the refuge have already been set                                   
03 aside as wilderness; and                                                                                                
04       WHEREAS the oil industry has shown at Prudhoe Bay, as well as at other locations                                
05 along the Arctic coastal plain, that it is capable of conducting oil and gas activity without                           
06 adversely affecting the environment or wildlife populations; and                                                        
07       WHEREAS the state will strive to ensure the continued health and productivity of the                            
08 Porcupine Caribou herd and the protection of land, water, and wildlife resources during the                             
09 exploration and development of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and                            
10       WHEREAS the oil and gas industry is developing directional drilling technology that                             
11 will allow horizontal drilling in a responsible manner by minimizing the development                                    
12 footprint within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and this directional drilling technology                           
13 may be capable of drilling from outside of the boundaries of the 1002 study area; and                                   
14       WHEREAS the oil industry is using innovative technology and environmental                                       
15 practices in the new field developments at Alpine and Northstar, and those techniques are                               
16 directly applicable to operating on the coastal plain and would enhance environmental                                   
17 protection beyond traditionally high standards; and                                                                     
18       WHEREAS the continued competitiveness and stability of the state and its economy                                
19 require that the Alaska State Legislature consider national trends toward renewable energy                              
20 development; and                                                                                                        
21       WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature encourages the use of revenue from any                                     
22 development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the development of renewable energy                              
23 resources in the state;                                                                                                 
24       BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States                                        
25 Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge                           
26 to oil and gas exploration, development, and production, and that the Alaska State Legislature                          
27 is adamantly opposed to further wilderness or other restrictive designation in the area of the                          
28 coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and be it                                                         
29       FURTHER RESOLVED that that activity be conducted in a manner that protects the                                  
30 environment and the naturally occurring population levels of the Porcupine Caribou herd on                              
31 which the Gwich'in and other local residents depend, that uses directional drilling and other                           
01 advances in technology to minimize the development footprint in the 1002 study area, and                                
02 that uses the state's work force to the maximum extent possible; and be it                                              
03       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States                                      
04 Congress to pass legislation opening the 1002 study area for oil and gas development while                              
05 continuing to work on measures for increasing the development and use of renewable energy                               
06 technologies; and be it                                                                                                 
07       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature opposes any unilateral                                       
08 reduction in royalty revenue from exploration and development of the coastal plain of the                               
09 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and any attempt to coerce the State of Alaska into accepting                            
10 less than the 90 percent of the oil, gas, and mineral royalties from the federal land in the state                      
11 that was promised to the state at statehood.                                                                            
12       COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of                             
13 the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and                          
14 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Ken Salazar, United States Secretary of the                                 
15 Interior; the Honorable John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the                                 
16 Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the                                       
17 Honorable Harry Reid, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Mitch McConnell,                                
18 Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Jeff Bingaman, Chair of the Energy and                                
19 Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the                                    
20 Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative,                                 
21 members of the Alaska delegation in Congress; and all other members of the 112th United                                 
22 States Congress.