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CSHJR 24(STA): Urging the United States Department of State to consider the priorities of the state while it holds the position of chair of the Arctic Council; requesting that the United States Department of State work in partnership with state officials to appoint a chair of the Arctic Council; and supporting the strategic recommendation of the January 30, 2014, preliminary report of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission.

00                 CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 24(STA)                                                               
01 Urging the United States Department of State to consider the priorities of the state while                              
02 it holds the position of chair of the Arctic Council; requesting that the United States                                 
03 Department of State work in partnership with state officials to appoint a chair of the                                  
04 Arctic Council; and supporting the strategic recommendation of the January 30, 2014,                                    
05 preliminary report of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission.                                                              
06 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
07       WHEREAS, by its very existence, the state enables the United States to be an Arctic                             
08 nation; and                                                                                                             
09       WHEREAS, in April 2012, the Alaska State Legislature established the Alaska Arctic                              
10 Policy Commission to "develop an Arctic policy for the state and produce a strategy for the                             
11 implementation of an Arctic policy"; and                                                                                
12       WHEREAS the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission has been working with the                                           
13 National Strategy for the Arctic Region Task Force on how to best craft an Arctic policy that                           
14 benefits and creates opportunity for the state and the entire United States; and                                        
15       WHEREAS the Arctic resources of the state are immense and, with responsible                                     
01 development, could contribute significantly to the economy of the United States and to the                              
02 entire pan-Arctic region; and                                                                                           
03       WHEREAS the Bering Strait serves as the gateway to the Arctic for the marine traffic                            
04 of the United states and other nations between the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic; and                                    
05       WHEREAS the marine traffic through the Bering Strait choke point has been                                       
06 increasing; and                                                                                                         
07       WHEREAS the Arctic Council is the intergovernmental forum in which all eight                                    
08 Arctic nations participate; and                                                                                         
09       WHEREAS the Arctic Council includes six Arctic indigenous communities, four of                                  
10 which are resident in the state, and six permanent working groups, each of which directly                               
11 affects the state; and                                                                                                  
12       WHEREAS Canada is the current chair of the Arctic Council, and the United States                                
13 will be the chair from May 2015 until 2017; and                                                                         
14       WHEREAS the United States should seek local and scientific expertise from the state                             
15 to inform the nation's input at the Arctic Council; and                                                                 
16       WHEREAS, in December 2012, the Governor proposed to the United States                                           
17 Department of State four priorities for consideration while the United States is chair of the                           
18 Arctic Council; and                                                                                                     
19       WHEREAS it is important for the priorities of the state and the United States to be in                          
20 alignment while the United States holds the position of chair of the Arctic Council; and                                
21       WHEREAS, when the United States ascends to chair of the Arctic Council in 2015,                                 
22 the United States Department of State will appoint one individual as chair of the Arctic                                
23 Council;                                                                                                                
24       BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States                                        
25 Department of State to consider the priorities of the state while it holds the position of chair of                     
26 the Arctic Council, including the priorities of the Governor, creating jobs and economic                                
27 opportunity for Arctic residents, preventing suicide, developing safe and sustainable                                   
28 sanitation facilities for small, isolated Arctic communities, and securing safe and reliable                            
29 shipping; and be it                                                                                                     
30       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature requests that the United                                     
31 States Department of State work in partnership with state officials to appoint a chair of the                           
01 Arctic Council; and be it                                                                                               
02       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports the strategic                                       
03 recommendation of the January 30, 2014, preliminary report of the Alaska Arctic Policy                                  
04 Commission to "continue to pursue, and actively expand, all avenues of participation in the                             
05 Arctic Council, including involvement in working groups and by building partnerships with                               
06 permanent participants."                                                                                                
07       COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of                             
08 the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and                          
09 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable John F. Kerry, United States Secretary of State;                            
10 the Honorable Robert Menendez, Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations;                                 
11 the Honorable Bob Corker, ranking member, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations;                                   
12 Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., Commandant of the United States Coast Guard; the Honorable                                 
13 Sally Jewell, United States Secretary of the Interior; the Honorable Fran Ulmer, Chair, U.S.                            
14 Arctic Research Commission; the Honorable Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D., acting                                            
15 Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and acting National Oceanic and                                    
16 Atmospheric Administration Administrator, U.S. Department of Commerce; the Honorable                                    
17 John Paul Holdren, Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; the                                   
18 Honorable Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Oceans and International                                      
19 Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Alice Hill, Senior Counselor                            
20 to the Secretary, Department of Homeland Security; and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and                                 
21 the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S.                                             
22 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.