HCR 3: Urging the governor and the attorney general to pursue all legal and legislative options to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and areas of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas to oil and gas exploration, development, and production.
00 HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 3 01 Urging the governor and the attorney general to pursue all legal and legislative options 02 to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and areas of the Chukchi 03 and Beaufort Seas to oil and gas exploration, development, and production. 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS the state is experiencing steep declines in revenue from oil and gas 06 production taxes and royalties on the North Slope as a result of decreasing oil production and 07 plummeting oil prices; and 08 WHEREAS 16 U.S.C. 3143 (sec. 1003 of the Alaska National Interest Lands 09 Conservation Act) prohibits oil and gas production as well as leasing or other development 10 leading to production of oil and gas from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge until the 11 activity is authorized by an Act of Congress; and 12 WHEREAS, on January 25, 2015, President Barack Obama announced his intention 13 to ask the United States Congress to designate the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife 14 Refuge and other core areas of the refuge as wilderness, the highest level of protection that 15 would prohibit oil and gas development in the refuge; and
01 WHEREAS, on January 25, 2015, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service 02 released its Revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Final Environmental Impact 03 Statement for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which provides for the continued 04 prohibition of oil and gas leasing, drilling, and extraction of oil and gas for commercial 05 purposes, including all associated above and below ground facilities; and 06 WHEREAS President Barack Obama and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service 07 express the intention not only to block oil and gas exploration and development on the coastal 08 plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but also to permanently block any future oil and 09 gas exploration and development in that area by asking the United States Congress to 10 designate the coastal plain as wilderness by an Act of Congress; and 11 WHEREAS, on January 27, 2015, President Barack Obama signed a presidential 12 memorandum providing for the withdrawal from disposition by leasing for a time period 13 without specific expiration of (1) the areas of the Outer Continental Shelf currently designated 14 by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as leasing deferral areas within the Chukchi Sea 15 Planning Area and the Beaufort Sea Planning Area in the five-year oil and gas leasing 16 program for 2012-2017; and (2) the Hanna Shoal region of the Chukchi Sea Planning Area 17 lying within the contours of the 40-meter isobath; and 18 WHEREAS the withdrawal from disposition by leasing prevents consideration of 19 those areas for any future oil or gas leasing for purposes of exploration, development, or 20 production; and 21 WHEREAS sec. 6(i) of the Alaska Statehood Act (P.L. 85-508) recognizes the critical 22 importance of revenue from natural resource development to the economic viability of the 23 state by including all mineral deposits in land conveyed to the state and requiring the state to 24 reserve its right in mineral deposits in all land received from the federal government; and 25 WHEREAS 30 U.S.C. 191 requires that 90 percent of the money received from sales, 26 bonuses, and royalties, including interest charges collected under 30 U.S.C. 1701 et seq. 27 (Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982), be paid to the state for disposition 28 by the legislature; and 29 WHEREAS the leasing of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for 30 oil and gas development would provide a source of funds for the costs of providing state 31 services to the people of the state; and
01 WHEREAS, in 16 U.S.C. 3142 (sec. 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands 02 Conservation Act), the United States Congress reserved the right to permit further oil and gas 03 exploration, development, and production within the coastal plain of the Arctic National 04 Wildlife Refuge; and 05 WHEREAS the oil industry, the state, and the United States Department of the 06 Interior consider the coastal plain to have the highest potential for discovery of very large oil 07 and gas accumulations on the continent of North America, estimated to be as much as 08 10,000,000,000 barrels of recoverable oil; and 09 WHEREAS the "1002 study area" is part of the coastal plain located within the North 10 Slope Borough, and many of the residents of the North Slope Borough, who are 11 predominantly Inupiat, are supportive of development in the "1002 study area"; and 12 WHEREAS the state recognizes and respects the right of Native landowners in and 13 adjacent to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 1002 study area, including the rights of the 14 Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and the Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation to develop their land 15 and resources entitlements under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and other 16 agreements; and 17 WHEREAS oil and gas exploration and development of the coastal plain of the 18 refuge, of adjacent land, and in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas could result in major 19 discoveries that would reduce our nation's dependency on oil produced by hostile foreign 20 nations, help balance the nation's trade deficit, and significantly increase the nation's security; 21 and 22 WHEREAS the state's and the nation's future energy independence would be 23 enhanced with additional natural gas production from the North Slope of Alaska, including 24 what are expected to be significant gas reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and 25 the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and the development of those reserves would enhance the 26 economic viability of the proposed Alaska liquefied gas project; and 27 WHEREAS domestic demand for energy continues to rise, and a reliable and secure 28 source of domestic oil and gas ensures ongoing economic security for the state and the nation; 29 and 30 WHEREAS development of oil at Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk, Endicott, Lisburne, and 31 Milne Point has resulted in thousands of jobs throughout the United States, and projected job
01 creation as a result of oil and gas development on the coastal plain and in the Chukchi and 02 Beaufort Seas will have a positive effect in all 50 states; and 03 WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, a national asset that would cost 04 billions of dollars to replace, would have its useful operating life extended for a substantial 05 period if the additional reserves of recoverable oil from the coastal plain and Chukchi and 06 Beaufort Seas were produced; and 07 WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System is currently being extended to leases at 08 Point Thomson, an area bordering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and oil produced in 09 the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would require only the additional construction of a 10 pipeline to Point Thomson to deliver oil to market; and 11 WHEREAS opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and 12 allowing leasing and exploration in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas would permit sufficient 13 time for planning environmental safeguards, development, and national security review; and 14 WHEREAS the 1,500,000-acre coastal plain of the refuge makes up less than eight 15 percent of the 19,000,000-acre refuge, and development of the oil and gas reserves in the 16 refuge's coastal plain would affect a limited area as defined by the United States Congress; 17 and 18 WHEREAS 8,900,000 of the 19,000,000 acres of the refuge have already been set 19 aside as wilderness; and 20 WHEREAS the oil industry has shown at Prudhoe Bay, as well as at other locations 21 along the Arctic coastal plain, that it is capable of conducting oil and gas activity without 22 adversely affecting the environment or wildlife populations; and 23 WHEREAS the oil and gas industry has developed directional drilling technology that 24 will allow horizontal drilling in a responsible manner by minimizing the development 25 footprint within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and that directional drilling technology 26 is capable of drilling from outside of the boundaries of the 1002 study area; and 27 WHEREAS the oil industry is using innovative technology and environmental 28 practices in new field developments, and those techniques are directly applicable to operating 29 on the coastal plain and in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas and would enhance environmental 30 protection beyond traditionally high standards; and 31 WHEREAS the state recognizes that the economic prosperity of the state and nation
01 is dependent on available, reliable, and affordable energy; 02 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the governor to work with 03 the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National 04 Wildlife Refuge and the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas to oil and gas exploration, development, 05 and production; and be it 06 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the governor and the 07 attorney general to take all legal action necessary to prevent President Barack Obama, the 08 United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the United States Department of the Interior, and 09 other federal agencies from unlawfully blocking oil and gas leasing, exploration, and 10 development on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in the Chukchi 11 and Beaufort Seas.