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SCS CSHCR 3(JUD): 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; and urging the governor and the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee to work with the United States Congress to enact measures necessary to prevent President Barack Obama and federal agencies from implementing regulations that place landscape characteristic restrictions on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that are equivalent to the restrictions placed on land given a wilderness designation.

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