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