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HJR 12: Supporting the completion of the Northern Rail Extension; supporting the increase in defensive capabilities at Fort Greely, Alaska; and encouraging the development of critical Arctic infrastructure.

00                       HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 12                                                                     
01 Supporting the completion of the Northern Rail Extension; supporting the increase in                                    
02 defensive capabilities at Fort Greely, Alaska; and encouraging the development of                                       
03 critical Arctic infrastructure.                                                                                         
04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
05       WHEREAS Alaska is the only state in the United States that borders the Arctic                                 
06 Ocean; and                                                                                                            
07       WHEREAS the United States Department of Defense has expanded the anti-ballistic                                 
08 missile facility at Fort Greely, Alaska; and                                                                            
09       WHEREAS the United States Army has developed new training range areas to                                        
10 support the Stryker Brigade; and                                                                                        
11       WHEREAS Fort Greely is the only military base that is not currently connected to the                            
12 railroad system in the state; and                                                                                       
13       WHEREAS a railroad is well suited to provide the transportation support required to                             
14 sustain military operations; and                                                                                        
15       WHEREAS a cost-efficient transportation system would benefit the world-class                                    
01 mining operations located near Delta Junction and projected mining operations near Tetlin;                              
02 and                                                                                                                     
03       WHEREAS a cost-efficient transportation system would benefit the agricultural                                   
04 industry in the Delta Junction area, allowing the agricultural industry to become more cost-                            
05 efficient and competitive and increasing its ability to expand; and                                                     
06       WHEREAS a railroad would provide a cost-efficient method of transporting goods                                  
07 and services for both mining and agricultural activities in the Delta Junction region; and                              
08       WHEREAS the Alaska Railroad system has the capacity to provide efficient                                        
09 transportation services for heavy cargo and large quantities of supplies to the Delta Junction                          
10 region from the ports of Seward, Whittier, and Anchorage and to economically deliver mining                             
11 and agricultural products from the region to market; and                                                                
12 WHEREAS the extension of the Alaska Railroad to Delta Junction and Fort Greely is                                     
13 consistent with the long-term goals of the Alaska Railroad Corporation and the State of                                 
14 Alaska to extend rail service to the contiguous United States; and                                                      
15 WHEREAS the Alaska Railroad has already completed phase 1 of the Northern Rail                                        
16 Extension project by crossing the Tanana River, which brings the rail line within 70 miles of                           
17 Delta Junction and Fort Greely;                                                                                         
18 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports the completion of the                                       
19 Northern Rail Extension; and be it                                                                                      
20 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature recognizes the urgency of                                          
21 developing key infrastructure and defense capabilities, considering the investments other                               
22 nations have committed to the region, as well as the increased amount of time needed for                                
23 those types of projects because of the extreme weather of the region; and be it                                         
24 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Alaska                                                   
25 delegation in Congress to pursue the completion of the Northern Rail Extension for the                                  
26 purpose of securing the critical infrastructure that is necessary to improve defense capabilities                       
27 in the region.                                                                                                          
28 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President                                   
29 of the United States; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of                                          
30 Representatives; the Honorable Chuck Grassley, President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate; the                            
31 Honorable Patrick M. Shanahan, Acting United States Secretary of Defense; the Honorable                                 
01 David Bernhardt, Acting United States Secretary of the Interior; the Honorable Elaine L.                                
02 Chao, United States Secretary of Transportation; and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the                               
03 Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative,                                
04 members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.