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SJR 11: Urging the United States Secretary of State to issue a Presidential permit authorizing a railroad crossing of the Alaska-Canada border from state land into Yukon, Canada; and supporting cooperation between the United States and Canada to establish a public-private partnership for construction of a railroad from Alberta, Canada, to the state that would connect the Alaska Railroad to the North American railroad system.

00                       SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 11                                                                    
01 Urging the United States Secretary of State to issue a Presidential permit authorizing a                                
02 railroad crossing of the Alaska-Canada border from state land into Yukon, Canada;                                       
03 and supporting cooperation between the United States and Canada to establish a public-                                  
04 private partnership for construction of a railroad from Alberta, Canada, to the state                                   
05 that would connect the Alaska Railroad to the North American railroad system.                                           
06 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
07 WHEREAS, in 1914, the United States Congress passed legislation authorizing                                         
08 construction of up to 1,000 miles of railroad in the Territory of Alaska to connect coastal and                         
09 interior regions of the territory and support mineral and agricultural development, freight and                         
10 passenger service, and military operations, yet little more than 500 miles of the Alaska                                
11 Railroad have been built under both federal and state governments; and                                                  
12 WHEREAS, in 2004, the Twenty-Third Alaska State Legislature authorized the                                            
13 Alaska Railroad Corporation, under AS 42.40.460(a), to "delineate a proposed transportation                             
14 corridor between the existing railroad utility corridor of the Alaska Railroad and the border of                        
15 Alaska and Canada," which would be approximately 250 miles, and, under AS 42.40.465(a),                                 
01 to "investigate extension of the Alaska Railroad from the border of Alaska and Canada to                                
02 connect with the North American railroad system," which would be approximately 1,200                                    
03 additional miles; and                                                                                                   
04 WHEREAS previous state studies, private estimates, and a 2016 Van Horne Institute                                     
05 study financed by the government of Alberta, Canada, indicate that a railroad connecting                                
06 Alberta to the state could attract enough traffic to be economically viable despite capital costs                       
07 estimated at over $17,000,000,000; and                                                                                  
08 WHEREAS the Alaska Railroad Corporation could enter into public-private                                               
09 partnerships to support financing, construction, and operation of a railroad connecting the                             
10 Alaska Railroad to the North American railroad system; and                                                              
11 WHEREAS the state would not be required to provide funding for a railroad project                                     
12 connecting Alberta, Canada, to the state; and                                                                           
13 WHEREAS, in 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11423, as                                      
14 amended, requiring a Presidential permit to be granted before infrastructure connecting the                             
15 United States with a foreign country is constructed and operated; and                                                   
16 WHEREAS Presidential permission to construct and operate a railroad from Alberta,                                     
17 Canada, to the state, with the cooperation of the Alaska Railroad Corporation, is sought to                             
18 reduce regulatory risk and to facilitate raising the necessary global risk capital for the                              
19 engineering, permitting, construction, and operation of a railroad from Alberta to the state;                           
20 and                                                                                                                     
21 WHEREAS the United States and the state have long enjoyed and relied on peaceful                                      
22 cooperation with Canada with respect to the railroad over White Pass, from Skagway into                                 
23 Yukon, Canada, and roads connecting the state to Canada and the contiguous United States,                               
24 including the Taylor Highway, the Alaska Highway, the Haines Highway, the South Klondike                                
25 Highway, and the Cassiar Highway; and                                                                                   
26 WHEREAS Indigenous peoples in Canada, Alaska Natives, and residents of                                                
27 communities along the route of the proposed railroad connecting Alberta, Canada, to the state                           
28 would have the opportunity to be involved, to comment on the project, and to understand the                             
29 purpose and location of the route; and                                                                                  
30 WHEREAS some of the state's Pacific ports could contribute to faster and more                                         
31 efficient shipping of goods in and out of North America if a railroad connecting Alberta,                               
01 Canada, to the state were constructed; and                                                                              
02 WHEREAS a railroad connecting Alberta, Canada, to the state would further the                                         
03 security and global competitive economic positions of the United States and Canada and                                  
04 enable new economic opportunities for the state and Yukon, British Columbia, and Alberta,                               
05 Canada;                                                                                                                 
06       BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States                                        
07 Secretary of State to issue a Presidential permit allowing a railroad crossing of the Alaska-                           
08 Canada border from state land into Yukon, Canada; and be it                                                             
09       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States                                      
10 Secretary of State to issue a Presidential permit allowing a railroad connecting Alberta,                               
11 Canada, to the state as soon as practicable to reduce any regulatory risk for the project; and be                       
12 it                                                                                                                      
13 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports the highest safety                                        
14 and environmental standards for the construction and operation of railroads connecting the                              
15 state to Canada; and be it                                                                                              
16 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports participation by                                          
17 Indigenous peoples in Canada, Alaska Natives, and residents of communities along the route                              
18 of proposed railroads connecting the state to Canada in the development of the project; and be                          
19 it                                                                                                                      
20 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature welcomes a public-private                                          
21 partnership with the Alaska Railroad Corporation to facilitate global capital investment in the                         
22 development of a railroad connecting Alberta, Canada, to the state, and encourages                                      
23 cooperation between the United States and Canada, specifically between the state, and Yukon,                            
24 British Columbia, and Alberta, Canada, to speed the development of the project; and be it                               
25 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature welcomes the                                                   
26 participation of global investors, state residents, Alaska Native corporations, state tribal                            
27 entities, and Indigenous peoples in Canada subject to each investor's due diligence, to help                            
28 develop a railroad connecting the state to Canada.                                                                      
29 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President                                   
30 of the United States; the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada; the                                
31 Honorable Mike Pompeo, United States Secretary of State; the Honourable David                                           
01 MacNaughton, Ambassador of Canada to the United States; the Honourable Chrystia                                         
02 Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada; the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of                                 
03 Transport, Canada; the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous                                         
04 Relations, Canada; the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and                                    
05 Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, Canada; the Honorable Elaine L. Chao, United States                                
06 Secretary of Transportation; the Honorable Rick Perry, United States Secretary of Energy; the                           
07 Honorable Kirstjen Nielsen, United States Secretary of Homeland Security; the Honorable                                 
08 Robert E. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative; the Honorable David Bernhardt,                                
09 Acting United States Secretary of the Interior; the Honorable Kyle K. Hipsley, Commissioner                             
10 for the United States, International Boundary Commission; the Honourable Jean Gagnon,                                   
11 Commissioner for Canada, International Boundary Commission; the Honorable Ann D.                                        
12 Begeman, Chair, United States Surface Transportation Board; the Honourable Scott Streiner,                              
13 Chief Executive Officer and Chair, Canadian Transportation Agency; the Honorable Kelly                                  
14 Craft, United States Ambassador to Canada; the Honourable Larry Bagnell, Member of the                                  
15 House of Commons of Canada representing Yukon; the Honourable Sandy Silver, Premier of                                  
16 Yukon, Canada; the Honourable John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia, Canada; the                                     
17 Honourable Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta, Canada; and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski                                  
18 and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S.                                        
19 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.