Legislature(2011 - 2012)BARNES 124

02/22/2011 10:15 AM ECON. DEV., TRADE & TOURISM

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10:19:36 AM Start
10:22:49 AM HJR15
11:12:17 AM Presentation(s): "getting Alaskans' Gas to Alaskans in the Shortest Amount of Time While Maximizing an Export Opportunity," by David Gottstein
11:53:50 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
+ Presentation: "Getting Alaskans' Gas to Alaskans TELECONFERENCED
in the Shortest Amount of Time While Maximizing
an Export Opportunity," by David Gottstein
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HJR 15-SUPPORT ARCTIC CAUCUS                                                                              
10:22:49 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON announced that the  first order of business would be                                                               
HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION  NO. 15,  Relating to  collaboration with                                                               
the  Yukon  and the  Northwest  Territories  through the  Pacific                                                               
NorthWest  Economic  Region  and  its Arctic  Caucus  to  address                                                               
common issues.                                                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR  HERRON   called  a  brief  at-ease   due  to  technical                                                               
10:23:08 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR HERRON called  an at-ease from 10:24 a.m.  to 10:28 a.m.                                                               
due to technical difficulties.                                                                                                  
10:28:53 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR HERRON introduced Mr. Earl.                                                                                            
10:29:15 AM                                                                                                                   
ROB  EARL,   staff,  Representative  Bob  Herron,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  introduced  HJR  15  on  behalf  of  Representative                                                               
Herron, prime sponsor.  Mr.  Earl informed the committee that HJR
15  encourages  the  legislature  to support  the  Arctic  Caucus                                                               
within  the  Pacific  NorthWest Economic  Region  (PNWER).    The                                                               
Pacific NorthWest Economic Region was  founded in 1991 and is the                                                               
only   statutory,   non-partisan,   bi-national,   public-private                                                               
partnership  in North  America.   The organization  includes five                                                               
U.S.  states,  two  Canadian   territories,  and  three  Canadian                                                               
provinces;  its mission  is to  increase the  economic well-being                                                               
and  quality  of  life  for   all  citizens  of  the  region,  to                                                               
coordinate  provincial  and  state   policies,  to  identify  and                                                               
promote models  of success,  and to  serve as  a conduit  for the                                                               
exchange of  information.   Mr. Earl  noted that  PNWER addresses                                                               
issues  through eighteen  working  groups, one  of  which is  the                                                               
Arctic Caucus that  includes legislators, governmental officials,                                                               
and  business  and  non-profit  leaders  working  to  responsibly                                                               
develop  North America's  Arctic.   The caucus  began meeting  in                                                               
July  2010, for  the purpose  of  providing a  forum for  Alaska,                                                               
Northwest Territories (NWT), and  Yukon Territory (YT) to discuss                                                               
issues of  mutual concern, share information,  and identify areas                                                               
of  possible  collaboration;  for  example,  to  promote  a  pan-                                                               
northern  approach   to  federal  government.     The  resolution                                                               
addresses this approach  and states "the Arctic  Caucus will also                                                               
strive  to promote  a synchronized  message detailing  the common                                                               
needs of  the Arctic  Caucus member  regions to  their respective                                                               
federal    governments   and    emphasizing   that    coordinated                                                               
U.S./Canadian federal  policies are  vital for the  well-being of                                                               
the  region's  citizens."   He  advised  the  resolution's  final                                                               
resolve calls on the governments of  YT and NWT to join Alaska in                                                               
an enduring alliance to pursue common goals.                                                                                    
10:32:22 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. EARL  provided a  PowerPoint presentation  titled, "HJR  15 -                                                               
Support  Arctic Caucus."   Slide  2 indicated  that the  combined                                                               
land  area of  NWT and  YT is  larger than  Alaska, but  Alaska's                                                               
population  is almost  ten  times that  of  the two  territories.                                                               
Slide 3  was a map  of the Arctic Caucus  and he pointed  out the                                                               
expense of traveling to Whitehorse,  Inuvik, and Yellowknife from                                                               
Anchorage.    Slide 5  provided  economic  information about  the                                                               
region.   Slide 6  indicated that  Arctic populations  across the                                                               
Arctic Ocean  vastly outnumber the  population on  Alaska's side.                                                               
In  fact, almost  one-half of  Arctic residents  live in  Russia.                                                               
Mr. Earl  pointed out that  United Nations (UN)  mapping includes                                                               
all  of  Alaska's population  in  its  Arctic  totals.   Slide  7                                                               
indicated   that  Alaska   has  the   third  largest   indigenous                                                               
population behind  Canada and Greenland.   Slide  8 was a  map of                                                               
the two major  sea routes through the Arctic  Ocean; the Northern                                                               
Sea  Route  follows the  northern  coastline  of Russia  and  the                                                               
Northwest Passage follows the coastline  of Canada.  Slides 9 and                                                               
10  indicated that  there  is increasing  vessel  traffic in  the                                                               
Arctic  Ocean  and  Bering  Strait,  up  from  an  estimated  325                                                               
transits  per  year.   Slide  11  displayed extended  continental                                                               
shelf claims  under the United  Nations Convention on the  Law of                                                               
the  Sea  (UNCLOS).   Under  the  provisions of  UNCLOS,  coastal                                                               
countries have  resource control over an  Exclusive Economic Zone                                                               
(EEZ) from shoreline out to the  edge of the continental shelf or                                                               
200  miles,  whichever is  farther.    He  pointed out  that  the                                                               
continental shelf  around Alaska is  "narrow" except for  an area                                                               
near the maritime border with Russia,  where the U.S. can make an                                                               
extended  Continental Shelf  Claim north  of the  U.S. EEZ  after                                                               
UNCLOS is  ratified by the  U.S. Senate.  Slide  13 was a  map of                                                               
extended claims by country.                                                                                                     
10:37:56 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK asked how claims are made.                                                                                  
MR. EARL advised that claims are made to the UN for judgment.                                                                   
10:38:19 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON clarified  that the basis of Russia's  claim is that                                                               
the territory is an extension  of the Continental Shelf, and that                                                               
would pertain to the U.S. as well.                                                                                              
MR.  EARL explained  that Slide  14 indicates  an area  about the                                                               
size  of New  Jersey  that  is under  a  maritime border  dispute                                                               
between the U.S. and Canada.   Canada has delineated its maritime                                                               
border as  an extension  of the land  boundary, whereas  the U.S.                                                               
has drawn the boundary perpendicular to the coastline.                                                                          
10:39:33 AM                                                                                                                   
MATT  MORRISON, Executive  Director,  Pacific NorthWest  Economic                                                               
Region  (PNWER), noted  that during  PNWER's twenty-year  history                                                               
two Alaskans have  served as its president.   Mr. Morrison opined                                                               
the   point  of   the  Arctic   Caucus  is   the  importance   of                                                               
relationships  in  accomplishing  goals for  a  large  geographic                                                               
area; in fact,  provincial and state efforts can  be combined for                                                               
a  greater   voice  in  the   federal  capitals  of   Ottawa  and                                                               
Washington, D.C.,  and throughout the  region.  Members  of PNWER                                                               
are:  Alaska, Alberta, British  Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, Montana,                                                               
Saskatchewan,   Washington,   Yukon  Territory,   and   Northwest                                                               
Territories.   He relayed  that an  example of  PNWER'S expanding                                                               
spheres of  cooperation between its  members is  the facilitation                                                               
of  enhanced  driver's  licenses  that will  serve  as  passports                                                               
within  the  region.   Another  example  is  PNWER's  Legislative                                                               
Energy Horizon Institute.   Graduates of the  institute are state                                                               
and  provincial legislators  who  participated  in a  bi-national                                                               
effort with the U.S. Department  of Energy and Canadian provinces                                                               
to study energy  policy.  Prior to the XXI  Olympic Winter Games,                                                               
PNWER formed a  border council to address  border concerns, which                                                               
led to further progress toward  the Beyond the Border Declaration                                                               
regarding  regulatory compliance  and perimeter  security issues.                                                               
In addition, PWNER  has hosted legislative visits  to the Alberta                                                               
Oil  Sands to  discuss royalty  issues.   The  Arctic Caucus  was                                                               
developed in  2009 with strong  support from NWT and  YT, because                                                               
of the  common concern with states  in the U.S. that  the federal                                                               
government in Ottawa  "doesn't listen to them,"  and linking with                                                               
Alaska  creates  a  different   opportunity  for  attention  from                                                               
Ottawa.  Mr. Morrison also  pointed out that PNWER contributed to                                                               
a  proposed  international  rail  connection  along  the  British                                                               
Colombia,  Washington,  and Oregon  corridor  which  led to  $726                                                               
million for rail infrastructure improvements.                                                                                   
10:45:26 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. MORRISON  advised that the Arctic  Caucus is a forum  for the                                                               
northern jurisdictions,  although other states and  provinces are                                                               
central to  many Arctic  issues such  as seaports  in Washington,                                                               
and  oil sands  development  in Alberta.    The first  leadership                                                               
forum was held  in Barrow, Alaska in 2010, and  action items that                                                               
were   addressed  included   advocacy  from   Canada  and   PNWER                                                               
encouraging  U.S.  participation  in   the  Arctic  Council,  and                                                               
promotion  of  a  northern  approach on  common  issues  to  both                                                               
federal  governments.    Other   issues  addressed  included  the                                                               
expansion   of   the   Marine  Exchange   of   Alaska   Automatic                                                               
Identification  System  (AIS)  to  support  better  capacity  for                                                               
search and  rescue, including joint  training exercises,  and the                                                               
promotion of federal  support for the Alaska  Highway and Shakwak                                                               
funding.    Other  issues  identified  included:    gas  pipeline                                                               
development; UNCLOS;  energy development and  transmission; joint                                                               
tourism  and  marketing;   training  and  workforce  development;                                                               
support   of   youth   exchange  programs;   completion   of   an                                                               
infrastructure   gap  analysis   to  provide   justification  for                                                               
investment in  future cross-border infrastructure.   The next two                                                               
meetings  of  the  Arctic  Caucus  are  scheduled  for  Portland,                                                               
Oregon, in  July 2011, and  in Yellowknife, NWT, in  August 2011.                                                               
Mr.  Morrison  said at  these  meetings  and others,  the  Arctic                                                               
Caucus will  push for  its action  items to  Ottawa and  the U.S.                                                               
federal government.   He concluded  by saying that there  will be                                                               
further  developments  to  implement and  support  Arctic  Caucus                                                               
initiatives, and he urged support of HJR 15.                                                                                    
10:49:12 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  HERRON  asked  if  there   has  been  a  reaction  to  the                                                               
resolution from PNWER's Canadian members.                                                                                       
10:49:19 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  MORRISON  observed there  is  keen  interest in  the  Alaska                                                               
legislation by YT and NWT.   In further response to Chair Herron,                                                               
he  opined  similar  action  is   forthcoming  in  YT,  but  both                                                               
territories are involved in upcoming elections.                                                                                 
10:50:17 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER spoke of his  personal experiences with Mr.                                                               
Morrison and expressed his strong support for PNWER.                                                                            
10:51:51 AM                                                                                                                   
NILS  ANDREASSEN,  Managing  Director,  Institute  of  the  North                                                               
(Institute), noted  the hearing  was being filmed  by a  group of                                                               
young  Alaskans who  were brought  to  the State  Capitol by  the                                                               
Institute to film a series  of tutorials of the state legislature                                                               
for  young Alaskans.   He  then  advised that  the Institute  was                                                               
founded to educate Alaskans about  the reality, the richness, and                                                               
the  responsibility of  the northern  regions,  thus it  provides                                                               
opportunities for  stakeholders from across the  Arctic to engage                                                               
in   circumpolar  transportation,   energy,  and   infrastructure                                                               
issues.    In  addition,  the   Institute  serves  the  state  by                                                               
connecting  local,  state,  federal, and  international  parties,                                                               
often through Arctic Council initiatives  which it believes to be                                                               
the   proper  international   forum  for   addressing  technical,                                                               
scientific and  human challenges.   A  valuable corollary  to the                                                               
Arctic Council  would be a  sub-regional forum such as  the PNWER                                                               
Arctic  Caucus.    The caucus  would  provide  opportunities  for                                                               
Alaska to engage with its  neighbors to articulate a pan-northern                                                               
approach  to   infrastructure  and   policy  development.     Mr.                                                               
Andreassen  turned to  several important  Arctic issues,  such as                                                               
the  responsible   management  and  development  of   energy  and                                                               
resources that  will sustain the  economies of  northern regions.                                                               
Furthermore, Alaska's geographic location  reinforces its role to                                                               
respond  to  increases  in   Arctic  tourism  and  transportation                                                               
through the Bering Strait, thus must  be in a position to respond                                                               
to  the needs  of search  and rescue  in its  waters and  beyond.                                                               
Infrastructure  to  support  transportation  activity  is  needed                                                               
immediately due  to the aging  icebreaker fleet and  the distance                                                               
of the region  from responders.  In fact, the  940 miles from the                                                               
Coast Guard  base at Kodiak  to Point  Barrow is nearly  equal to                                                               
the distance  from Seattle to  Los Angeles.   He pointed  out the                                                               
state  must advocate  for investment  in critical  transportation                                                               
infrastructure   by  its   participation   in  sub-regional   and                                                               
international  forums.   The Institute  has strong  relationships                                                               
with   Alaska's   neighbors,   and   he   stressed   that   these                                                               
relationships  are  crucial  in  today's world  of  "mixed  media                                                               
messages and  hyper-sensationalism."  The Arctic  Caucus provides                                                               
a needed  opportunity to produce  sound and  relevant information                                                               
to address  critical issues.  Alaska  must play a strong  role in                                                               
decisions  affecting  northern  waters   such  as  Arctic  marine                                                               
shipping,  increased activity  along Alaska's  coast, search  and                                                               
rescue, and  Arctic aviation.   All of these issues  should align                                                               
with  national policies  in a  spirit of  cooperation similar  to                                                               
Canada's  commitment  to  the  Arctic in  2010  that  included  a                                                               
foreign policy statement to work  with international partners for                                                               
the advancement  of the  region.  The  Institute will  be hosting                                                               
the  Arctic  Policy Forum  with  presentations  from many  Arctic                                                               
neighbors  discussing  complex  regional   issues.    He  closed,                                                               
advising  that further  interaction  to strengthen  relationships                                                               
can be provided by PNWER's Arctic Caucus.                                                                                       
10:58:53 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON asked  for the highlight of the  Arctic Policy Forum                                                               
MR.  ANDREASSEN explained  the clear  priority of  the conference                                                               
will be the infrastructure deficit  revealed by the Arctic marine                                                               
shipping assessment, and the gaps  in Alaska's ability to respond                                                               
to issues along its coast.                                                                                                      
11:00:03 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  GARDNER observed  that  Canada  has other  Arctic                                                               
provinces  and  asked  why  they are  not  participating  in  the                                                               
MR.  ANDREASSEN advised  that other  territories  and states  are                                                               
stakeholders and can participate in Arctic issues through PNWER.                                                                
CHAIR HERRON observed  that the provinces and  territories have a                                                               
different relationship to  Ottawa, thus the Arctic  is the common                                                               
denominator in this PNWER sub-caucus.                                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER  asked for the  first step that  Alaska can                                                               
take to solve the gaps in search and rescue response.                                                                           
11:02:36 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  ANDRESASSEN  recalled  a recommendation  by  the  leadership                                                               
forum  that called  for two  processes:   to assess  and identify                                                               
benchmarks for infrastructure that is  needed at airports such as                                                               
lighting and  modifications at ports,  and a  baseline assessment                                                               
of existing infrastructure.                                                                                                     
CHAIR HERRON  paraphrased a letter from  Lieutenant Governor Mead                                                               
Treadwell,  indicating  Alaska  is   an  important  part  of  our                                                               
national  security,  and  the governor  and  lieutenant  governor                                                               
appreciate the resolution.                                                                                                      
11:03:59 AM                                                                                                                   
MICHAEL O'HARE,  Deputy Director,  Division of  Homeland Security                                                               
/Emergency  Management,   Department  of  Military   &  Veterans'                                                               
Affairs  (DMVA),   stated  there  are  existing   agreements  and                                                               
advisory   committees  between   Alaska   and  Canada   regarding                                                               
coordination  on emergency  preparedness, response,  and recovery                                                               
issues.     Alaska   has  the   responsibility  to   ensure  that                                                               
communities are best prepared for any disaster.                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER  complimented the division on  its response                                                               
to problems in Savoonga.                                                                                                        
11:06:36 AM                                                                                                                   
PAUL FUHS,  Board President, Marine Exchange  of Alaska, informed                                                               
the committee  that vessels in  international trade  are required                                                               
to carry transponders  on board to transmit their  location.  The                                                               
Marine Exchange, with the support  of the U.S. Coast Guard, state                                                               
funds, and private  sector funds, installed an  array of antennas                                                               
in the Arctic and in Alaska to  track the vessels.  Mr. Fuhs said                                                               
the  amount   of  current  vessel   activity  in  this   area  is                                                               
incredible.    The tracking  system  allows  analysis of  "Arctic                                                               
domain  awareness"  and from  this  data  policy  can be  set  on                                                               
whether there  should be established  fairways and  buffer zones.                                                               
Tracking also indicates which  vessels are following regulations,                                                               
and  if there  is a  marine casualty,  can show  the command  and                                                               
control  of  the  assets,  response  vessel  location,  equipment                                                               
location, and the  drift zone of an oil spill.   Mr. Fuhs offered                                                               
to  display the  system to  the committee  at a  later date.   He                                                               
expressed his support  of HJR 15 with its focus  on Arctic issues                                                               
such as  the U.S. Arctic  policy, oceans  policy, the law  of the                                                               
sea  treaty,  the Endangered  Species  Act,  and risk  assessment                                                               
activities  of the  Bering Strait  and  Unimak Pass.   He  opined                                                               
these  are national  and  international  overarching issues  that                                                               
will affect  the state.   Mr. Fuhs also  spoke in support  of the                                                               
capital request by  the Institute of the North  for an assessment                                                               
task.   He stressed that the  state should be "on  the front end"                                                               
of the  issues in the  Arctic because  they are directly  tied to                                                               
economic development.                                                                                                           
11:09:53 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  HERRON spoke  of  the importance  of  the Marine  Exchange                                                               
during the successful rescue of the  crew from a freighter in the                                                               
Aleutian Chain.                                                                                                                 
[HJR 15 was heard and held.]                                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR 15 - Alaska Arctic Caucus - PNWER.pptx HEDT 2/22/2011 10:15:00 AM
HJR 15
HJR 15 - Arctic Caucus Proceedings.pdf HEDT 2/22/2011 10:15:00 AM
HJR 15
HJR 15 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDT 2/22/2011 10:15:00 AM
HJR 15
EDT - Gottstein slides 2.22.11.ppt HEDT 2/22/2011 10:15:00 AM