Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

01/24/2020 01:00 PM RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
02:20:07 PM Start
02:20:52 PM Presentation(s): Alaska's Changing Climate
03:21:00 PM HR12
03:53:49 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to a Call of the Chair --
+= HB 27 REGULATION OF FLAME RETARDANT CHEMICALS TELECONFERENCED
Scheduled but Not Heard
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Presentation: Alaska's Changing Climate by Brian TELECONFERENCED
Brettschneider, Research Associate, University
of Alaska Fairbanks
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
*+ HR 12 HOUSE SPEC. COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                        January 24, 2020                                                                                        
                           2:20 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative John Lincoln, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Geran Tarr, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Grier Hopkins, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                                      
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                    
Representative Dave Talerico                                                                                                    
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                              
Representative Zack Fields                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION(S):  ALASKA'S CHANGING CLIMATE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 12                                                                                                         
Establishing a House Special Committee on Climate Change.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 27                                                                                                               
"An  Act relating  to the  manufacture,  sale, distribution,  and                                                               
labeling  of  child-related  products  containing  certain  flame                                                               
retardant   chemicals;  relating   to  an   interstate  chemicals                                                               
clearinghouse; adding  unlawful acts  to the Alaska  Unfair Trade                                                               
Practices  and  Consumer Protection  Act;  and  providing for  an                                                               
effective date."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HR  12                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) JOSEPHSON                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
05/14/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
05/14/19       (H)       RES                                                                                                    
01/24/20       (H)       RES AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN BRETTSCHNEIDER, PhD, Research Associate Academic                                                                          
University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                                                                  
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Provided   a  PowerPoint   presentation                                                             
entitled,  "Alaska  House  Resources  Committee  Presentation  on                                                               
Climate Change  in Alaska,"  dated 1/24/20,  and did  not express                                                               
support of or opposition to proposed legislation.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ANDY JOSEPHSON                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor, introduced HR 12.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
NATHANIEL GRABMAN, Staff                                                                                                        
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    On behalf  of  Representative  Josephson,                                                             
prime sponsor,  provided a PowerPoint presentation  entitled, "HR
12, Establishing a House Special Committee on Climate Change."                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:20:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  JOHN  LINCOLN  called   the  House  Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to order at  2:20 p.m.  Representatives Hannan,                                                               
Talerico, Tarr, Hopkins, and Lincoln  were present at the call to                                                               
order.  Representatives Spohnholz,  Rasmussen, Rauscher, and Tuck                                                               
arrived as  the meeting was  in progress.   Representative Fields                                                               
also was present.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION(S):  Alaska's Changing Climate                                                                                    
          PRESENTATION(S):  Alaska's Changing Climate                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
2:20:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN announced  the first order of  business would be                                                               
a presentation on Climate Change in Alaska.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:21:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BRIAN   BRETTSCHNEIDER,   PhD,   Research   Associate   Academic,                                                               
University   of   Alaska   Fairbanks,   provided   a   PowerPoint                                                               
presentation   entitled,   "Alaska  House   Resources   Committee                                                               
Presentation on  Climate Change in  Alaska."   Dr. Brettschneider                                                               
said his climate  research on behalf of the  University of Alaska                                                               
- Fairbanks (UAF) is funded primarily  by federal taxes and he is                                                               
a representative  of UAF,  but he  is not speaking  for UAF.   He                                                               
said the  presentation will provide  a factual record  of climate                                                               
in Alaska.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  LINCOLN  noted   the  aforementioned  presentation  and                                                               
proposed legislation are  not related; UAF does  not advocate for                                                               
or against specific legislation.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER  restated he seeks only  to provide background                                                               
information  and current  status on  climate in  order to  inform                                                               
future legislative  discussion.   He directed attention  to slide                                                               
2, which  was a  map with  Alaska climate  divisions superimposed                                                               
over  Lower 48  climate divisions,  and pointed  out the  various                                                               
climate  divisions in  Alaska vary  greatly, but  are still  more                                                               
closely related than  to climate divisions in the Lower  48.  Dr.                                                               
Brettschneider explained  climate is  the slowly  varying aspects                                                               
of the  atmosphere, hydrosphere, and land  surface systems [slide                                                               
3].  For  example, thousand-year-old ice in  a glacier represents                                                               
climate  and  seven-day-old  ice  on a  lake  represents  weather                                                               
[slide  4].    Slide  5   showed  two  maps  representing  annual                                                               
temperature and  annual precipitation  in Alaska  from 1981-2010.                                                               
Permafrost is  permanently frozen  ground that can  be continuous                                                               
and discontinuous and varies in depth;  he related in the last 50                                                               
years more mass was lost  from Alaska glaciers than other regions                                                               
[slide 6].  Slide 7  illustrated boreal forest, mixed forest, and                                                               
temperate  rainforest of  Alaska.   Slide  8 illustrated  climate                                                               
classifications for  Alaska.   Dr. Brettschneider  said landscape                                                               
begins with  the geology  of an  area, but  subsequently develops                                                               
from  its climate;  for example,  forests, wetlands,  permafrost,                                                               
tundra, and  wildlife result  from climate  [slide 9].   Further,                                                               
moose and caribou  depend upon climate and their  movement to new                                                               
habitat affects all Alaskans [slide 10].                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:29:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER continued  to slide 11, noting  salmon may not                                                               
adapt to  warmer water and  ocean acidification, thus may  not be                                                               
able  to support  subsistence fishing  or  a commercial  fishery.                                                               
All aspects  of Alaska,  such as  its economy,  way of  life, and                                                               
cultural  heritage,  are  related  to  its  climate.    Slide  13                                                               
illustrated mean temperature percentiles for  2019;  2019 was the                                                               
warmest  year for  Alaska since  1925  and the  first year  above                                                               
freezing, and he described the  effects of above freezing average                                                               
temperatures [slides 13-14].                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:33:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   HOPKINS  asked   whether  the   source  of   the                                                               
aforementioned data is the [USArray Transportable Array] system.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER  said no.   The USArray  system is  a resource                                                               
that will provide data for  short-term gaps where Alaska does not                                                               
have weather  stations, but its  data is not included  in climate                                                               
analysis.   Slide 15  illustrated Alaska's  statewide temperature                                                               
was  above normal  1/1/19-12/31/19.   Slide  16 reflected  Alaska                                                               
statewide temperature  data from  1850-2019.   Dr. Brettschneider                                                               
observed cold  spells in Alaska  historically occurred  every two                                                               
to three  years and  recently occur every  seven to  eight years.                                                               
Globally, temperatures  are higher  from Portugal to  Siberia and                                                               
elsewhere [slide 17].                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:38:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR  asked for clarification on  the key to the  map on                                                               
slide 17.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER explained the  increase reported in Celsius is                                                               
1.5 degrees  Fahrenheit globally,  and approximately  2.0 degrees                                                               
Fahrenheit  for the  Arctic  and  Antarctica; Earth's  atmosphere                                                               
provides six degrees of warmth and  an increase of two degrees is                                                               
significant.   Slide 18 illustrated  the 100 warmest  and coldest                                                               
days in  Alaska between  1953 and 2020.   He  acknowledged record                                                               
cold can occur in a warming world.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:40:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  about a  gap  in data  on slide  18                                                               
between 1977 and 1988.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER  returned attention to slide  16 and explained                                                               
a  cooling trend  from 1950  through 1970  and occurred  when air                                                               
pollution  from  coal power  plants  and  soot blocked  sunlight,                                                               
resulting in lower temperatures  worldwide; after efforts cleaned                                                               
the air of  pollution, the Earth resumed heating.   Slides 19 and                                                               
20  depicted recent  trends in  Alaska during  the four  seasons;                                                               
slides  21 and  22 illustrated  the warmest  and coldest  decades                                                               
since 1900 worldwide.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:44:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BRETTSCHNEIDER turned  attention  to the  history of  global                                                               
warming  science:   in  1856,  a scientist  discovered  CO2 is  a                                                               
greenhouse   gas  that   warms  the   Earth;  greenhouse   effect                                                               
recognized in  1859; amount of  warming predicted in  1896 [slide                                                               
24].   Slide  25  demonstrated the  greenhouse  effect; slide  26                                                               
acknowledged there are  myths about the causes  of climate change                                                               
such as  volcanos, sunspots, and  natural cycles, that  have been                                                               
contradicted when compared to industrial activities.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:47:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK surmised [emissions  from] volcanos would not                                                               
measure on the slide 26 graph.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER  said a volcano  would register as  a specific                                                               
event  but  would not  [affect]  an  average  year.   In  further                                                               
response to Representative Tuck, he  explained the slide 26 graph                                                               
represents approximately 100 years in time.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  questioned the effect  of cycles of  the sun                                                               
[on climate change].                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BRETTSCHNEIDER said  the effect  of solar  changes may  be 2                                                               
percent.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:49:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN asked  for information  related to  the                                                               
amount  of  Alaska's  contribution to  emissions  [of  greenhouse                                                               
gases], separate from the amount of global emissions.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER  offered to provide an  accounting of Alaska's                                                               
emissions.  He  directed attention to slide  27 which illustrated                                                               
the amount  of warming due to  changing energy from the  sun; the                                                               
main  solar  cycle  follows  an  11-year cycle  and  is  a  minor                                                               
component compared to other factors.   Also shown on slide 27 was                                                               
the impact  of greenhouse  gases, aerosols,  and changes  in land                                                               
use;  for example,  clearing  of land  has  a short-term  cooling                                                               
effect.   In 1982, Exxon released  a climate study on  the effect                                                               
of CO2 emissions that  accurately projected current temperatures;                                                               
in  fact, the  science  is a  straight-forward chemical  equation                                                               
[slides 28 and 29].                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:52:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  returned attention to slide  27 and surmised                                                               
the red  bars represent warmer  temperatures.  He asked  what the                                                               
brackets represent.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER said the brackets  are error bars and/or year-                                                               
to-year  variability.    In further  response  to  Representative                                                               
Tuck, he said Freon  is a chlorofluorocarbon; chlorofluorocarbons                                                               
are potent greenhouse gases that  trap heat and destroy the ozone                                                               
and would be included in  "short-lived gases that create ozone or                                                               
destroy other greenhouse gases."   Further, Freon would not be in                                                               
the atmosphere in sufficient volume  to be a major contributor to                                                               
greenhouse warming.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:55:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BRETTSCHNEIDER  pointed  out  data shown  on  slide  30  are                                                               
Keeling Curves which  indicate over the last 300  years there was                                                               
a  minor  rise  until  the   mid-Twentieth  Century.    Slide  31                                                               
illustrated warmer  and colder periods  of time over  500 million                                                               
years;  however,  during human  civilization,  there  has been  a                                                               
stable climate.   Also shown was a prediction  of temperatures by                                                               
2050 and 2100  that would be the warmest  temperatures in perhaps                                                               
several  million  years.   Dr.  Brettschneider  acknowledged  the                                                               
Earth has been warmer during pre-human times.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER,  in response to Representative  Tuck, said to                                                               
disregard  the bottom  line  on  each graph  shown  on slide  30.                                                               
Slide  32  was a  list  of  major scientific  organizations  that                                                               
believe  global warming  is primarily  caused  by greenhouse  gas                                                               
emissions,  with the  exception  of the  American Association  of                                                               
Petroleum Geologists.   Slide 33 illustrated sea ice  and sea ice                                                               
concentration; Arctic  areas and  Alaska are warming  faster than                                                               
the rest  of the world  because ice and  snow act like  a mirror.                                                               
He remarked:                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     When  you remove  the  snow and  ice,  instead of  that                                                                    
     solar energy hitting  it and going back  out into space                                                                    
     -  which means  it's like  it  never was  there in  the                                                                    
     first place -  now it's like a potato  in the microwave                                                                    
     ... that's  getting that energy  from the sun  and it's                                                                    
     heating it up, which then melts  more snow and ice.  We                                                                    
     call  that  a  positive   feedback  cycle.    At  lower                                                                    
     latitudes, they don't have a  lot of snow and ice, they                                                                    
     feel the  global effects, but not  the regional effects                                                                    
     like we do.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER  continued to slide 34  which illustrated over                                                               
the  last ten  years temperatures  from the  Arctic Circle  north                                                               
have increased  five to six degrees  Fahrenheit over temperatures                                                               
prior to 1950,  due to the ice and snow  feedback cycle; slide 35                                                               
listed  tangible  effects of  changing  climate  in Alaska.    He                                                               
stressed [negative] effects affect cultural identity.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
3:01:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN asked  when climate  scientists and  ocean                                                               
scientists share data on issues such as ocean acidification.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER  acknowledged his focus  is on sea ice  and he                                                               
is in  contact with marine  biologists; climate  scientists model                                                               
how the  ocean absorbs CO2  from the atmosphere and  provide data                                                               
to marine scientists.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  asked whether  there is  research specific                                                               
to ocean acidification.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
DR.   BRETTSCHNEIDER  said   yes;   marine  biologists,   coastal                                                               
ecologists,  and oceanographers  use  [climate] data  differently                                                               
for research  in Alaska and elsewhere.   Slides 36 and  37 listed                                                               
media  reports of  climate impacts  in Alaska  such as  a seabird                                                               
die-off, fish dying  in Bristol Bay, the cost  of fighting fires,                                                               
the loss of tourism, and the loss of life.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Slides  40  and 41  were  projections  of future  below  freezing                                                               
temperatures in Alaska over the next 80 years.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
3:05:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN related that very  experienced Alaskans can fail                                                               
to realize how rapidly winter conditions are changing in Alaska.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER continued:  slides  40 and 41 were projections                                                               
of below freezing temperatures and  temperatures above 77 degrees                                                               
Fahrenheit in  Alaska over the  next 80  years.  Slide  42 listed                                                               
Alaska entities  that are addressing  climate change;  he advised                                                               
it is the job of scientists  to gain an understanding of changing                                                               
climate  and inform  policymakers.   Slide 43  reported on  smoky                                                               
days,  warming  rates  across  Alaska,  and  spruce  bark  beetle                                                               
damage.  Dr. Brettschneider related  Alaskans are acting at local                                                               
levels  to adapt  to, and  mitigate  for a  changing climate,  by                                                               
creating climate action plans [slide 44].                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:09:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  stated  Moody's  Investors  Service  has                                                               
downgraded municipalities and  governments without climate impact                                                               
and/or  climate action  plans that  outline how  communities will                                                               
respond  to impacts;  he urged  the  state to  complete its  plan                                                               
because economic and financial impacts may be unexpected.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER  said Alaskans understand Alaska's  climate is                                                               
changing;  slide  45 reported  statewide  responses  to a  public                                                               
opinion study.   He restated he  is not advocating for  a certain                                                               
policy; as a climate scientist he  has been told Alaskans have to                                                               
make a choice between "pro production or pro climate."  However,                                                                
he  advised Alaskans  can  advocate for  production  and work  to                                                               
minimize the  impacts or to  slow changes to climate  [slide 46].                                                               
Without  endorsement, he  said  Norway is  an  Arctic country,  a                                                               
production country, and a leader in climate policy [slide 47].                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR  surmised  as  resident  of  a  production  state,                                                               
Alaskans  [may  question the  need  for  climate policy]  because                                                               
Alaska does not have heavy  industry and, therefore, produces low                                                               
levels  of greenhouse  gases, which  may be  similar to  Norway's                                                               
situation.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BRETTSCHNEIDER  estimated Norway  -  when  compared to  most                                                               
other  countries -  with  a  small population  and  a very  small                                                               
carbon footprint has a policy in order to set an example.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:14:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN asked for the meaning of climate neutral.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DR.  BRETTSCHNEIDER expressed  his understanding  climate neutral                                                               
is  the same  as  carbon  neutral, which  means  an even  balance                                                               
between emissions and reductions or savings [in emissions].                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN stated  that  Norway exports  most of  the                                                               
production of its  fossil fuels and asked whether  it offsets the                                                               
production of its fossil fuels by the end user.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER  answered he was  unsure.  He said  he assumed                                                               
climate neutral  is the offset  of Norway's local  consumption by                                                               
local  offset, and  not  of [the  production  of exported  fossil                                                               
fuels by other countries].                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS related  [climate  neutral]  is based  on                                                               
where the  greenhouse gases  are created;  therefore, [greenhouse                                                               
gases produced  from] fuels  shipped out of  Norway do  not count                                                               
against its climate neutral calculation.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR. BRETTSCHNEIDER  continued:   slide 49 illustrated  U.S. total                                                               
greenhouse  gas  emissions  by  sector;  slide  50  listed  media                                                               
reports from businesses  and investors related to  climate and he                                                               
elaborated;  slide 51  listed  final  thoughts including  climate                                                               
change is here, greenhouse gases  are largely responsible, Alaska                                                               
is affected, [climate change is]  bad for business, Alaska can be                                                               
a producer  state and  a leader on  climate policy,  Alaskans are                                                               
resilient  and adaptive,  activist  shareholders  exist, and  the                                                               
acknowledgement of the issue is good for business.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:19:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 3:19 p.m. to 3:21 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
        HR  12-HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON CLIMATE CHANGE                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
3:21:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN announced  the final order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE RESOLUTION  NO. 12, Establishing a  House Special Committee                                                               
on Climate Change.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
3:21:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ANDY  JOSEPHSON,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  as                                                               
prime  sponsor of  HR 12,  informed the  committee many  Alaskans                                                               
have spoken out  on the importance of  addressing climate change;                                                               
he recalled an event in  Anchorage where two hundred people urged                                                               
members  of the  legislature to  advance HR  12.   Representative                                                               
Josephson  said  the effects  of  climate  change on  Alaska  are                                                               
widespread,  although  the state  population  is  very small  and                                                               
Alaska's  carbon  emissions  are  low;  however,  due  to  Arctic                                                               
amplification,  northern  latitudes  are affected  more  severely                                                               
than elsewhere.  He referred  to extreme weather events and other                                                               
challenges in Alaska such as  coastal erosion, drought, and fire.                                                               
Conversely, there  are opportunities  created by change,  such as                                                               
new shipping  corridors through  the Arctic  Ocean for  cargo and                                                               
tourism  that will  result in  increased  shipping traffic  along                                                               
Alaska's coastline,  and additional  revenue from  Alaska's crude                                                               
oil.   The proposed resolution  would create a  special committee                                                               
on  climate  change  and  policy which  would  hold  hearings  on                                                               
referred  legislation,   engage  with  subject   matter  experts,                                                               
provide   a  forum   for  education   and  action,   and  propose                                                               
legislation.  Further, the committee  would be directed by public                                                               
interest.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:26:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  advised climate  change and  policy are                                                               
topics that generate a lot  of research materials for review, and                                                               
numerous  media reports  of climate-related  events, and  he said                                                               
the  special committee  could make  reports and  review research,                                                               
but  maintain a  focus on  recommending constructive  legislative                                                               
action.   Also, he noted  entities of the federal  government are                                                               
currently  "non-participatory,"  and  the  state  government  has                                                               
disbanded  its Climate  Action for  Alaska Leadership  Team; even                                                               
though there  is a long  history of  interest in this  issue, the                                                               
legislature's  current efforts  in  this  regard are  incomplete,                                                               
which could be corrected by a special committee.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:28:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
NATHANIEL GRABMAN,  Staff, Representative Andy  Josephson, Alaska                                                               
State Legislature,  provided a PowerPoint  presentation entitled,                                                               
"HR  12,  Establishing  a  House  Special  Committee  on  Climate                                                               
Change."    Mr. Grabman  paraphrased  from  slide 2,  which  read                                                               
[original punctuation provided, with some formatting changed]:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Climate change and Alaska                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
        • Temperatures in Alaska have trended upward for                                                                        
          decades, and 2019 was the hottest year in state                                                                       
          history                                                                                                               
        • Drought conditions have become more common and                                                                        
          more severe                                                                                                           
        • Higher temperatures with less precipitation lead                                                                      
          to greater fire danger                                                                                                
        • When possible, the natural ranges for plants and                                                                      
          animals change as flora and fauna attempt to                                                                          
          adapt to changing conditions. When this is not                                                                        
          possible, massive die offs may occur                                                                                  
        • Sea ice naturally acts as a buffer for high seas                                                                      
          and storms; reduced sea ice accelerates coastal                                                                       
          erosion                                                                                                               
        • Much of northern Alaska is underlain by                                                                               
          permafrost; as temperatures rise, permafrost                                                                          
          thaws, causing structural foundations to weaken                                                                       
        • Reduced sea ice opens new pathways for ships                                                                          
        • Alaskans are world leaders in Arctic research and                                                                     
          innovation                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRABMAN referenced  a 2007 report published  by the Institute                                                               
of  Social and  Economic  Research (ISER),  University of  Alaska                                                               
Anchorage, which  predicted billions  of dollars in  future costs                                                               
related  to  the effect  of  climate  change on  Alaska's  public                                                               
infrastructure [slide  3].  Slide  4 illustrated  Arctic shipping                                                               
routes in  2018; slide 5 listed  reports of fires in  Alaska.  He                                                               
noted  acreage burned  during the  2019 fire  season was  not the                                                               
greatest, but smoke  and fires affected many Alaskans  due to the                                                               
location  of  fires;  the  cost of  firefighting  was  over  $300                                                               
million [shared  between the state  and FEMA].  Mr.  Grabman said                                                               
erosion, permafrost thaw, and  relocation are interconnected, and                                                               
recalled  the  climate  change   [subcabinet]  formed  by  former                                                               
governor  Sarah  Palin  identified  six communities  in  need  of                                                               
immediate action, as depicted on slide  6.  Also shown on slide 6                                                               
was  a map  of  near-surface permafrost  sited  along the  Trans-                                                               
Alaska  Pipeline System.    He pointed  out  many communities  in                                                               
Alaska  are not  located near  large-scale power  grids and  thus                                                               
utilize  microgrids  to  provide power  and  integrate  renewable                                                               
energy  sources into  remote  diesel grids;  in  fact, Kodiak  is                                                               
almost 100  percent renewable, powered  by wind, and  Igiugig has                                                               
installed  a river  turbine which  will provide  approximately 50                                                               
percent of its energy [slide 7].                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
3:33:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. GRABMAN  continued to slide  8 which described  the Renewable                                                               
Energy  Grant  Fund program  that  has  developed many  different                                                               
renewable  energy sources  while  utilizing  leveraged funds;  he                                                               
estimated  the program  has saved  approximately  $50 million  in                                                               
fuel costs  annually.  He then  paraphrased from slides 9  and 10                                                               
which read  as follows [original punctuation  provided, with some                                                               
formatting changes]:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Previous Legislative Efforts                                                                                               
     1990  HCR 56: Relating to climate change.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
        • Resolved to ask the governor to investigate state                                                                     
          policies   and   procedures  to   determine   best                                                                    
          practices  to  combat  climate change.  Failed  on                                                                    
          House floor 17-10                                                                                                     
        • 1995  HJR 39: Relating to the Northern Sea                                                                            
          Route. Resolved to push  for research and planning                                                                    
          to examine  shipping routes in the  Arctic. Passed                                                                    
          House 35-0, Passed Senate 19-0                                                                                        
        • 1999  HJR 33: Urging the US Senate to decline to                                                                      
          ratify  the  UN  Framework Convention  on  Climate                                                                    
          Change adopted  in December 1997 at  Kyoto, Japan.                                                                    
          Passed House 29-7, died in Senate committee                                                                           
        • 2006  HCR 30: Creating an Alaska Climate Impact                                                                       
          Assessment  Commission. Created  commission tasked                                                                    
          with  studying and  evaluating impacts  of climate                                                                    
          change  around  the  state,  suggesting  policies,                                                                    
          examine  alternative measures,  etc. Passed  House                                                                    
          28-0, Passed Senate  17-0. Final commission report                                                                    
          produced March 17, 2008                                                                                               
        • 2015  HB 1: Declaring the Arctic policy of the                                                                        
          state.  Outlines   policies  of  the   state  with                                                                    
          respect to the Arctic,  stating that is the policy                                                                    
          of  the state  to  'sustain  current, and  develop                                                                    
          new,  approaches  for  responding  to  a  changing                                                                    
          climate, and  adapt to  the challenges  of coastal                                                                    
          erosion,     permafrost     melt,    and     ocean                                                                    
          acidification.' Passed the  House 32-2, Passed the                                                                    
          Senate 19-1                                                                                                           
        • 2016  HB 233: Establishing the Climate Change                                                                         
          Commission  and 2017    HB  173: Establishing  the                                                                    
          Alaska Climate  Change Response  Commission. Would                                                                    
          have  created commission  to advise  the governor,                                                                    
          consult  with   experts,  liaise   with  non-State                                                                    
          entities,   recommend   actions,  provide   annual                                                                    
          report. Died in committee                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     Previous Administrative Efforts                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
        • 2007  Administrative Order 238: Governor Palin                                                                        
           "establish[ed]  a Climate  Change Sub-cabinet  to                                                                    
           advise  the   Office  of  the  Governor   on  the                                                                    
           preparation  and  implementation   of  an  Alaska                                                                    
           climate   change   strategy."   Sub-cabinet   was                                                                    
           dissolved  by  Gov.  Parnell,   and  AO  238  was                                                                    
           rescinded and replaced by Gov. Walker's AO-289.                                                                      
        • 2017  Administrative Order 289: Governor Walker                                                                       
           created  a 20-person  Climate  Action for  Alaska                                                                    
           Leadership  Team  and an  Alaska  Climate  Change                                                                    
           Strategy  to  advise  on   'critical  and  timely                                                                    
           actions to address climate change challenges that                                                                    
           will  safeguard   Alaska  now   and  for   future                                                                    
           generations.' AO  289 Rescinded by  Gov. Dunleavy                                                                    
           in 2019.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:36:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  turned attention to the  vision for the                                                               
committee  and explained  that by  creating a  special committee,                                                               
the House, with  a simple majority vote, can  independently set a                                                               
path  to: capture  the  imagination of  the  public; reflect  the                                                               
public's  support;  create  a  direct  and  open  forum  for  the                                                               
legislature;  create  recommendations   for  legislative  action;                                                               
create  public  engagement;  establish groundwork  for  the  next                                                               
legislature; and  avoid difficult political questions  that would                                                               
prevent  the creation  of  the committee.    The committee  would                                                               
engage in  factfinding and  "would not reinvent  the wheel."   It                                                               
would be dedicated  to one purpose.  He noted  that the committee                                                               
would be recreated every two years.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:38:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN observed the  legislature does not often                                                               
adjourn  within its  allotted 90-120  days; she  pointed out  the                                                               
House Special  Committee on Arctic Policy,  Economic Development,                                                               
and Tourism, and other committees,  are in place to hold hearings                                                               
and take legislative action on climate change if needed.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON suggested  the House  Special Committee                                                               
on Climate Change would meet  monthly during session; he said the                                                               
committee staff's  time may be  extensive, and  noted legislators                                                               
have some  time available  during interim.   Although  HAET could                                                               
[address climate  change in the  Arctic], many facets  of climate                                                               
change do not  occur in the Arctic, such as  fires in the Tongass                                                               
National  Forest;  further,  other   committees  do  not  have  a                                                               
dedicated  focus  on the  adaptation  and  mitigation of  climate                                                               
change.  He  referred to previous [failed]  legislation to create                                                               
a  state  climate  change  commission   and  stated  the  current                                                               
administration  has no  interest in  this issue.   Representative                                                               
Josephson expressed  his personal foreboding about  the summer of                                                               
2020.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   RASMUSSEN  questioned   how  an   [Alaska  state                                                               
government] policy to fight climate  change could affect areas of                                                               
the  world  outside  of  Alaska.   She  then  asked  whether  the                                                               
proposed committee would require a budget for staff.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON, in  response to staffing, said  no.  In                                                               
2021, he  acknowledged the committee  may require a  small budget                                                               
for  travel  to rural  Alaska.    In response  to  Representative                                                               
Rasmussen's  first question,  he  gave the  example  of the  U.S.                                                               
states and  [two territories] that  have joined the  U.S. Climate                                                               
Alliance  to   oppose  U.S.  withdrawal  from   the  [2015  Paris                                                               
Agreement  on  climate  change   mitigation],  and  observed  the                                                               
committee  may explore  this action.   Finally,  he characterized                                                               
the issue as "a moral responsibility."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:44:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  TARR recalled  the House  Resources Standing  Committee                                                               
experienced  difficulty scheduling  the  presentation on  climate                                                               
change; she  suggested members of  a dedicated  special committee                                                               
would be more focused on this topic.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  inquired as to why  the sponsor prefers                                                               
a special committee to forming a climate change caucus.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR TARR advised a caucus cannot hear bills.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  added that bills  can be referred  to a                                                               
special  committee; further,  the deliberative  committee process                                                               
provides a certain structure for members.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
3:47:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ told of  her personal experience related                                                               
to the heat and smoke suffered  by Alaskans [in Summer 2019], and                                                               
of  the health  issues  related  to climate  change.   She  asked                                                               
whether the sponsor considered creating a taskforce.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  said  he  did not;  he  opined  people                                                               
envision a taskforce as temporary and ephemeral.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ  directed attention to the  bill on page                                                               
3, lines 2 and 3, which read [in part]:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
      to explore policy options relating to climate change                                                                      
     effects, mitigation, resilience, and adaptation in the                                                                     
     state                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SPOHNHOLZ pointed out  Alaska also has an economic                                                               
opportunity in  relation to climate  change.  She said  there has                                                               
been entrepreneurism in  the last few years  that has capitalized                                                               
on Alaska's  need to adapt.   As  an example, she  mentioned BP's                                                               
set up of the solar array in Willow, Alaska.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO  questioned  whether appointments  to  a                                                               
special  committee  are  required  to  follow  the  legislature's                                                               
uniform rules of procedure.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
[REPRESENTATIVE TUCK] said yes.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON,  in further response  to Representative                                                               
Talerico, said  he had  no opinion  as to  the number  of members                                                               
appointed to the proposed committee.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN   asked  whether   there  are   any  funds                                                               
remaining in the Renewable Energy  Grant Fund [described on slide                                                               
8].                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
3:52:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON advised members  of the [former] Climate                                                               
Action for  Alaska Leadership Team  (CAALT) have  inquired [about                                                               
the status of the fund] of  the fund's manager, the Alaska Energy                                                               
Authority,   Department  of   Commerce,   Community  &   Economic                                                               
Development;  he  opined  the fund  needs  to  be  recapitalized.                                                               
Representative  Josephson closed  by reading  a statement  from a                                                               
CAALT document [document not provided].                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
[HR 12 was held over.]                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
3:53:49 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 3:54 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 27 CS Version S 1.21.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Bill Version U 1.11.19.PDF HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Sponsor Statement.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Bill Version U 1.11.19Sectional Analysis.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 DEC Fiscal Note 01.17.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 DOL Fiscal Note 01.17.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Letters of Support from Firefighters 4.2.19.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB 27 Flame Retardants Slide Presentation 4.2.19.pdf HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - CDC - Skin Exposures and Effects.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Expert Testimony Vytenis Babrauskas.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Federal Register CPSC 9.28.17.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Flame Retardants - NIH Fact Sheet July 2016.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Knoblauch article 1.24.18.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Leg Research on FF health costs.pdf HRES 4/3/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 4/5/2019 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Supporting Document - Combined Letters and Emails in Support 1.21.20.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HR12 Sponsor Statement 1.16.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HR 12
HR12 ver M 1.16.20.PDF HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HR 12
HR 12 Support Emails.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HR 12
HR12 Supporting Document - CRRC letter of support for House Special Committee on Climate Change 1.21.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HR 12
HR12 Supporting Document - Record warm water likely gave Kuskokwim salmon heart attacks (APM) 1.16.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HR 12
HR12 Support Document - Battered by a marine heatwave, Kodiak's fishermen may not be fishing for much longer (APM) 1.16.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HR 12
HR12 Supporting Document - A Western Alaska village begins to relocate (ADN) 1.16.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HR 12
HR12 Supporting Document - Alaska's Coast Is Vanishing, 1 Storm at a Time (Scientific American) 1.16.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HR 12
HR12 Supporting Document - As Alaska permafrost melts, roads sink, bridges tilt and gases escape (ADN) 1.16.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HR 12
HR12 Supporting Document - Fighting Alaska’s wildfires cost over $300 million this year (ADN) 1.16.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HR 12
HB27 Explanation of Changes Ver U to Ver S 01.21.20.pdf HL&C 3/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HB27 Opposing Document - Letters of Opposition Combined 01.23.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/27/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/29/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 1/31/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/5/2020 1:00:00 PM
HB 27
HR12 Presentation 1.24.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
HRES 2/3/2020 1:00:00 PM
HR 12
Presentation. Changing Climate in Alaska Brettschneider 1.22.20.pdf HRES 1/24/2020 1:00:00 PM
climate