Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

05/04/2017 03:00 PM STATE AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HB 184 DISCRIMINATION: GENDER ID.;SEXUAL ORIENT. TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SB 54 CRIME AND SENTENCING TELECONFERENCED
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
+= HB 173 CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
                HB 173-CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
4:00:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  announced that the final  order of business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  BILL NO.  173, "An  Act establishing  the Alaska                                                               
Climate Change  Response Commission;  relating to the  powers and                                                               
duties  of   the  Alaska  Climate  Change   Response  Commission;                                                               
establishing the  climate change  response fund; and  relating to                                                               
the surcharge on oil produced in the state."                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:01:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MEGAN  HOLLAND,  Staff,  Representative  Andy  Josephson,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  reviewed  the   changes  introduced  in  the                                                               
committee  substitute  (CS)  for  HB  173,  labeled  30-LS0163\R,                                                               
Bruce, 5/1/17  [hereafter referred to  as "Version R"]  on behalf                                                               
of Representative Josephson, prime sponsor,  as follows:  the oil                                                               
surcharge and state  funding are removed from  the Alaska Climate                                                               
Change  Response Commission;  Sections  1-4 relating  to the  oil                                                               
surcharge  are removed;  Section 44.19.666  creating the  Climate                                                               
Change  Response Fund  is removed;  the phrase,  "in the  climate                                                               
change  response fund"  is removed  from  Section 44.19.662;  all                                                               
mention  of  state   funding  as  sources  of   funding  for  the                                                               
commission are  removed; and under  the CS, the  commission would                                                               
be operated through user fees and grant funding.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:02:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX asked  who  the "users"  would  be in  the                                                               
reference to user fees.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOLLAND   replied  that   users  would   include  government                                                               
entities,    non-government   entities,    and   non-profits    -                                                               
organizations  working   in  green  energy  and   climate  change                                                               
response.   She  maintained  that  the fees  would  be for  grant                                                               
writing services  provided by  the commission,  as well  as other                                                               
forms of assistance.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  asked for  confirmation that  no entities,                                                               
including the  state, would  be required to  use the  services or                                                               
pay for  anything if they decided  that they did not  want to use                                                               
the commission.  She said, "This is all entirely voluntary ...."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOLLAND  answered yes.   She clarified that Version  R states                                                               
that government  entities and tribal  organizations could  not be                                                               
charged user fees.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  LEDOUX   asked,  "If  it's  all   voluntary,  why                                                               
wouldn't you just  form a non-profit?   Why do we need  a bill to                                                               
do  something which  is ...  totally voluntary  that is  going to                                                               
operate  off of  ... grant  funds or  people that  think that  it                                                               
provides a good service and [want] to use it?"                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
4:04:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   ANDY   JOSEPHSON,  Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
responded that as  a state commission, the  Alaska Climate Change                                                               
Response  Commission  would  be  tasked  with  mitigation,  grant                                                               
receipts,  and  coordination  with   other  government  and  non-                                                               
government  institutions.   It  would  represent  a statement  of                                                               
public policy by the legislature  that climate change is real and                                                               
seriously impacts  Alaska.   He maintained  that a  commission is                                                               
needed  both  to mitigate  climate  change  and fund  schools  in                                                               
Newtok and Kivalina  that are threatened.  He said  that it would                                                               
continue the work  done by former Governor  Sarah Palin's [Alaska                                                               
Climate Change  Sub-Cabinet].  He  added that it would  model its                                                               
membership on the now defunct  Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA)                                                               
commission by having local representation.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:06:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOLLAND  added that  one  of  the  primary purposes  of  the                                                               
commission is  to support non-profits  and other entities  in the                                                               
effort,  not  provide the  same  services  as non-profits.    She                                                               
maintained  that Alaska  misses  out on  billions  of dollars  in                                                               
federal and private funds for [climate change related] efforts.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX referred to  the proposed Section 44.19.652                                                               
[on  page  3  of  Version  R, beginning  on  line  12],  entitled                                                               
"Compensation", which  mentions "per  diem and  travel expenses".                                                               
She  asked if  that  would  be paid  for  through  user fees  and                                                               
grants.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. Holland replied yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
4:08:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL referred  to  testimony  during the  4/11/17                                                               
House State  Affairs Standing Committee  meeting citing  a study,                                                               
which stated that  most of the economic impact  of climate change                                                               
is projected  to be in  the Interior due  to the large  amount of                                                               
infrastructure  in  that  region.     He  pointed  out  that  the                                                               
Interior is  not on the list  of regions in Version  R from which                                                               
members of the commission would be appointed.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  offered that to correct  that omission,                                                               
there is a  forthcoming amendment to add a  seat representing the                                                               
Interior.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  mentioned  that   with  the  selection  [of                                                               
commissioners] based  on region,  it would  be unfortunate  for a                                                               
regional  "battle"  to ensue.    He  stated that  climate  change                                                               
affects many places  in Alaska; therefore, there  may be conflict                                                               
over funding  or what region  is in greatest  need.  He  asked if                                                               
the sponsor  was concerned about this.   He asked if  the overall                                                               
mission  of the  proposed legislation  is to  bring awareness  to                                                               
climate change or to mitigate it or something else.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON  answered that  he is not  worried about                                                               
regional tensions;  they would  be avoided  because Version  R is                                                               
drafted such  that the various  regions would all  be represented                                                               
on  the commission.    He offered  that like  for  the CZMA,  the                                                               
members of the commission would  be those on the "frontlines" and                                                               
in the best  positions to know the impacts to  their regions.  He                                                               
referred to the proposed Section  44.19.660 [on page 4 of Version                                                               
R, beginning  on line 13],  entitled "Powers of  the commission",                                                               
and noted that  the powers of the commission would  be broad; the                                                               
commission  would  be  a clearinghouse  for  information,  study,                                                               
grant   seeking,  coordination   with   other  agencies,   public                                                               
outreach, and  monitoring and reporting.   He mentioned  that the                                                               
duties are also  listed under the proposed  Section 44.19.662 [on                                                               
page 5  of Version R, beginning  on line 2], entitled  "Duties of                                                               
the commission".  He pointed out  that the original version of HB                                                               
173  was  more  ambitious;  it included  a  surcharge  using  the                                                               
[Division of]  Spill Prevention  and Response  (SPAR) [Department                                                               
of Environmental  Conservation (DEC)]  fund.   Version R  is less                                                               
ambitious in  that there are  fewer resources to  accomplish what                                                               
is proposed,  but it is  a starting  point to begin  the process.                                                               
He relayed  that two governors ago  there was a belief  that this                                                               
was a  concern; he maintained  that the impact of  climate change                                                               
has only grown; and it is important to recommence these efforts.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:12:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS asked  if under Version R,  a designee would                                                               
be permitted  to attend a  commission meeting  in the place  of a                                                               
commissioner.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  responded  that there  is  mention  of                                                               
alternate  members and  deputy commissioners.   He  expressed his                                                               
confidence  that  with  the  large   number  of  members  on  the                                                               
commission,  the  absence  of a  single  commissioner  would  not                                                               
undermine the  commission's work.   He referred the  committee to                                                               
the  proposed  Section  44.19.656  [on   page  3  of  Version  R,                                                               
beginning on line 21], entitled "Alternate members".                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:14:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked if  there  are  other commissions  or                                                               
committees  working on  these issues.   He  mentioned the  [10th]                                                               
Arctic  Council Ministerial  Meeting  [5/1/17]  and offered  that                                                               
there  is a  great  deal  of activity  on  the  topic of  climate                                                               
change.  He asked if there is redundancy.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON offered  his understanding that although                                                               
the lieutenant  governor has  a keen  interest in  climate change                                                               
and is examining  it as matter of policy for  the [Governor Bill]                                                               
Walker/[Lieutenant Governor  Byron] Mallot  administration, there                                                               
is not  a specific state  effort.  He  offered that the  topic of                                                               
climate change comes  up often in many  legislative hearings, but                                                               
as a state effort with a  commission, it has been suspended since                                                               
the Palin subcabinet was disbanded.   He conceded that there is a                                                               
great deal of  research on climate change in Alaska,  and it is a                                                               
significant topic of  research and concern for  the University of                                                               
Alaska Fairbanks (UAF); however, he  offered that he is not aware                                                               
of  a  centralized effort  on  this  issue emanating  from  state                                                               
government.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:15:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON referred to page  2, lines 6-7, of Version                                                               
R  - the  proposed subparagraph  (E)  - which  read, "Upper  Cook                                                               
Inlet  area,  including the  Municipality  of  Anchorage and  the                                                               
Matanuska-Susitna  Borough", and  noted that  the area  mentioned                                                               
encompasses  a  large  population  of the  state,  and  only  one                                                               
representative [for  that area]  is proposed for  the commission.                                                               
She opined that it  would be disproportionately underrepresented.                                                               
She asked  about the goal  of the composition of  the commission,                                                               
if not by population or equal representation.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON   referred  to  the   proposed  Section                                                               
44.19.660 [on page  4 of Version R, beginning on  line 13], which                                                               
describes the powers of the  commission, and the proposed Section                                                               
44.9.662 [on  page 5 of  Version R,  beginning on line  2], which                                                               
describes  the duties  of  the  commission.   He  noted that  the                                                               
duties of  the commission  would be broad  and encompassing.   He                                                               
indicated that  the intent for  composition of the  commission is                                                               
not  for  a   "one  man,  one  vote"  membership,   like  in  the                                                               
legislature,  but  more  for the  geographic  representation;  it                                                               
would be the  commissioners with the greatest  stake and exposure                                                               
to climate change.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX moved  to bring the CS for  HB 173, Version                                                               
R,  before  the  committee  for   discussion.    There  being  no                                                               
objection, the motion passed.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
4:18:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:18 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:19:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX  moved to  rescind the committee  action to                                                               
bring the  CS for  HB 173,  Version R,  before the  committee for                                                               
discussion.  There being no  objection, the action was rescinded.                                                               
[The motion to  bring Version R before the  committee was treated                                                               
as withdrawn].                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX moved  to adopt the CS for  HB 173, Version                                                               
R, as the working document.   There being no objection, Version R                                                               
was adopted as a work draft.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:20:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS opened public testimony on HB 173.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:20:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DANIELLE  REDMOND testified  that this  year the  state is  faced                                                               
with a massive budget deficit  that has strained the legislature.                                                               
She  opined  that  in  all  these  budget  conversations,  it  is                                                               
important to  look ahead and to  point out that Alaska  is on the                                                               
frontlines  of  climate  change impacts,  which  will  result  in                                                               
enormous costs for the state.   She relayed that having a body to                                                               
study these  questions and  support communities  like Shishmaref,                                                               
whose existence  is at  stake, seems like  the very  least Alaska                                                               
should do.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:22:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BUCK   LINDEKUGEL,   Conservation  Attorney,   Southeast   Alaska                                                               
Conservation  Council  (SEACC),  testified  that  SEACC  welcomes                                                               
action  by Representatives  Josephson and  Geran Tarr  on climate                                                               
change, because  Alaska cannot ignore the  long-term implications                                                               
of climate  change on  Alaska's economy and  unique way  of life.                                                               
He  expressed  his  appreciation that  the  proposed  legislation                                                               
focuses  on climate  impacts to  rural Alaska,  because it  would                                                               
provide important  support to local communities  and non-profits,                                                               
who are on  the frontlines of this issue.   He stated that Alaska                                                               
needs to  act now; the  President of  the United States  has made                                                               
climate  denial a  staple  of  his success  and  has appointed  a                                                               
climate denier to run the  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).                                                               
He said,  "It's time to  get to work  here in Alaska  on positive                                                               
local job-creating solutions to climate change."                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
4:24:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BOB  SHAVELSON, Advocacy  Director,  Cook Inletkeeper,  testified                                                               
that Cook  Inletkeeper is a  non-profit started in  1995 focusing                                                               
on  clean water  and healthy  salmon.   He  maintained that  "the                                                               
debate  is over";  it is  well  known that  burning fossil  fuels                                                               
causes climate change  and ocean acidification; and  Alaska is on                                                               
the  frontlines  of  rapid  climate change.    He  mentioned  the                                                               
receding glaciers, disappearing sea  ice, and melting permafrost.                                                               
He stated  that in  Kachemak Bay,  there have  been a  variety of                                                               
significant  impacts  directly  linked   to  a  warming  climate:                                                               
forest  devastation by  a massive  aphid; extensive  seabird die-                                                               
off; hardshell  clam die-off; decrease  in razor  clam population                                                               
on the east  side of Cook Inlet;  and never-before-seen instances                                                               
of paralytic shellfish  poisoning (PSP).  He  maintained that the                                                               
most  disturbing  impact  is  the   temperatures  of  the  salmon                                                               
streams, which violates the clean  water standards, causes stress                                                               
in  salmons,  and  makes  them   more  vulnerable  to  pollution,                                                               
predation, and  disease.  He  said that climate  change threatens                                                               
the  Alaskan lifestyle,  and fisheries  are  at grave  risk.   He                                                               
expressed his  support for  HB 173 and  is disappointed  that the                                                               
funding  mechanism  was  removed.   He  maintained  that  without                                                               
adequate funding, HB  173 would be a "tiny baby  step," and giant                                                               
strides are needed to address the severity of the problem.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:26:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ELIZABETH  RODERICK  testified  that  she  appreciates  that  the                                                               
legislature is  considering acting  on climate change;  the state                                                               
is not addressing  the issue; action is overdue; and  HB 173 will                                                               
begin  some movement  on the  issue.   She  maintained that  many                                                               
Alaskans are  worried; she is  losing sleep; and  communities are                                                               
experiencing  economic  losses.    She stated  that  tourism  and                                                               
fisheries are the third and  fourth largest sectors of the Alaska                                                               
economy and relayed  some of the consequences  of climate change:                                                               
in  2015, warm  water temperatures  and low  river levels  killed                                                               
salmon in  Matanuska and Susitna  areas; hundreds of  arctic char                                                               
stocked by the  Department of Fish & Game died;  in January 2017,                                                               
U.S.  Secretary of  Commerce  [Penny  Pritzker] granted  Governor                                                               
Walker's request for declaration  of disaster for Alaska's salmon                                                               
fisheries;  the   harvests  in  Kodiak,  Prince   William  Sound,                                                               
Chignik, and Lower Cook Inlet  were much below the forecasts; and                                                               
the National Oceanic and  Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) [U.S.                                                               
Department of Commerce (DOC)]  determined that increasing acidity                                                               
in Alaska waters is dissolving  the shells of snails feeding pick                                                               
salmon, herring, and mackerel.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MS. RODERICK  offered that the  Arctic sea ice is  considered the                                                               
"air conditioner" for  the world because of the role  it plays in                                                               
regulating  global temperatures,  and  it is  disappearing at  an                                                               
alarming  rate.   She  reiterated  that  infrastructure is  being                                                               
badly impacted and  will cost a great deal if  not addressed now.                                                               
She stated that  Alaska has lost an estimated  300,000 caribou in                                                               
northern Alaska  from drowning and  starvation due to  the warmer                                                               
temperatures.   She maintained that the  state's military leaders                                                               
are  declaring  [climate change]  to  be  the biggest  threat  to                                                               
economic   and   national   security.       She   expressed   her                                                               
disappointment with  the elimination of the  surcharge in Version                                                               
R and asserted  that Alaska needs to move forward  with a climate                                                               
change adaptation plan.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:29:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KAREN  CAMERON, P.E.P.P.A.,  testified that  the Arctic  is where                                                               
the greatest changes are taking  place.  She lamented that Alaska                                                               
is not the leader and model that  it could be for the rest of the                                                               
world.  She maintained that  a commission, such as proposed under                                                               
HB  173,   would  allow  a  variety   of  communications  between                                                               
scientists,  citizens, and  governmental officials;  Alaska could                                                               
have one vision as  to what needs to be done and  how to go about                                                               
it.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MS.  CAMERON  asserted  that  there  are  incredible  sources  of                                                               
funding  that Alaska  is missing  out on  - the  National Science                                                               
Foundation  (NSF), Federal  Emergency  Management Agency  (FEMA),                                                               
U.S.  Department of  Agriculture  (USDA), and  NOAA.   Many  non-                                                               
profits  could apply  for  this  money, and  the  money could  be                                                               
funneled  through  the  State  of Alaska.    She  emphasized  the                                                               
importance  of   the  commission   members  and   encouraged  the                                                               
appointment of  Adjutant General  Laurie Hummel,  Commissioner of                                                               
the  Department of  Military  & Veterans'  Affairs  (DMVA).   She                                                               
stated that there were many  issues to consider and expressed her                                                               
appreciation for the people focused on climate change.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:32:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
KRISTEN  COLLINS, Organizer,  Alaska Center,  testified that  she                                                               
supports  forming a  commission and  stated that  Alaska's Arctic                                                               
communities  are  already faced  with  the  impact of  a  warming                                                               
climate.     She   maintained  that   the  proposed   legislation                                                               
represents a  step that  the state  needs to  take forward  to be                                                               
able  to react  and recover  from  climate change  impacts.   She                                                               
offered  her  support for  HB  173  and  urged the  committee  to                                                               
prioritize  legislation  that  would  enable  communities  to  be                                                               
resilient in  the years  and through  the changes  to come.   She                                                               
expressed  her  disappointment  that the  funding  mechanism  was                                                               
removed  from  the  proposed legislation;  and  she  offered  her                                                               
support for HB 173.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
4:33:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANN RAPPOPORT testified that the  proposed legislation would be a                                                               
mix of  relief and adjustment  strategies for  addressing climate                                                               
change in Alaska.  She mentioned  her career in fish and wildlife                                                               
biology and  reiterated that  Alaska is  ground zero  for climate                                                               
change.   She relayed impacts that  she has seen in  her 38 years                                                               
in  Alaska:       glaciers  melting  and   the  gardening  season                                                               
lengthening  significantly; coastal  erosion  and river  flooding                                                               
causing millions and  millions of dollars of  damage to countless                                                               
villages and  infrastructure throughout the state;   and invasive                                                               
species  spreading  with  threats  to wild  fish,  wildlife,  and                                                               
habitats that  support subsistence, commercial,  and recreational                                                               
uses of tremendous economic, cultural,  and other benefits to all                                                               
Alaskans.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MS. RAPPORT said, "It's way past  time for the state to implement                                                               
a  thoughtful  and  coordinated   approach  to  addressing  these                                                               
changes and  threats to our  existing economy and ways  of life."                                                               
She asserted that HB 173 would  present a start to this approach.                                                               
It would bring  state agencies and elected leaders  together in a                                                               
climate change response commission to  come up with solutions for                                                               
Alaska.   It  would include  grants, procurements,  and technical                                                               
and  financial  assistance  to  communities  advancing  renewable                                                               
energy technology  and advising  the governor and  legislature on                                                               
climate policy.   She maintained that all of these  are very much                                                               
needed.   She stated that  she is very disappointed in the change                                                               
in the  funding mechanism under Version  R.  She opined  that the                                                               
source  of  funding  originally  proposed  -  1-cent  per  barrel                                                               
surcharge  on  oil  production  -   is  appropriate  due  to  the                                                               
relationship between  the production  of oil and  climate change;                                                               
it is  very reasonable; it  would not  impact the budget;  and it                                                               
would provide funding for the  essential activities under HB 173.                                                               
She  mentioned that  she  is  concerned that  the  user fees  and                                                               
grants  proposed  in  Version  R  would  not  provide  sufficient                                                               
funding.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR KREISS-TOMKINS  asked for an  at-ease to pass the  gavel to                                                               
Vice Chair LeDoux.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
4:35:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 4:35 p.m. to 4:37 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:36:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR LEDOUX continued public testimony on HB 173.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
4:37:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
BJOMA OLSEN, Kachemak Bay  Conservation Society (KBCS), testified                                                               
that  he recently  has started  an  organization called  Alaskans                                                               
KNOW Climate  Change to encourage  Alaska to address  the climate                                                               
change issue.   He relayed that the EPA has  stated that over the                                                               
past  60 years,  Alaska has  warmed 3  degrees Fahrenheit  - more                                                               
than twice the global average -  and over 6 degrees in the winter                                                               
during the  same period.   Three Iditarod [Trail Sled  Dog Races]                                                               
had to be moved to a Fairbanks  restart.  He added that Alaska is                                                               
witnessing the  effects of  climate change,  which should  put to                                                               
rest  any ideas  of  a  "liberal conspiracy  theory."   He  fully                                                               
supports HB 173 and is also  dismayed that the surcharge has been                                                               
removed from the proposed legislation.   He suggested that Alaska                                                               
should  join the  European nations  that have  been taking  large                                                               
strides in addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:38:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MIKE SALLEE testified  that he agrees with  the other testifiers.                                                               
He offered  that a climate  commission could possibly  build upon                                                               
already existing projects, such as:   the one in which Thorne bay                                                               
students created a  working model of a water pump  that works off                                                               
the  tides 24  hours  per  day; and  studies  of  the food  chain                                                               
involving  salmon and  sable fish,  specifically  related to  the                                                               
dissolving shell of the tetrapod  due to ocean acidification.  He                                                               
said  he is  very  disappointed  that the  surcharge  on oil  was                                                               
eliminated from the proposed legislation.   He maintained that it                                                               
is  well documented  that  the oil  industry  has undermined  the                                                               
science  connecting  climate  change   to  human  activity.    He                                                               
asserted that  he is apprehensive  of the power of  oil interests                                                               
in influencing the Alaska legislature.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:41:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease at 4:41 p.m.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:41:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE  CHAIR LEDOUX  continued public  testimony on  HB 173  after                                                               
technical difficulties were resolved.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
4:42:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CEAL  SMITH,   Alaska  Climate  Caucus;  Alaska   Climate  Action                                                               
Network, referred to a letter  of support [dated 5/3/17] included                                                               
in  the   committee  packet  and   signed  by  over   170  people                                                               
representing over 30 organizations in  Alaska.  She asserted that                                                               
the  issue of  climate change  is urgent  and important;  climate                                                               
change is  impacting Alaska profoundly  and at an  alarming rate;                                                               
it is  affecting people's  everyday lives.   She stated  that the                                                               
trends are  not encouraging:   every year  since 2014  Alaska has                                                               
had  record-breaking  temperatures;  and this  fall  temperatures                                                               
across  large  parts   of  the  Arctic  Ocean   were  68  degrees                                                               
Fahrenheit above normal.  She relayed  that the failure to act on                                                               
climate  change is  hurting Alaskans.   She  said that  nearly 15                                                               
years ago  the U.S. General  Accounting Office (GAO)  reported 86                                                               
percent  of  Alaska's  Native villages  are  impacted;  Kivalina,                                                               
Koyukuk, Newtok  and Shishmaref are  in imminent danger;  and she                                                               
expressed her  belief that it  is past time that  Alaska supports                                                               
the relocation of these villages.   She offered that when polling                                                               
the members  of her organizations,  climate change is  ranked one                                                               
and  two among  the list  of concerns.   She  expressed that  her                                                               
membership is  in support  of HB  173 and would  like to  see the                                                               
funding mechanism restored.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
4:45:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MOIRA INGLE testified that Alaska  is at the forefront of climate                                                               
change and  Alaskans are seeing  the effects  of it.   She lauded                                                               
former  Governor [Sarah]  Palin's subcabinet  and mentioned  that                                                               
former  Governor  [Sean]  Parnell  abandoned  the  effort.    She                                                               
emphasized that given the position  of Alaska on the forefront of                                                               
climate change in  the U.S. and the world, state  level action on                                                               
climate change  is long overdue.   She expressed her  support for                                                               
HB 173 - to restart the  effort - and her disappointment with the                                                               
removal  of  the funding  mechanism.    She maintained  that  the                                                               
proposed surcharge  was modest and  would have been levied  on an                                                               
appropriate industry - the fossil  fuel industry - which has both                                                               
benefited from oil extraction and  is culpable in climate change.                                                               
She referred  to the  5/3/17 letter of  support mentioned  by the                                                               
previous  testifier  and  urged  the committee  to  consider  the                                                               
suggestions in the  letter for amendments to HB  173, as follows:                                                               
to require the Commission to  develop a climate change adaptation                                                               
plan  within  two years;  to  expand  the commission  to  include                                                               
experts and representatives from  more Interior census areas; and                                                               
to increase the surcharge.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:48:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RAYMOND  O'NEILL  testified that  he  has  worked throughout  the                                                               
state as  an environmental  engineer -  in Shishmaref,  in Yukon-                                                               
Kuskokwim  Delta communities,  and in  Yukon Flats  communities -                                                               
and has seen  the impact of global warming.   He asserted that it                                                               
is a  climate crisis  that is approaching  an emergency.   Across                                                               
North America including Alaska, vector  borne diseases are on the                                                               
rise.  The village of  Shishmaref is eroding away; infrastructure                                                               
is  not being  supported;  and new  infrastructure  is not  being                                                               
brought in  because of the  need for the  community to move.   He                                                               
maintained that attention  to climate change is  long overdue; it                                                               
is  hurting  Alaska now;  the  community  public health,  safety,                                                               
economy, and  environment have  been impacted in  many ways.   He                                                               
recommended that the committee adopt  the amendments suggested in                                                               
the 5/3/17  letter of support.   He said he is  outraged that the                                                               
surcharge on fossil  fuel would be questioned; the  people of the                                                               
communities most impacted are unable  to fund the effort; and the                                                               
industries  that have  profited  from [the  extraction of  fossil                                                               
fuels] need to assist.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
4:51:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MICHELLE  O'NEIL  PURYEAR  testified  that she  agrees  with  the                                                               
proposed  legislation; it  is the  social  responsibility of  any                                                               
corporation  doing   resource  extraction  to  reinvest   in  the                                                               
communities they affect;  and she considers it the  cost of doing                                                               
business.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
4:52:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARL WASSILLIE,  Biologist, Alaska's Big Village  Network (ABVN),                                                               
testified  that  he is  a  Yup'ik  biologist from  the  Kuskokwim                                                               
[River]  area.   He stated  that  he is  concerned about  climate                                                               
change;  climate change  resolutions  have been  issued from  the                                                               
Yukon-Kuskokwim region  beginning in  2005; since  2003, multiple                                                               
tribes  of the  region  have requested  that  [actions] be  taken                                                               
domestically and  internationally to  adjust to the  changes that                                                               
are causing  harm to communities.   He maintained that  the State                                                               
of Alaska  has responsibility to  the citizens of Alaska  and for                                                               
preventing implications  of human  rights abuses  associated with                                                               
doing nothing about  climate change.  He stated  that he supports                                                               
HB  173 fully  and  is  disappointed that  the  funding has  been                                                               
eliminated.  (indisc.)   He asserted that HB 173  would be a good                                                               
step and  expressed his appreciation  for the  state reevaluating                                                               
what the Palin  administration did in 2006.  He  said the impacts                                                               
[of climate change] are not  only physical but are psychological;                                                               
the harm  is ongoing,  especially in  coastal villages  and river                                                               
villages dealing with the loss  of sea ice and increased flooding                                                               
and erosion.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
4:54:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ERIC SHAETZLE  testified that Alaska must  anticipate and prepare                                                               
for the effects  of climate change.  He offered  that even if the                                                               
assessment of the  numerous impacts was restricted  solely to the                                                               
fishing  industry,   those  efforts  would  be   justified.    He                                                               
maintained   that  ocean   acidification  and   hydrologic  cycle                                                               
disruptions  are  direct threats  to  Alaska's  economy.   Alaska                                                               
needs to protect  the economic interest of  Alaskans and identify                                                               
opportunities for Alaska that might emerge because of the                                                                       
growing response to this global challenge.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
4:55:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR LEDOUX closed public testimony on HB 173.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
4:56:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease at 4:56 p.m.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
4:56:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VICE CHAIR LEDOUX announced that HB 173 would be held over.                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 184 4.4.17.PDF HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Sponsor Statement 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Sectional Analysis 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter Planned Parenthood 4.27.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter HRC 4.28.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter LWVA 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter SAGE 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter ATFE 5.1.2017.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter Fbx PFLAG 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter AAARP 5.4.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Letter EGJ 5.4.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Public Letters 5.8.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Court Decisions 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - 2017 Survey(2) 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - 2017 Survery(1) 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB184 Supporting Document - 2010 Census 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Anch LGBT Discrimination Preliminary Report 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - ASHRC Resolution 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Legal Memo 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - HRC State Laws 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Williams Institute 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Ministerial Exemption 5.9.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - 18.80.300 5.9.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Supporting Document - Memorandum, Religious Exemptions 5.9.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 184 Opposing Document - Letter AFC 5.5.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HSTA 3/6/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184
HB 173 Sponsor Statement 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 ver U 5.3.17.PDF HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Additional Document - Article ADN 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Additional Document - Overview EPA 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Additional Document - Paper PNAS 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Additional Document - Report CPI 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Additional Document - Chapter NCA 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 HSTA CS ver R 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 173 Summary of Changes ver U to CS HSTA ver R 5.3.17.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 5/9/2017 3:00:00 PM
HB 173
HB 184 Sponsor Statement 1.19.18.pdf HSTA 5/4/2017 3:00:00 PM
HSTA 2/27/2018 3:15:00 PM
HB 184