Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

04/23/2019 01:00 PM TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HJR 14 URGING SUPPORT FOR NOME DEEP-DRAFT PORT TELECONFERENCED
Moved HJR 14 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+= SB 54 ALASKA RAILROAD CORP. LAND TRANSFERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 54 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ SJR 11 U.S.-CANADA RAILROAD PRESIDENTIAL PERMIT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
         HJR 14-URGING SUPPORT FOR NOME DEEP-DRAFT PORT                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:05:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEAL  FOSTER, Alaska  State Legislature,  as prime                                                               
sponsor,  relayed the  three priorities  of HJR  14: to  urge the                                                               
congressional  delegation to  pursue  infrastructure funding;  to                                                               
request  the Department  of  Transportation  & Public  Facilities                                                               
(DOT&PF)   send  a   letter  to   the  congressional   delegation                                                               
supporting  a deep  draft Arctic  port  in Nome;  and to  request                                                               
DOT&PF to work  collaboratively with the City of  Nome to provide                                                               
technical support.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:06:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL opened public testimony on HJR 14.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:07:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RAY WARD relayed his personal connection  to Alaska.  He said the                                                               
melting  of  the  ice  in  the  Northwest  Passage  has  provided                                                               
opportunity for an  economic boon for the maritime  industry.  He                                                               
opined that Alaska needs to invest  not only in the Port of Nome,                                                               
but in  other Arctic coast  regions of  Alaska.  He  said Norway,                                                               
Finland,  Greenland, Russia,  and Canada  have already  geared up                                                               
for this maritime boon, and  cruise liners have made many voyages                                                               
to  the Northwest  Passage.   He relayed  that this  passage cuts                                                               
travel time  in half when  compared to passage from  the Atlantic                                                               
to  the Pacific  via  the Panama  Canal.   Mr.  Ward stated  that                                                               
Alaska's  congressional  delegation  needs   to  lobby  the  U.S.                                                               
Department of Defense (DoD) for  the installation of a U.S. Naval                                                               
or U.S.  Coast Guard  (USCG) headquarters  in the  Arctic region.                                                               
He said  currently Alaska's  Arctic coastline  is "wide  open" to                                                               
invasion  from  China,  North  Korea,   and  Russia.    Mr.  Ward                                                               
mentioned  fish migration  caused by  warming of  waters, and  he                                                               
warned that  without a  military presence  in the  Arctic region,                                                               
Alaska  will be  subject  to violation  of the  [Magnuson-Stevens                                                               
Fishery  Conservation and  Management]  Act,  which designates  a                                                               
[U.S. exclusive  economic zone up  to] 200 miles  [offshore] that                                                               
applies  to  fishing   by  foreign  vessels.     He  relayed  the                                                               
imperative nature  of the  development of  and investment  in the                                                               
Arctic  region.   He  further  suggested  the construction  of  a                                                               
pipeline from  the natural  gas fields  already developed  to the                                                               
Arctic coast, because it is transported by cargo tankers.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:13:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG WALRATH,  Director, Northwestern  Alaska Career  & Technical                                                               
Center,  testified  in  support  of  HJR 14.    He  credited  the                                                               
previous  testifier   for  covering  points   regarding  military                                                               
defense  and economic  competitiveness.   He  remarked that  many                                                               
people in  the Lower 48 are  probably not aware that  the U.S. is                                                               
an  Arctic nation,  and as  a  result, the  country is  "woefully                                                               
unprepared" compared  to other Arctic  nations, which he  said is                                                               
surprising  when considering  the  other  accomplishments of  the                                                               
U.S.  He  said the voice of Alaska's  congressional delegation is                                                               
required  to advocate  for  a  deep draft  Arctic  port in  Nome,                                                               
Alaska, which  he suggested  is "really  advocating on  behalf of                                                               
the U.S. as a whole."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:15:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL, after ascertaining that  there was no one else who                                                               
wished to testify, closed public testimony on HJR 14.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:15:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:15 p.m. to 1:17 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:17:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STUTES asked  whether the issue presented in  HJR 14 had                                                               
been seen by  the legislature before.  She said  she thinks it is                                                               
"an interesting, exciting process."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:17:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER responded, "This is  the first time we have                                                               
presented this resolution."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  STUTES  asserted  that  she has  seen  the  information                                                               
before, and she reiterated her enthusiasms for the subject.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER  confirmed  that  the  topic  of  Alaska's                                                               
Arctic passageway  has been presented  over the years  in various                                                               
forms.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:18:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN inquired whether  the bill sponsor would                                                               
be amenable  to an amendment to  add the Port of  Alaska, because                                                               
it is in need of financial assistance.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER deferred the question to Joy Baker.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:19:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOY BAKER,  Port Director, City  of Nome,  stated that HJR  14 is                                                               
concerned with shipping  in the Arctic and is  not specifically a                                                               
financial request.   She said she  thinks tying the Port  of Nome                                                               
to  Anchorage  would defeat  the  purpose  of trying  to  develop                                                               
maritime infrastructure in Arctic waters.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:20:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL echoed that the  proposed joint resolution is not a                                                               
request  for funding  and that  it seems  to be  specifically for                                                               
Nome.   He remarked that the  name, "Port of Alaska,"  was coined                                                               
such  but may  not really  be its  proper name,  and it  could be                                                               
confusing to have a Port of Alaska  and a Port of Nome.  He asked                                                               
Representative Rasmussen if she wished to pursue an amendment.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:21:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN answered no.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:21:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY stated  that she's  pleased to  see HJR  14                                                               
shed light on  the importance of an Arctic  port "for development                                                               
and for ... security reasons."   She predicted the proposed joint                                                               
resolution would be well received on the House floor.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:22:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL  returned to  the idea of  a natural  gas pipeline,                                                               
which was brought up by a  testifier.  He suggested that the port                                                               
being frozen  much of the  year might  make it difficult  to have                                                               
reliable transport of natural gas.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:22:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER said  Co-Chair  Wool is  correct that  the                                                               
port is  frozen for  a portion  of the  winter, and  although the                                                               
port  thawed unexpectedly  early in  2019, ships  cannot make  it                                                               
into port year round.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:23:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  STUTES moved  to report  HJR 14  out of  committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no  objection, HJR 14, was reported out  of the House                                                               
Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HTRA Presentation Nome Port 4.17.19.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJR 14
HJR014A.PDF HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJR 14
HJR014 Supporting Documents Washington Post Article .pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJR 14
HJR014 Supporting Documents Project Milestones.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJR 14
HJR014 Supporting Documents Senate Armed Services Committee Transcript.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJR 14
HJR014 Supporting Documents High North News Article.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJR 14
HJR014 Supporting Documents Senate Bill 3021.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJR 14
SB 54 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
SB 54
SB 54 - Version M.PDF HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
SB 54
SB54 - Map of parcels A B by Otto Lake.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
SB 54
SB 54 - Premier Alaska Tours Letter.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
SB 54
SB 54 - Language from HB 119 Land Transfer Authority from 2018 Session.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
HB 119
SB 54
SB 54 - ARR Resolution 2018-03 Otto Lake for SB 86.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
SB 54
SB 86
SB 54 - Fiscal Note DCCED Version M.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
SB 54
SB 54 - ARR Annual Property Management Report.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
SB 54
SJR011 S.TRA CS ver U 4.16.19.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
SJR011 Sponsor Statement 4.16.19.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
SJR011 Fiscal Note S.TRA 4.16.19.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
SJR011 Explanation of Changes from ver M to U.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJR 14 - Fiscal Note DOT-COM-4-11-19.pdf HTRA 4/23/2019 1:00:00 PM
HJR 14