Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205
01/26/2005 03:30 PM RESOURCES
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SB 69-APPROP: GRANT TO ARCTIC POWER FOR ANWR CHAIR WAGONER announced SB 69 to be up for consideration. MS. MARY JACKSON, staff to Senator Wagoner, sponsor of SB 69, said that the House has a similar bill, HB 101, but the funding was for $1.3 million. Funding in SB 69 is for $1.2 million; $1.1 million of which goes to Arctic Power. The remaining $100,000 goes to the Native Village of Kaktovik. MS. JACKSON explained that Arctic Power is a private non-profit entity that has been coordinating the effort on ANWR for many years. Historically, the funding for promoting the opening of ANWR is in the supplemental budget. 4:45:36 PM MR. MIKE NAVARRE, Executive Board member, Arctic Power, urged quick passage of SB 69. He said the opposition has tremendous resources that it applies in many ways, like taking things out of context and leaving out important information. Arctic Power has done an extraordinary job of putting educational materials together to help educate Congress, editorial boards, interest groups and the general public. 4:46:56 PM MR. NAVARRE said Arctic Power would like to coordinate with the congressional delegation since they are the experts on the ground regarding the efforts to be made. He said this can be considered a long-term investment for the state and that some of the members of Arctic Power have dropped out for a variety of reasons, but not because they don't support it. 4:48:12 PM He gave examples of the misinformation that has been propagated - like the six months supply of gas. It's ludicrous, but it continues to be used. In all of their testimony, there is a failure to acknowledge the Inupiat's from the village of Kaktovik that live within the Refuge. They talk about the Gwichens who live outside the Refuge, but not about the indigenous people who live within the Refuge.... I believe that we do oil development in Alaska better than any place in the world and we need to carry that message to the United States and to Congress.... He noted that regulations would be passed this year that would need to be bird-dogged over the course; so, the lapse date is appropriate. 4:49:59 PM MR. JOE MATHIS, Montana Creek Campground in Anchorage, said he is on the Arctic Power Board. He has personally traveled to ANWR and agreed totally with Mr. Navarre's comments that SJR 2 needs to have a speedy passage. He said that the Legislature should look at its investment in Arctic Power as part of Alaska's long- term fiscal plan. 4:51:49 PM MR. MATT FAGNANI, NANA Development Corporation, said he has been an active member of the Arctic Power Board of Directors since it began. Each year it gets closer to meeting the goal of opening the Coastal Plain to responsible oil and gas exploration. On the expected lease sale, the state could earn $2 billion according to a U.S. Department of Interior forecast. That represents a 222% return on investment, which would occur within 22 months after signing of the bill. He said that Arctic Power's webpage is receiving over 1 million hits a month. He thought it was happening because of two constants - one is because President Bush continues to make the opening of ANWR part of the solution in addressing the nation's decline in oil. The second is Arctic Power educating Congress and the public at large. 4:55:08 PM MS. DEBBIE MILLER, testified again noting that all the people who have testified in favor of Arctic Power are on its Board or affiliated with it. She is a private citizen and thinks funding Arctic Power is a misappropriation of state money and reiterated that she would rather see alternative sources of energy promoted. 4:57:54 PM MR. FRAN MAUER opposed funding Arctic Power. Many other people do not support Arctic Power. He said two of the major oil companies that are active on the North Slope no longer support Arctic Power and perhaps they know something that the state does not. He thought Arctic Power funds would be better used by investing them in alternative energy projects like wind generators for remote villages. 4:59:10 PM MS. LUCI BEACH, Executive Director, Gwichen Steering Committee, also opposed SB 69. The Gwichen Nation has never opposed all oil development, just some. Her suggestions for using Arctic Power money to fund other worthwhile programs included assistance to senior citizens who were adversely effected by elimination of the Longevity Bonus Program, Village Contamination Cleanup Fund, funding for Alaska Scholars Program and funding to the University to enhance distance education so remote site students can have better access. 5:02:07 PM CHAIR WAGONER thanked her for her testimony and said that SB 69 would not be passed out of committee today.