Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 17

04/06/2017 10:15 AM House ENERGY

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10:17:22 AM Start
10:17:39 AM HJR18
10:59:09 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ENERGY                                                                              
                         April 6, 2017                                                                                          
                           10:17 a.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Adam Wool, Chair                                                                                                 
Representative Ivy Spohnholz, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Dean Westlake                                                                                                    
Representative DeLena Johnson                                                                                                   
Representative Jennifer Johnston                                                                                                
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 18                                                                                                   
Urging  the   Alaska  delegation  in  Congress   to  implement  a                                                               
renewable  energy testing  program in  the state;  supporting the                                                               
development  and testing  of renewable  energy  resources in  the                                                               
state; and encouraging entrepreneurs  to develop renewable energy                                                               
projects in the state.                                                                                                          
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
BILL: HJR 18                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: SUPPORT FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY TESTING                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) TUCK                                                                                              
04/05/17       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/05/17       (H)       ENE                                                                                                    
04/06/17       (H)       ENE AT 10:15 AM CAPITOL 17                                                                             
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
JACOB TATUM, Staff                                                                                                              
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Presented HJR 18 on behalf  of the sponsor,                                                             
Representative Tuck.                                                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS TUCK                                                                                                       
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Answered questions on HJR 18  as sponsor of                                                             
the resolution.                                                                                                                 
SEAN SKALING, Assistant Executive Director                                                                                      
Energy Policy Director                                                                                                          
Alaska Energy Authority                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during discussion of HJR
CADY LISTER, Chief Economist                                                                                                    
Alaska Energy Authority (AEA)                                                                                                   
Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during discussion of HJR
CHRIS ROSE, Executive Director                                                                                                  
Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP)                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered questions  during discussion of HJR
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
10:17:22 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  ADAM WOOL  called the  House Special  Committee on  Energy                                                             
meeting to  order at  10:17 a.m.   Representatives  Wool, Claman,                                                               
Johnston,  Johnson,   Westlake,  Rauscher,  and   Spohnholz  were                                                               
present at the call to order.                                                                                                   
          HJR 18-SUPPORT FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY TESTING                                                                       
10:17:39 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR WOOL  announced that  the only order  of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE JOINT  RESOLUTION NO. 18,  Urging the Alaska  delegation in                                                               
Congress to implement  a renewable energy testing  program in the                                                               
state;  supporting  the  development  and  testing  of  renewable                                                               
energy resources  in the state; and  encouraging entrepreneurs to                                                               
develop renewable energy projects in the state.                                                                                 
10:18:31 AM                                                                                                                   
JACOB  TATUM,  Staff,  Representative Chris  Tuck,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, said  that the proposed  resolution would  be "great                                                               
for Alaska."   He stated  that HJR  18 signified a  unified voice                                                               
from  the Alaska  State Legislature  to the  Alaska Congressional                                                               
delegation.  He paraphrased from  the sponsor statement [Included                                                               
in members' packets] which read:                                                                                                
     HJR 18  sends a very  important message to  the Alaskan                                                                    
     Congressional  delegation that  our great  state wishes                                                                    
     to  take  its  rightful  place   as  a  leader  in  the                                                                    
     development   of   emerging    renewable   energy   and                                                                    
     encourages  our  representatives  to advocate  for  our                                                                    
     wishes  in  Washington.  Over   the  past  decade,  the                                                                    
     renewable  energy  sector  has seen  tremendous  growth                                                                    
     while  the cost  of production  has also  dropped. This                                                                    
     has been made  possible due to strides  in research and                                                                    
     timely  direction of  resources  and  funds. Alaska  is                                                                    
     uniquely qualified  to contribute to  the proliferation                                                                    
     of affordable  and clean  energy because  our demanding                                                                    
     environment  is an  ideal  testing  ground for  cutting                                                                    
     edge  technology and  our fiscal  climate  is ripe  for                                                                    
     outside investment.  The Alaska  state motto  is "North                                                                    
     to  the  Future";  which represents  our  tradition  of                                                                    
     looking forward  and as a  land of promise.  By sending                                                                    
     this message  to our congressional delegation,  we will                                                                    
     be   living  up   to  our   reputation  and   favorably                                                                    
     positioning our state to enjoy  the fruits of renewable                                                                    
     energy which include not only  affordability but also a                                                                    
     much-needed boost  to the Alaskan economy  of today and                                                                    
     tomorrow.  HJR 18  urges Congress  to  take action  and                                                                    
     direct funds to  our state in order  to position Alaska                                                                    
     as  a leader  within  the  burgeoning renewable  energy                                                                    
     industry  while  also  helping Alaskan  pocketbooks  by                                                                    
     driving down energy costs and  bringing new jobs to our                                                                    
     economy.  HJR 18  serves as  a  continuing reminder  to                                                                    
     Congress that  encouraging renewable energy  testing is                                                                    
     in Alaska's best  interest and in the  best interest of                                                                    
     the Nation. I humbly ask for your support.                                                                                 
10:20:47 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS  TUCK, Alaska State  Legislature, reiterated                                                               
that  the resolution  stated that  Alaska was  the most  suitable                                                               
region for the  testing and development of renewable  energy.  He                                                               
added  that  the  high  cost  of energy  combined  with  all  the                                                               
opportunities in the state made  these technologies very feasible                                                               
and affordable.   He  stated that,  "if it can  be done  right in                                                               
Alaska, it  can be pretty  much done  right anywhere else  in the                                                               
10:21:32 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON  stated  that   it  was  an  interesting                                                               
resolution and  she supported  its general  intent. She  asked if                                                               
this  was to  create a  new entity,  in addition  to the  already                                                               
existing programs.                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  explained that the proposed  bill was asking                                                               
for  the investment  of outside  money from  sources such  as the                                                               
Department of Energy.   He reported that, although  the state had                                                               
done a  good job with  its own  investments, this was  asking the                                                               
U.S.  Congress for  federal support  in Alaska  to help  meet the                                                               
federal goals for renewable energy.                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON asked if he  was aware of the millions of                                                               
dollars from the Department of  Defense which were already coming                                                               
into the  state.  She  suggested to make the  proposed resolution                                                               
more site  specific, offering  as an example  a lab  in Fairbanks                                                               
attached to the  university research program.   She declared that                                                               
there  was  a lot  of  Department  of  Energy and  Department  of                                                               
Defense funds already being spent throughout the state.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK replied  that the  resolution had  been kept                                                               
broad,  instead of  specific,  so that  the  U.S. Congress  would                                                               
understand that Alaska "has what it  needs to test a lot of these                                                               
opportunities."  He asked where the resolution was restrictive.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSTON  offered her belief that,  although there                                                               
were  some fantastic  opportunities,  there  were some  fantastic                                                               
resources  already  in  place,  and  she  was  looking  for  more                                                               
sculpture  of  the resolution  to  strengthen  it with  what  was                                                               
already happening in  the state and the university.   She offered                                                               
her help with this.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  explained that  a resolution  was a  note of                                                               
agreement  to the  Alaska delegation.   He  stated the  desire to                                                               
keep the resolution as broad and  open as possible, to be used as                                                               
an education  tool.   He acknowledged  that the  resolution could                                                               
include information about Alaska energy.                                                                                        
10:26:12 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE stated that  the Department of Energy did                                                               
not  do much  in  Alaska,  noting that  its  national budget  for                                                               
tribal  energy was  only $60  million for  the almost  500 tribes                                                               
with project  needs of more than  $670 million.  He  asked if the                                                               
intent of the  proposed resolution was to  attract outside money.                                                               
He offered examples of energy  projects in his region that needed                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK replied  that  the intent  was  to bring  in                                                               
outside  money,  as  the  investment  resources  in  Alaska  were                                                               
limited.  He  reminded that the 2010 energy policy  had a goal to                                                               
be 50  percent renewable by 2025.   He expressed his  desire that                                                               
the proposed  resolution would draw  attention to  the uniqueness                                                               
and  special   needs  of  Alaska  for   other  manufacturers  and                                                               
organizations.  He  reported that Alaska had the  highest cost of                                                               
power in  the nation.  He  declared that Alaska could  make these                                                               
new  technologies  economically feasible  and  allow  them to  be                                                               
refined to  be applied elsewhere.   He stated that he  was unsure                                                               
where the  Department of  Defense had  been working  on renewable                                                               
energy in Alaska.                                                                                                               
CHAIR WOOL  offered his belief  that Representative  Johnston had                                                               
been referring to  the new technology being  tested and developed                                                               
by the Alaska Center for Energy  and Power.  He suggested a focus                                                               
on the successful programs.                                                                                                     
10:30:24 AM                                                                                                                   
SEAN  SKALING,   Assistant  Executive  Director,   Energy  Policy                                                               
Director, Alaska Energy Authority,  stated that the Alaska Energy                                                               
Authority  had  submitted  a  letter   of  support  [Included  in                                                               
members' packets].  He said that  the letter outlined a few facts                                                               
about renewable energy in Alaska,  and he touted the support from                                                               
the Alaska State Legislature for  investments in renewable energy                                                               
projects totaling  more than  $250 million,  which were  making a                                                               
real difference  around the state.   He said that several  of the                                                               
projects  did have  a federal  match.   He pointed  out that  the                                                               
renewable energy  market had increased due  to these investments.                                                               
He  said   the  emerging  energy  technology   fund  was  another                                                               
investment  made with  federal match  for new  technologies.   He                                                               
added  that,  although  there were  several  tax  incentives  for                                                               
renewable energy, these were more difficult to use in Alaska.                                                                   
10:33:20 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER  asked if  a  result  of the  resolution                                                               
would be to send this as a collective.                                                                                          
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  explained that the entire  resolution packet                                                               
would be  sent, and he mentioned  those to be included  listed on                                                               
the final page of the resolution.                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER asked  about friendly language amendments                                                               
and he  offered some  wordsmith suggestions,  noting that  a vote                                                               
against a  hydro project would  be seen as  a mixed message.   He                                                               
mused about national  projects and suggested that  defense of the                                                               
listed  projects would  enhance the  strength of  the resolution.                                                               
He said that he would have them later.                                                                                          
MR. SKALING  in response  to Chair Wool,  said that  the emerging                                                               
energy technology fund was a one third federally matched fund.                                                                  
10:37:14 AM                                                                                                                   
CADY  LISTER, Chief  Economist,  Alaska  Energy Authority  (AEA),                                                               
Department  of   Commerce,  Community  &   Economic  Development,                                                               
explained that  there were different matching  funds in different                                                               
rounds  of  the  programs,  and   that  the  most  recent  was  a                                                               
Department of Energy grant.                                                                                                     
CHAIR WOOL asked how the money in the fund was used.                                                                            
MS. LISTER replied  that there was an  emerging energy technology                                                               
advisory committee  which provided recommendations to  the Alaska                                                               
Energy Authority for administering the funds.  [indisc]                                                                         
CHAIR  WOOL reflected  on the  emerging  energy technology  fund,                                                               
which had been used for the  combined heat and power plant at the                                                               
university in Fairbanks, a coal  fired, co-generation plant which                                                               
was currently under construction.                                                                                               
MS. LISTER  explained that  the combined  heat and  power project                                                               
was  testing  at  the  Big  Dipper, and  that  it  would  combine                                                               
electricity and heat.   She said that this  technology was widely                                                               
used in Europe, but had not been ever tested in Alaska.                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  asked  about projections  for  the  AEA                                                               
MS. LISTER said  that she would follow up  with that information.                                                               
She  relayed that  in  the  recent past  it  had  been easier  to                                                               
attract  federal funding  for emerging  energy investments.   She                                                               
did   not   know  if   this   would   continue  under   the   new                                                               
10:41:37 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE asked if proposed  HJR 18 would help with                                                               
securing funds.                                                                                                                 
MS. LISTER replied  that it would not hurt, as  it was clearly an                                                               
opportunity for  implementing good  renewable energy  projects in                                                               
Alaska and  helping to stabilize  and lower energy costs  in high                                                               
cost  communities.    [indisc]   She  declared  support  for  the                                                               
proposed resolution.                                                                                                            
CHAIR  WOOL  asked  if  the  renewable energy  fund  ever  had  a                                                               
matching component from federal funds.                                                                                          
MS.  LISTER replied  that it  had always  been 100  percent state                                                               
10:43:37 AM                                                                                                                   
CHRIS ROSE,  Executive Director, Renewable Energy  Alaska Project                                                               
(REAP),  explained that  REAP was  a  coalition of  more than  80                                                               
organizations  and that  REAP supported  the  resolution and  its                                                               
intent.   He  stated  that there  was nothing  like  Alaska as  a                                                               
testing  area in  the  United States   [indisc].    He said  that                                                               
Alaska  could not  be a  world  leader unless  the United  States                                                               
continued to  try to  be a world  leader helping  build renewable                                                               
energy on a  national basis  [indisc].  He  stated that renewable                                                               
energy could  be a component  of a  future [indisc].   He offered                                                               
his belief that  the proposed resolution sent a  great message to                                                               
Congress that Alaska needed help and support.                                                                                   
10:50:34 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR WOOL  reiterated that  Alaska was a  world leader  in micro                                                               
10:51:03 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  how  much  Department of  Defense                                                               
funding came to Alaska.                                                                                                         
MR. ROSE replied that this had been about $350,000.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSTON asked  about the  intent of  those funds                                                               
and whether  the focus  of the resolution  should be  directed to                                                               
individual senatorial expertise.                                                                                                
MR. ROSE  said that for these  projects to be successful,  it was                                                               
necessary to maintain, upgrade, and  optimize them.  He said that                                                               
REAP  had been  looking for  money to  hire another  position for                                                               
investigation  of workforce  development and  vocational training                                                               
in  the  clean  energy  area   (indisc).    He  pointed  out  the                                                               
importance  of micro  grids as  a replacement  energy for  diesel                                                               
fuel in military  areas.  He stated that Alaska  was an excellent                                                               
testing area for integration of these renewable projects.                                                                       
10:56:20 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  WOOL mused  about earlier  testimony that  Lockheed Martin                                                               
was  working  on  energy  projects   relevant  to  Alaska,  which                                                               
included small nuclear projects.                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  referenced  the   first  "Whereas"  in  the                                                               
proposed  resolution and  reported  that  this clause  discussing                                                               
reduction of  nonrenewable energy  sources had been  inserted due                                                               
to national security.  He pointed  out that the United States, as                                                               
of July  2015, had become  the largest exporter of  refined fuels                                                               
in  the  world.    He reiterated  that  the  proposed  resolution                                                               
focused on renewable energy.                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  RAUSCHER,  in  response to  Representative  Tuck,                                                               
said that he would bring work-around suggestions to his office.                                                                 
10:58:53 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR WOOL announced that HJR 18 would be held over.                                                                            
10:59:09 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Special Committee on Energy meeting was adjourned at 10:59 a.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR 18 - Legislation.PDF HENE 4/6/2017 10:15:00 AM
HJR 18
HJR 18 - REF Round X Status Report.pdf HENE 4/6/2017 10:15:00 AM
HJR 18
HJR 18 - RenewableEnergy-Atlas-of-Alaska-2016April (1).pdf HENE 4/6/2017 10:15:00 AM
HJR 18
HJR 18 -Sponsor Statement.pdf HENE 4/6/2017 10:15:00 AM
HJR 18
HJR18- Fiscal Note - LEG-SESS-04-05-17.pdf HENE 4/6/2017 10:15:00 AM
HJR 18
HJR 18 AEA Ltr of Support.pdf HENE 4/6/2017 10:15:00 AM
HJR 18