Legislature(2013 - 2014)BARNES 124

03/26/2013 01:30 PM TRANSPORTATION


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 2:00 p.m. Today --
*+ HJR 13 HOME PORT NEW COAST GUARD CUTTER IN STATE TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 13(TRA) Out of Committee
*+ HB 176 EXPERIMENTAL VEHICLE PLATES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 176(TRA) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         March 26, 2013                                                                                         
                           2:11 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Peggy Wilson, Chair                                                                                              
Representative Doug Isaacson, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Eric Feige                                                                                                       
Representative Lynn Gattis                                                                                                      
Representative Bob Lynn                                                                                                         
Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Craig Johnson                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE BILL NO. 176                                                                                                              
"An Act relating to experimental vehicles."                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHB 176(TRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 13                                                                                                   
Urging  the  United States  Congress  and  the President  of  the                                                               
United States  to complete the  funding and acquisition  of three                                                               
additional National Security Cutters and  to home port one of the                                                               
cutters in Kodiak, Alaska.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED CSHJR 13(TRA) OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HB 176                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: EXPERIMENTAL VEHICLE PLATES                                                                                        
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) THOMPSON                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
03/18/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/18/13       (H)       TRA, FIN                                                                                               
03/26/13       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 13                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: COAST GUARD NAT'L SECURITY CUTTER FUNDING                                                                          
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) AUSTERMAN                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
03/15/13       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/15/13       (H)       TRA                                                                                                    
03/26/13       (H)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE THOMPSON                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 176.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JANE PIERSON, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Steve Thompson                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Presented the bill on behalf of                                                                          
Representative Steve Thompson, sponsor of HB 176.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SHELLY MELLOT, Deputy Director                                                                                                  
Director's Office                                                                                                               
Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)                                                                                                
Department of Administration (DOA)                                                                                              
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified and answered questions on HB 176.                                                              
                                                                                                                                
ALLISON EARHART, Attorney                                                                                                       
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA)                                                                                       
Herndon, Virginia                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HB 176.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
JIM DODSON, President                                                                                                           
Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation (FEDC)                                                                               
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 176.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JULIE EMSLIE, Project Manager                                                                                                   
Cold-weather Testing                                                                                                            
Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) Fairbanks                                                                     
Economic Development Corporation (FEDC)                                                                                         
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HB 176.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MELANIE LESH, Staff                                                                                                             
Representative Alan Austerman                                                                                                   
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Testified during  the presentation  of HJR
13.                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CARL UCHYTIL Captain, Retired                                                                                                   
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 13.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
ED PAGE, Captain, Retired                                                                                                       
U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)                                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified during the discussion of HJR 13.                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:11:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  PEGGY  WILSON  called the  House  Transportation  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   2:11  p.m.    Representatives                                                               
Isaacson, Gattis,  Kreiss-Tomkins, and P. Wilson  were present at                                                               
the call  to order.   Representatives Feige  and Lynn  arrived as                                                               
the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
               HB 176-EXPERIMENTAL VEHICLE PLATES                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:11:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON announced that  the first order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  BILL  NO.  176,   "An  Act  relating  to  experimental                                                               
vehicles."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:12:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON moved  to adopt  the proposed  committee                                                               
substitute  (CS)  for HB  176,  Version  U [labeled  28-LS0674\U,                                                               
Strasbaugh,  3/18/13] as  the working  document.  [Version U  was                                                               
before the committee.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:12:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   STEVE   THOMPSON,  Alaska   State   Legislature,                                                               
speaking as  sponsor of HB  176, stated  that this bill  is badly                                                               
needed in the state.  He  recalled that about 10 years ago, while                                                               
he was mayor in Fairbanks, he was  trying to get a test track for                                                               
winter  testing  of manufacturers  of  vehicles.   He  discovered                                                               
large numbers of worldwide car  manufacturers were using Interior                                                               
Alaska  for cold-weather  testing, although  most people  did not                                                               
know the  testing was  occurring since  the cars  were disguised.                                                               
He  characterized auto  manufacturer's testing  as a  pretty good                                                               
sized industry.   He reported three people in  Fairbanks told him                                                               
they  test   drive  every  winter  in   Fairbanks  for  different                                                               
manufacturers.    Volkswagen  Group   of  America,  Inc.  (VWGoA)                                                               
brought up test  vehicles last winter, but needed  to re-test and                                                               
VWGoA the DMV indicated the vehicles  would need to be titled and                                                               
licensed  since temporary  licenses were  not available  for test                                                               
vehicles.  This bill would authorize  license plates for up to 36                                                               
months to  allow winter  testing programs to  occur.   He offered                                                               
his  belief  that  the  test driving  is  an  important  economic                                                               
development   driver   that   uses  local   mechanics,   garages,                                                               
warehouses, and drivers.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:15:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JANE PIERSON, Staff, Representative  Steve Thompson, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  on  behalf  of the  sponsor,  Representative  Steve                                                               
Thompson,  stated this  bill would  give statutory  authority for                                                               
experimental  vehicle plates  to  be issued  by  the Division  of                                                               
Motor Vehicles (DMV)  to manufacturers or distributors  for a 12-                                                               
month period, with the ability for  the license to be renewed for                                                               
additional 12-month  periods, for  a maximum of  36 months.   She                                                               
clarified   that   this   authority   will   be   restricted   to                                                               
manufacturing or distributors and not  just an individual who has                                                               
built an  experimental vehicle  in a garage.   When  the vehicles                                                               
leave  Alaska  they  are  relocated   or  destroyed  since  these                                                               
vehicles cannot be titled due  to their experimental nature.  The                                                               
bill would amend  AS 28.10.181 related to  registration of unique                                                               
and special vehicles  to be used for special  purposes, and would                                                               
create  a  special license  plate  the  purposes of  cold-weather                                                               
experimental  vehicles.   She  reiterated  that  this is  a  good                                                               
economic driver for Interior Alaska.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:17:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  asked whether other  type of testing  can be                                                               
done.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. PIERSON answered that according  to DMV currently there isn't                                                               
any other  testing is going  on in Alaska.   She deferred  to the                                                               
department to expand on this.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  said perhaps  other types of  testing should                                                               
be happening.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. PIERSON answered that the  sponsor would not have any problem                                                               
with expanding  the scope  of the bill;  however, she  would like                                                               
DMV to respond in case it raises any issues for the department.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:18:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON offered  his  support for  HB  176.   He                                                               
understood  that  Minnesota is  the  only  other state  currently                                                               
offering  cold-weather  testing.    He  reported  that  Minnesota                                                               
charges $50  for first four license  plates and $35 for  each one                                                               
thereafter.   The  plates  expire each  December  31 without  any                                                               
prorated  fees.   He  asked for  a comparison  in  DMV's fees  in                                                               
Minnesota and Alaska.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:19:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SHELLY MELLOT,  Deputy Director,  Director's Office,  Division of                                                               
Motor Vehicles (DMV), Department  of Administration (DOA), stated                                                               
that  DMV  currently charges  $90  for  annual registration  fees                                                               
since the fees fall under  commercial vehicle rates.  In response                                                               
to  Representative   Lynn's  previous  question,  she   said  the                                                               
department did not have any  issue with going beyond cold-weather                                                               
testing.   The  DMV has  visited the  facility and  currently the                                                               
testing  is   limited  to  cold-weather  testing;   however,  the                                                               
department  does not  have an  issue  with removing  cold-weather                                                               
from the bill.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:20:53 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON asked  whether  the $90  covers a  three                                                               
year period per vehicle.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. MELLOT answered the fee is every 12 months.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON  understood that Alaska's DMV  fees would                                                               
be higher than the ones Minnesota  charges.  He asked whether the                                                               
DMV sets the fee structure.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MELLOT indicated  the  legislature sets  the  fees under  AS                                                               
28.10.421,  noting  these   vehicles  are  considered  commercial                                                               
vehicles.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON asked whether  a special category such as                                                               
a vehicle testing category could be done in this bill.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:22:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON asked  for clarification on  the effect                                                               
of  removing  "cold-weather" and  whether  that  would allow  the                                                               
department  to  be more  flexible  with  respect to  experimental                                                               
vehicle testing.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MELLOT answered yes; that the change would be more flexible.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:22:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ALLISON  EARHART, Attorney,  Volkswagen  Group  of America,  Inc.                                                               
(VWGoA)  stated  that   VWGoA  is  the  parent   company  of  the                                                               
Volkswagen operations  in the U.S.   She offered  VWGoA's support                                                               
for this bill.  She stated  she is an in-house attorney for VWGOA                                                               
and she  specializes in licensing  matters.  She offered  that HB
176 would  allow VWGoA  to continue  to perform  its cold-weather                                                               
testing in  Alaska.   She summarized  that VWGoA  typically tests                                                               
its vehicles in  Alaska and apply for a  one-year registration in                                                               
order to  do so;  however, with more  stringent EPA  standards it                                                               
has become  necessary to bring  the vehicles back  for subsequent                                                               
years for additional testing; however,  the DMV does not have any                                                               
provision   available  to   allow  for   additional  testing   in                                                               
subsequent years.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:24:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON  understood this bill would  be adequate,                                                               
but   perhaps   removing   "cold-weather"   would   allow   other                                                               
experimental  vehicle  testing;  however, perhaps  the  committee                                                               
should not  worry about adjusting  fees at  this time.   He asked                                                               
whether  this would  be adequate  to  keep VWGoA  in business  in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. EARHART answered yes.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:24:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JIM   DODSON,    President,   Fairbanks    Economic   Development                                                               
Corporation  (FEDC) stated  that  FEDC has  been promoting  cold-                                                               
weather testing for  more than 20 years.  He  characterized it as                                                               
a growing industry  that creates jobs and helps  to diversify the                                                               
economy in  Interior Alaska and  in the  state.  He  reported the                                                               
FEDC has partnered  with the City of Valdez and  the community of                                                               
Big  Delta to  attract  the cold-weather  automotive industry  in                                                               
Alaska to  do their  cold-weather testing.   Today at  least four                                                               
car manufacturers  have been  performing cold-weather  testing in                                                               
Fairbanks.    The  FEDC  has advertised  Fairbanks  as  the  most                                                               
accessible, reliable,  and affordable place  in the nation  to do                                                               
cold-weather testing.   This industry creates more  than 200 jobs                                                               
annually in Fairbanks and it is  a growing industry.  In fact, it                                                               
represents  an industry  that the  state  has not  had to  invest                                                               
money to attract.   The state has the natural  weather to attract                                                               
cold-weather testing.   He urged members to support HB  176 as it                                                               
is rewritten.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:26:13 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  GATTIS  asked  whether  Fairbanks  is  the  least                                                               
expensive place in the nation to do the testing.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  DODSON answered  that one  factor is  the accessibility  and                                                               
reliability of cold-weather.  For  example, a manufacturer may go                                                               
to  Minnesota  to  perform tests,  but  if  cold-weather  doesn't                                                               
materialize,  the company  has lost  the  opportunity to  conduct                                                               
testing.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON remarked she lived  in Tok for four years and she                                                               
recalled  experiencing 78  below  zero degree  weather without  a                                                               
wind-chill factor.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:27:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JULIE  EMSLIE, Project  Manager, Cold-weather  Testing, Fairbanks                                                               
Economic  Development   Corporation  (FEDC)   Fairbanks  Economic                                                               
Development Corporation  (FEDC), stated  that everyone  thinks of                                                               
Alaska,  especially Interior  Alaska, as  being cold.   She  said                                                               
that   Interior   Alaska  experiences   consistent   cold-weather                                                               
conditions  which are  difficult  to find  anywhere  else in  the                                                               
world.    She  explained  that the  weather,  combined  with  the                                                               
facilities  and  vibrant  service  industry has  become  a  prime                                                               
location for companies  to cold-weather test its  products.  This                                                               
testing brings significant, positive  impacts to the community of                                                               
Fairbanks.   She  estimated that  cold-weather testing  generates                                                               
$500 million  annually for  the local economy.   She  pointed out                                                               
that the  automotive testing  industry heavily  utilizes Interior                                                               
Alaska  for  cold-weather testing.    In  fact, it  was  recently                                                               
brought  to  the   FEDC's  attention  that  some   of  the  local                                                               
automotive  testing   companies  have  encountered   issues  with                                                               
Alaska's  current vehicle  titling and  registration regulations.                                                               
As previously  stated, this has largely  becoming problematic due                                                               
to changes  in federal regulations  on emissions.  She  said that                                                               
Alaska's current laws are incompatible  with what the car testing                                                               
companies need  to do  to perform  their work.   She  offered her                                                               
belief that  HB 176  offers a  solution to  this problem  and the                                                               
bill would  remove the  barrier to  automotive testing,  but will                                                               
also not infringe on the DMV's mission, as well.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:29:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN  asked whether the cold-weather  testing will                                                               
change  emission   systems  and  if  any   provision  allows  for                                                               
experimental  types  of  emission  systems.   In  response  to  a                                                               
question,  he  repeated  his  question  and  clarified  that  one                                                               
emission system may  perform better in the cold than  others.  He                                                               
wondered if  an alternative system  might run afoul  of emissions                                                               
testing  in Alaska,  although he  acknowledged  he was  uncertain                                                               
about emissions.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. MELLOT  answered that she  is not aware  of all the  types of                                                               
testing being  done.   She recalled  that part  of the  reason to                                                               
perform testing  beyond 12 months  was due to the  requirement by                                                               
the EPA for longer periods of emissions testing.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON  pointed out she is  somewhat familiar, recalling                                                               
it has  something to  do with  the types of  gasoline used.   She                                                               
further  recalled   Alaska  has  been  working   on  a  [federal]                                                               
exemption.  She  suggested that it might be  necessary to revisit                                                               
[emissions].                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:31:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   KREISS-TOMKINS   wondered  how   Fairbanks   was                                                               
partnering with Valdez on cold-weather testing.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  EMSLIE  answered it  relates  to  snow levels  since  Valdez                                                               
receives lots  of snow  whereas Fairbanks  does not  so Fairbanks                                                               
has partnered with Valdez to  accommodate all of the cold-weather                                                               
testing needs.  She stated  that [Valdez] has also attended trade                                                               
shows and  the FEDC can  also refer  companies to Valdez  who are                                                               
primarily interested in testing vehicles [in snow conditions].                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS  was  curious if  any  other  ways                                                               
exist to make Alaska's bad weather economical.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:32:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON, after first  determining no one else  wished to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HB 176.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:33:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON  made  a   motion  to  adopt  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1, to remove "cold-weather" on  page 1, lines 6, 7, and                                                               
11 of HB 176.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FEIGE objected for purpose of discussion.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON  recapped the reason for  Conceptual Amendment 1,                                                               
which  is to  expand the  bill  to allow  for additional  vehicle                                                               
testing.    She advised  that  the  DMV  and  the VWGoA  did  not                                                               
anticipate any issues arising by taking out "cold-weather."                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FEIGE removed his objection.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
There  being no  further  objection, Conceptual  Amendment 1  was                                                               
adopted.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:34:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON  moved to  report the  proposed committee                                                               
substitute  (CS) for  HB 176,  labeled [28-LS0674\U,  Strasbaugh,                                                               
3/18/13],   as  amended,   out  of   committee  with   individual                                                               
recommendations  and the  accompanying zero  fiscal note.   There                                                               
being no further  objection, the CSHB 176(TRA)  was reported from                                                               
the House Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took a brief at-ease.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
        HJR 13-COAST GUARD NAT'L SECURITY CUTTER FUNDING                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:35:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON announced that  the final order of business would                                                               
be  HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION  NO.  13,  Urging the  United  States                                                               
Congress and the  President of the United States  to complete the                                                               
funding  and acquisition  of three  additional National  Security                                                               
Cutters and to home port one of the cutters in Kodiak, Alaska.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:37:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MELANIE LESH, Staff, Representative  Alan Austerman, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature, on behalf  of the sponsor, stated that  HJR 13 would                                                               
urge the U.S. Congress and the  President of the U.S. to complete                                                               
the  funding   and  acquisition  of  three   additional  National                                                               
Security Cutters (NSCs) and request  one of the cutters should be                                                               
homeported  in  Kodiak.   She  explained  HJR  13 aims  to  raise                                                               
awareness  that  the  U.S.  Coast  Guard is  in  the  process  of                                                               
replacing  12 high-endurance  cutters with  eight technologically                                                               
advanced NSCs  and stressing the  necessity to deliver  all eight                                                               
vessels.     The  sponsor  wishes  to   highlight  the  strategic                                                               
importance of  Alaska in the  region and focus on  the importance                                                               
of the increasing role in the  Arctic with more open water in the                                                               
summer resulting in increased maritime  traffic.  She stated that                                                               
Kodiak  is  the nearest  USCG  port  and  would  be the  base  of                                                               
operations for vessels such as the  Bertholf, which is one of the                                                               
three completed NSCs which patrolled  the Arctic this past summer                                                               
in Operation  Arctic Shield.   She related that the  USCG assists                                                               
the U.S.  Department of Defense's  national defense  efforts with                                                               
its specialized capabilities in the region and elsewhere.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:39:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. LESH  said that recently,  at a national  military conference                                                               
the three  chiefs met to  discuss the maritime  strategic issues,                                                               
including the  Commandant of the  USCG, Admiral Robert  Papp; the                                                               
Commandant of the U.S. Marine  Corps, General James Amos; and the                                                               
Chief of Naval  Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert.   The main                                                               
topic  of  discussion   was  the  Commander-in-Chief's  strategic                                                               
guidance which,  in part, requires  that the U.S.  military will,                                                               
of  necessity  rebalance towards  the  Asia-Pacific  region.   In                                                               
conclusion, HJR  13 has been designed  to send a reminder  to the                                                               
Congress  and  the U.S.  President  to  complete the  program  of                                                               
record for the  funding and acquisition of  three additional NSCs                                                               
cutters.   She recognized  two retired  U.S.C.G. captains  in the                                                               
room here to testify on the resolution.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:40:22 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CARL UCHYTIL,  Captain, Retired, U.S. Coast  Guard (USCG), stated                                                               
that he is  a retired USCG captain who sailed  in Alaska's waters                                                               
and  served as  the commanding  officer of  the icebreaker  Polar                                                               
Sea.  He commended the committee  and said he wholly supports the                                                               
committee for  taking action to encourage  the federal government                                                               
and Department  of Homeland Security  to maintain a  NSC presence                                                               
in  Alaska.   Having  an NSC  specifically  homeported in  Alaska                                                               
would not  only provide a  multi-missioned platform to  serve the                                                               
coastal  communities   in  times   of  need,  but   perhaps  more                                                               
importantly,  would  build  mission   capacity  for  the  Alaskan                                                               
resident crew  to better understand  the unique  challenges faced                                                               
by mariners  sailing in the  Bering Sea  and the Gulf  of Alaska.                                                               
He thanked members for their support for the USCG in Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:41:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON  asked whether  three NSCs  would provide                                                               
enough support  and if  one NSC will  provide enough  coverage in                                                               
Alaska.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN UCHYTIL stated  one liberty he has as  a retired Captain,                                                               
he cannot speak  on behalf of the USCG's needs,  but he can speak                                                               
frankly and provide  his opinion based upon his  three decades of                                                               
service  in the  USCG.    Certainly, Alaska  has  3,300 miles  of                                                               
coastline.  Thus,  to adequately cover Alaska  would require more                                                               
than three NSCs, he said.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
2:42:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  ISAACSON realized  that the  resolution does  not                                                               
empower  any demand  since  it is  not an  executive  order.   He                                                               
recalled Captain Uchytil is a retired ice breaker captain.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN UCHYTIL answered yes; that he  served half of his time on                                                               
icebreakers.   He understood the  resolution has to do  with NSCs                                                               
so if this were a different venue  he would tout the needs of the                                                               
nation  and  encouraged Alaska  to  build  and sustain  a  viable                                                               
icebreaker fleet.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
2:43:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON  asked whether it is  feasible to support                                                               
an icebreaker homeport in Alaska.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN UCHYTIL  stated that the  NSCs have very  high technical,                                                               
high-demand  shore side  needs to  meet the  requirements of  the                                                               
crew, which doesn't  mean it couldn't be built in  a port such as                                                               
Kodiak, but  it probably  does not yet  exist to  really maintain                                                               
the NSC.  Similarly, staff  and technical support to maintain the                                                               
icebreakers would need to be developed.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:45:03 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON asked for  clarification on whether he is                                                               
saying  Alaska does  not currently  have the  technical expertise                                                               
for the NSC.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN UCHYTIL  answered that the  expertise could be  built but                                                               
it does not currently exist.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON suggested that  passage of the resolution                                                               
would encourage the build out.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
2:45:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FEIGE said HJR  13's supporting documents indicate                                                               
that the  NSC is a  legend class of the  USCG's fleet.   He asked                                                               
what vessels are currently based in Kodiak.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. UCITEL  answered that the USCG's  cutter Munro is a  378 foot                                                               
high-endurance cutter,  which are part  of a class of  12 cutters                                                               
built in the  1960s or 1970s.   The USCG has been  in the process                                                               
of decommissioning  these 12 vessels  and will replace  then with                                                               
the eight NSCs.   He said that  only five of the  eight NSCs have                                                               
been  funded so  part  of  this resolution  is  to encourage  the                                                               
federal  government to  build the  remaining three  vessels.   He                                                               
remarked  that his  son is  currently  assigned to  the Munro  in                                                               
Kodiak.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:46:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN asked why not  include the Under Secretary of                                                               
the Treasury and the U.S.  President among those receiving a copy                                                               
of the resolution.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  UCHYTIL   answered  that   the  USCG  falls   under  the                                                               
Department of Homeland  Security; that at one point  the USCG was                                                               
under the  U.S Department of  the Treasury, then  U.S. Department                                                               
of Transportation,  and now falls  under the jurisdiction  of the                                                               
Department of Homeland Security.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:47:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ED PAGE, Captain,  Retired, U.S. Coast Guard  (USCG), stated that                                                               
he served  in the  U.S. Coast  Guard for  30 years.   He  said he                                                               
served  on  the U.S.  Coast  Guard  Cutter  Boutwell in  1973  in                                                               
Alaska.    He appreciated  the  resolution,  noting he  has  been                                                               
retired for  12 years,  but served  in Anchorage,  Ketchikan, and                                                               
Juneau.   The  USCG feels  appreciated by  Alaskans, which  makes                                                               
sense since  Alaska is  a maritime state.   He  characterized the                                                               
USCG's relationship  as being a  symbiotic and  good relationship                                                               
with the state.   He applauded the legislature's  efforts to work                                                               
to obtain the presence of more  USCG cutters.  He pointed out his                                                               
perspective  is  different  from  Captain  Uchytil's  perspective                                                               
since he  served on USCG  cutters for many  years in Alaska.   He                                                               
pointed  out his  work has  been in  the field  of marine  safety                                                               
programs,  relating he  was the  Chief of  Marine Safety  for the                                                               
Pacific Area and  for Alaska.  He explained that  he was involved                                                               
in  allocating cutters  and enforcement  oversight in  fisheries.                                                               
Clearly, the enormity of Alaska  makes the challenge even greater                                                               
and exacerbating  that problem is  the growing body of  water due                                                               
to the  environmental warming and climate  change.  Additionally,                                                               
Alaska  has   more  traffic  and  more   activity  with  offshore                                                               
exploration.    He explained  he  was  on  some of  the  drilling                                                               
platforms  in  1984  when they  initially  performed  exploratory                                                               
drilling   in  the   Chukchi  Sea,   but   things  have   changed                                                               
substantially  since  then.    He said  the  USCG's  presence  is                                                               
important,  just  as  having  policemen  on  the  highway  deters                                                               
motorists from speeding.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:49:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  PAGE said  that the  USCG's presence  and monitoring  is                                                               
important, but  when something happens  the USCG will  provide an                                                               
effective response  to help prevent  loss of life,  property, and                                                               
environmental harm.  Thus it  seems logical that with the opening                                                               
up  of  more water  in  Alaska,  the  USCG  must have  more  USCG                                                               
cutters.   In fact, it  is one of  the metrics used  to determine                                                               
where cutters should go and how  to allocate them.  He emphasized                                                               
the  USCG  considers the  size,  the  issues, how  important  the                                                               
issues  are   in  determining  the   USCG's  role.     Certainly,                                                               
considering  the reconnoitering  Alaska's  waters  [the USCG  has                                                               
discovered] other nations,  such as China, have  a great interest                                                               
in tapping Alaska resources just offshore.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:51:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  PAGE anticipated  it  could happen  that  the U.S.  will                                                               
extend  its  borders further,  which  could  increase the  USCG's                                                               
jurisdictional areas.   He emphasized that the USCG  is the right                                                               
agency and  resource to carry this  mission out.  He  offered his                                                               
support for  HJR 13,  which he said  is appropriate,  needed, and                                                               
timely.  He offered his belief  that Alaska also impacts the rest                                                               
of  the nation,  in particular,  Alaska's resources  has national                                                               
ramifications.    The  fisheries, resource  protection,  and  oil                                                               
production  development are  all national  issues, he  said.   He                                                               
offered his belief that people in  Maine, Boston and New York are                                                               
paying attention  and the  USCG is  best suited  to ensure  it is                                                               
done.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
2:52:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P. WILSON  asked him to assess how many  ships Alaska needs                                                               
[for adequate coverage of Alaska's waters].                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN  PAGE  replied that  with  more  vessels sailing  in  the                                                               
Alaska's waters  enroute to the  Far East, and with  more vessels                                                               
using the Northern sea route  and the Northwest passage that even                                                               
with three [vessels]  the fleet will be  stretched for resources.                                                               
He  pointed  out  these  ships   typically  have  six  months  of                                                               
maintenance  annually  and  servicing.   He  concluded  that  the                                                               
proposed  three   vessels  represent  a  good   presence  and  is                                                               
realistic in terms of the nation's status and resources.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:53:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON said that Kodiak  is a long way  from the Bering                                                               
Sea.   She  wondered if  Alaska will  need another  port that  is                                                               
better situated for impacts in the arctic.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN PAGE answered that the  real challenge will be to support                                                               
the vessels,  which is  why the USCG  likes to  comingle vessels,                                                               
which  helps provide  technical support  to maintain  the vessel.                                                               
He suggested  that spreading them  out is  less effective.   As a                                                               
practical matter, due  to the speed of vessels, a  vessel is only                                                               
24 hours away from any point.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:55:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KREISS-TOMKINS pointed  out that  three NSCs  are                                                               
built, five are funded, and eight  are planned.  He asked whether                                                               
he  knew where  the other  NSCs will  be homeported,  and whether                                                               
there is a possibility any others may be stationed in Kodiak.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CAPTAIN PAGE  said was unsure.   He  offered his belief  that the                                                               
USCG will  try to accommodate  all the maritime interests  in the                                                               
country.     The  Alaska's  Congressional  Delegation   has  been                                                               
influential and the  USCG has been quite responsive  to the needs                                                               
of Alaska; however, he was unsure.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
2:56:19 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR P.  WILSON, after first  determining no one else  wished to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HJR 13.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
2:56:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                              
REPRESENTATIVE  LYNN moved  to adopt  Conceptual Amendment  1, on                                                             
page  2, line  20, to  include  the President  of United  States,                                                             
[Barack Obama],  and the [U.S.]  Secretary of  Homeland Security,                                                             
[Janet  Napolitano],  to  the  list  of  people  to  receive  the                                                             
resolution.   There  being no  objection, Conceptual  Amendment 1                                                             
was adopted.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
2:57:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ISAACSON moved  to report HJR 13,  as amended, out                                                               
of   committee   with    individual   recommendations   and   the                                                               
accompanying fiscal notes.   There being no  objection, the CSHJR
13(TRA)  was  reported  from the  House  Transportation  Standing                                                               
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:57:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Transportation Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:57                                                                 
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB0176A.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 176
HB 176 Sponsor Stmt ver A.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 176
HB 176 FEDCO support letter.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 176
HB 176 VWGoA memo.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 176
HJR013A.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HJR 13
HJR 13 Sponsor Statement Coast Guard Vessels.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HJR 13
HJR 13 Support NSC fact sheet.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HJR 13
HJR 13 support Arctic Shield 2012.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HJR 13
HJR 13 support CGC Bertholf - Arctic Circle.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HJR 13
HB 176 - CS version U.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 176
HB176-DOA-DMV-3-22-13.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 176
HB 176 - CS version U.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HB 176
HJR-13-TRA-3-22-13 Home Port Coast Guard Cutter.pdf HTRA 3/26/2013 1:30:00 PM
HJR 13