Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

04/23/2019 01:00 PM TRANSPORTATION

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+= HJR 14 URGING SUPPORT FOR NOME DEEP-DRAFT PORT TELECONFERENCED
Moved HJR 14 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+= SB 54 ALASKA RAILROAD CORP. LAND TRANSFERS TELECONFERENCED
Moved SB 54 Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ SJR 11 U.S.-CANADA RAILROAD PRESIDENTIAL PERMIT TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 23, 2019                                                                                         
                           1:04 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Louise Stutes, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative Adam Wool, Co-Chair                                                                                              
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Andi Story                                                                                                       
Representative Dave Talerico                                                                                                    
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 14                                                                                                   
Urging   the   Alaska    Congressional   delegation   to   pursue                                                               
infrastructure  funding for  a deep  draft Arctic  port in  Nome;                                                               
requesting   the   Department   of  Transportation   and   Public                                                               
Facilities  to  send  a  letter  from the  state  to  the  Alaska                                                               
Congressional delegation  supporting a deep draft  Arctic port in                                                               
Nome; and requesting the Department  of Transportation and Public                                                               
Facilities to  work collaboratively  with the City  of Nome  on a                                                               
deep draft Arctic port in Nome.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED HJR 14 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATE BILL NO. 54                                                                                                              
"An  Act  approving  the  transfer  of  certain  Alaska  Railroad                                                               
Corporation land; and providing for an effective date."                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     - MOVED SB 54 OUT OF COMMITTEE                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CS FOR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 11(TRA)                                                                                      
Urging  the   United  States  to  issue   a  Presidential  permit                                                               
authorizing a railroad crossing  of the Alaska-Canada border from                                                               
state  land  into  Yukon,   Canada;  and  supporting  cooperation                                                               
between  the United  States  and Canada  to  establish a  public-                                                               
private partnership for construction  of a railroad from Alberta,                                                               
Canada, to the state that would connect the Alaska Railroad to                                                                  
the North American railroad system.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD & HELD                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
BILL: HJR 14                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: URGING SUPPORT FOR NOME DEEP-DRAFT PORT                                                                            
SPONSOR(s): REPRESENTATIVE(s) FOSTER                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
03/25/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
03/25/19       (H)       TRA                                                                                                    
04/18/19       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/18/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/18/19       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
04/23/19       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SB  54                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: ALASKA RAILROAD CORP. LAND TRANSFERS                                                                               
SPONSOR(s): SENATOR(s) COGHILL                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
02/13/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
02/13/19       (S)       TRA, FIN                                                                                               
03/12/19       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/12/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/12/19       (S)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/14/19       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
03/14/19       (S)       Moved SB 54 Out of Committee                                                                           
03/14/19       (S)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
03/15/19       (S)       TRA RPT 4DP                                                                                            
03/15/19       (S)       DP: HUGHES, WILSON, SHOWER, KIEHL                                                                      
03/20/19       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
03/20/19       (S)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
03/20/19       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/28/19       (S)       FIN AT 9:00 AM SENATE FINANCE 532                                                                      
03/28/19       (S)       Moved SB 54 Out of Committee                                                                           
03/28/19       (S)       MINUTE(FIN)                                                                                            
03/29/19       (S)       FIN RPT  4DP 5NR                                                                                       
03/29/19       (S)       DP: VON IMHOF, MICCICHE, HOFFMAN,                                                                      
                         BISHOP                                                                                                 
03/29/19       (S)       NR:   STEDMAN,   SHOWER,   WIELECHOWSKI,                                                               
                         OLSON, WILSON                                                                                          
04/05/19       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
04/05/19       (S)       VERSION: SB  54                                                                                        
04/08/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/08/19       (H)       TRA                                                                                                    
04/18/19       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
04/18/19       (H)       Heard & Held                                                                                           
04/18/19       (H)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
04/23/19       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
BILL: SJR 11                                                                                                                  
SHORT TITLE: U.S.-CANADA RAILROAD PRESIDENTIAL PERMIT                                                                           
SPONSOR(s): TRANSPORTATION                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
04/05/19       (S)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/05/19       (S)       TRA                                                                                                    
04/09/19       (S)       TRA AT 1:30 PM BUTROVICH 205                                                                           
04/09/19       (S)       Moved CSSJR 11(TRA) Out of Committee                                                                   
04/09/19       (S)       MINUTE(TRA)                                                                                            
04/10/19       (S)       TRA RPT CS  3DP 1NR NEW TITLE                                                                          
04/10/19       (S)       DP: HUGHES, SHOWER, KIEHL                                                                              
04/10/19       (S)       NR: WILSON                                                                                             
04/15/19       (S)       TRANSMITTED TO (H)                                                                                     
04/15/19       (S)       VERSION: CSSJR 11(TRA)                                                                                 
04/16/19       (H)       READ THE FIRST TIME - REFERRALS                                                                        
04/16/19       (H)       TRA                                                                                                    
04/23/19       (H)       TRA AT 1:00 PM BARNES 124                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEAL FOSTER                                                                                                      
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor, relayed the three                                                                      
priorities of HJR 14.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
RAY WARD                                                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 14.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
DOUG WALRATH, Director                                                                                                          
Northwestern Alaska Career & Technical Center                                                                                   
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of HJR 14.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
JOY BAKER, Port Director                                                                                                        
City of Nome                                                                                                                    
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION STATEMENT:  Responded to an issue raised during the                                                                  
hearing on HJR 14.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR JOHN COGHILL                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  As prime sponsor,  spoke to the intent of SB                                                             
54 to fix a previous oversight.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA MOSS, Staff                                                                                                            
Senator John Coghill                                                                                                            
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Provided  information regarding  SB 54  on                                                             
behalf of Senator Coghill, prime sponsor.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
JON COOK, Chair                                                                                                                 
Board of Directors                                                                                                              
Alaska Railroad Corporation                                                                                                     
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Testified in support of SB 54.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
AIMEE BUSHNELL, Staff                                                                                                           
Senator Shelley Hughes                                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Presented  CSSJR  11(TRA)  on  behalf  of                                                             
Senator Hughes, prime sponsor.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SHELLEY HUGHES                                                                                                          
Alaska State Legislature                                                                                                        
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    As prime  sponsor,  provided  information                                                             
during the hearing on CSSJR 11(TRA).                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
TIM SULLIVAN, JR., Director of External Affairs                                                                                 
Alaska Railroad Corporation                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:   Responded to a question  during the hearing                                                             
on CSSJR 11(TRA).                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                              
1:04:32 PM                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                              
CHAIR  ADAM   WOOL  called  the  House   Transportation  Standing                                                             
Committee  meeting  to  order  at   1:04  p.m.    Representatives                                                               
Drummond, Claman,  Story, Stutes,  and Wool  were present  at the                                                               
call to  order.  Representatives  Talerico and  Rasmussen arrived                                                               
as the meeting was in progress.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
         HJR 14-URGING SUPPORT FOR NOME DEEP-DRAFT PORT                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:05:59 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEAL  FOSTER, Alaska  State Legislature,  as prime                                                               
sponsor,  relayed the  three priorities  of HJR  14: to  urge the                                                               
congressional  delegation to  pursue  infrastructure funding;  to                                                               
request  the Department  of  Transportation  & Public  Facilities                                                               
(DOT&PF)   send  a   letter  to   the  congressional   delegation                                                               
supporting  a deep  draft Arctic  port  in Nome;  and to  request                                                               
DOT&PF to work  collaboratively with the City of  Nome to provide                                                               
technical support.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:06:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL opened public testimony on HJR 14.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:07:07 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RAY WARD relayed his personal connection  to Alaska.  He said the                                                               
melting  of  the  ice  in  the  Northwest  Passage  has  provided                                                               
opportunity for an  economic boon for the maritime  industry.  He                                                               
opined that Alaska needs to invest  not only in the Port of Nome,                                                               
but in  other Arctic coast  regions of  Alaska.  He  said Norway,                                                               
Finland,  Greenland, Russia,  and Canada  have already  geared up                                                               
for this maritime boon, and  cruise liners have made many voyages                                                               
to  the Northwest  Passage.   He relayed  that this  passage cuts                                                               
travel time  in half when  compared to passage from  the Atlantic                                                               
to  the Pacific  via  the Panama  Canal.   Mr.  Ward stated  that                                                               
Alaska's  congressional  delegation  needs   to  lobby  the  U.S.                                                               
Department of Defense (DoD) for  the installation of a U.S. Naval                                                               
or U.S.  Coast Guard  (USCG) headquarters  in the  Arctic region.                                                               
He said  currently Alaska's  Arctic coastline  is "wide  open" to                                                               
invasion  from  China,  North  Korea,   and  Russia.    Mr.  Ward                                                               
mentioned  fish migration  caused by  warming of  waters, and  he                                                               
warned that  without a  military presence  in the  Arctic region,                                                               
Alaska  will be  subject  to violation  of the  [Magnuson-Stevens                                                               
Fishery  Conservation and  Management]  Act,  which designates  a                                                               
[U.S. exclusive  economic zone up  to] 200 miles  [offshore] that                                                               
applies  to  fishing   by  foreign  vessels.     He  relayed  the                                                               
imperative nature  of the  development of  and investment  in the                                                               
Arctic  region.   He  further  suggested  the construction  of  a                                                               
pipeline from  the natural  gas fields  already developed  to the                                                               
Arctic coast, because it is transported by cargo tankers.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:13:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG WALRATH,  Director, Northwestern  Alaska Career  & Technical                                                               
Center,  testified  in  support  of  HJR 14.    He  credited  the                                                               
previous  testifier   for  covering  points   regarding  military                                                               
defense  and economic  competitiveness.   He  remarked that  many                                                               
people in  the Lower 48 are  probably not aware that  the U.S. is                                                               
an  Arctic nation,  and as  a  result, the  country is  "woefully                                                               
unprepared" compared  to other Arctic  nations, which he  said is                                                               
surprising  when considering  the  other  accomplishments of  the                                                               
U.S.  He  said the voice of Alaska's  congressional delegation is                                                               
required  to advocate  for  a  deep draft  Arctic  port in  Nome,                                                               
Alaska, which  he suggested  is "really  advocating on  behalf of                                                               
the U.S. as a whole."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:15:32 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL, after ascertaining that  there was no one else who                                                               
wished to testify, closed public testimony on HJR 14.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:15:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
The committee took an at-ease from 1:15 p.m. to 1:17 p.m.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:17:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STUTES asked  whether the issue presented in  HJR 14 had                                                               
been seen by  the legislature before.  She said  she thinks it is                                                               
"an interesting, exciting process."                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:17:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER responded, "This is  the first time we have                                                               
presented this resolution."                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  STUTES  asserted  that  she has  seen  the  information                                                               
before, and she reiterated her enthusiasms for the subject.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER  confirmed  that  the  topic  of  Alaska's                                                               
Arctic passageway  has been presented  over the years  in various                                                               
forms.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:18:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN inquired whether  the bill sponsor would                                                               
be amenable  to an amendment to  add the Port of  Alaska, because                                                               
it is in need of financial assistance.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE FOSTER deferred the question to Joy Baker.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:19:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JOY BAKER,  Port Director, City  of Nome,  stated that HJR  14 is                                                               
concerned with shipping  in the Arctic and is  not specifically a                                                               
financial request.   She said she  thinks tying the Port  of Nome                                                               
to  Anchorage  would defeat  the  purpose  of trying  to  develop                                                               
maritime infrastructure in Arctic waters.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:20:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL echoed that the  proposed joint resolution is not a                                                               
request  for funding  and that  it seems  to be  specifically for                                                               
Nome.   He remarked that the  name, "Port of Alaska,"  was coined                                                               
such  but may  not really  be its  proper name,  and it  could be                                                               
confusing to have a Port of Alaska  and a Port of Nome.  He asked                                                               
Representative Rasmussen if she wished to pursue an amendment.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:21:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN answered no.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:21:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY stated  that she's  pleased to  see HJR  14                                                               
shed light on  the importance of an Arctic  port "for development                                                               
and for ... security reasons."   She predicted the proposed joint                                                               
resolution would be well received on the House floor.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:22:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL  returned to  the idea of  a natural  gas pipeline,                                                               
which was brought up by a  testifier.  He suggested that the port                                                               
being frozen  much of the  year might  make it difficult  to have                                                               
reliable transport of natural gas.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:22:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  FOSTER said  Co-Chair  Wool is  correct that  the                                                               
port is  frozen for  a portion  of the  winter, and  although the                                                               
port  thawed unexpectedly  early in  2019, ships  cannot make  it                                                               
into port year round.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:23:30 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  STUTES moved  to report  HJR 14  out of  committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations and  the  accompanying fiscal  notes.                                                               
There being no  objection, HJR 14, was reported out  of the House                                                               
Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
           SB 54-ALASKA RAILROAD CORP. LAND TRANSFERS                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:24:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL announced that the  next order of business would be                                                               
SENATE BILL  NO. 54,  "An Act approving  the transfer  of certain                                                               
Alaska Railroad Corporation land;  and providing for an effective                                                               
date."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
1:24:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  JOHN   COGHILL,  Alaska  State  Legislature,   as  prime                                                               
sponsor, stated that SB 54  would correct an oversight related to                                                               
the Healy  land transfer "from the  railroad to the buyers."   He                                                               
said he  thinks SB 54  would benefit  the Healy area,  the Alaska                                                               
Railroad Corporation, and the purchaser.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:25:34 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RYNNIEVA  MOSS,   Staff,  Senator  John  Coghill,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  on  behalf  of   Senator  Coghill,  prime  sponsor,                                                               
pointed out  that SB 54  does not address  a new sale,  rather it                                                               
relates  to a  sale  that  was approved  by  the legislature  [in                                                               
previous  legislation]  wherein Ms.  Moss  said  she had  made  a                                                               
mistake.  She  echoed Senator Coghill's remark  that the proposed                                                               
legislation would correct the oversight.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:25:52 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL opened public testimony on SB 54.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:26:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JON   COOK,   Chair,   Board  of   Directors,   Alaska   Railroad                                                               
Corporation, related that he has  also served on "the Real Estate                                                               
Committee"  for the  past nine  years.   He  stated that  board's                                                               
support  of SB  54.   He  explained  that the  buyer  paid for  a                                                               
portion of land on a lake  in Healy, Alaska, for a hotel complex;                                                               
this was made  possible under legislation passed last  year.  The                                                               
buyer "pre-paid  the remaining portion" that  [was not previously                                                               
allowed  due  to  an  oversight].     He  said  the  board  would                                                               
appreciate  anything  the  legislature  can  do  to  move  SB  54                                                               
quickly, because "one day in May  is worth three in October," and                                                               
the buyer is ready to go to work on the project.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:27:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL, after ascertaining that  there was no one else who                                                               
wished to testify, closed public testimony on SB 54.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:27:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  STUTES moved  to report  SB  54 out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  zero  fiscal                                                               
note.   There being no objection,  SB 54 was reported  out of the                                                               
House Transportation Standing Committee.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
        SJR 11-U.S.-CANADA RAILROAD PRESIDENTIAL PERMIT                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:27:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL  announced that the  final order of  business would                                                               
be CS FOR SENATE JOINT  RESOLUTION NO. 11(TRA), Urging the United                                                               
States  to issue  a Presidential  permit  authorizing a  railroad                                                               
crossing of the Alaska-Canada border  from state land into Yukon,                                                               
Canada; and supporting cooperation  between the United States and                                                               
Canada   to   establish    a   public-private   partnership   for                                                               
construction of  a railroad  from Alberta,  Canada, to  the state                                                               
that  would connect  the Alaska  Railroad to  the North  American                                                               
railroad system.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:28:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
AIMEE  BUSHNELL,  Staff,  Senator Shelley  Hughes,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  presented  CSSJR  11(TRA)   on  behalf  of  Senator                                                               
Hughes, prime  sponsor.  She  prefaced her remarks  by specifying                                                               
that CSSJR  11(TRA) is a  "railroad resolution" different  from a                                                               
railroad resolution  being sponsored by  Representative Talerico.                                                               
She  said CSSJR  11(TRA)  would urge  the  federal government  to                                                               
issue a  presidential permit  to allow a  railroad to  cross from                                                               
Canada into Alaska.  She  explained that presidential permits are                                                               
necessary   to  allow   infrastructure  between   the  U.S.   and                                                               
neighboring countries.  She indicated  that the impetus for CSSJR                                                               
11(TRA)  was the  approach  of  two companies  in  Canada to  the                                                               
Senate  Transportation  Standing  Committee.    The  presidential                                                               
permit  is necessary  in order  for those  companies to  convince                                                               
their investors that  such a project is feasible.   She clarified                                                               
that  CSSJR  11(TRA)  "is  not  tied to  either  company."    Ms.                                                               
Bushnell stated that the intent of  CSSJR 11(TRA) is "to open the                                                               
economic  opportunities for  Alaska  and allow  commerce to  come                                                               
in."  She said the rail  line would connect to the North American                                                               
Rail System.   She indicated  that [Congress] has sought  to make                                                               
this connection  for over  100 years.   She concluded  that CSSJR                                                               
11(TRA) would be  "that next step" [to  securing the presidential                                                               
permit].                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:30:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUSHNELL, in response to  a question from Co-Chair Wool, said                                                               
the  sponsor  of CSSJR  11(TRA)  thought  it  best to  allow  the                                                               
aforementioned  companies to  come forward  to speak  rather than                                                               
speaking on their behalf.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WOOL noted  that would  occur  at the  next hearing  on                                                               
CSSJR 11(TRA).                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:31:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE STORY observed that  the proposed joint resolution                                                               
includes   language  about   the   presidential   permit  and   a                                                               
requirement  to check  with indigenous  citizens.   She expressed                                                               
her appreciation of CSSJR 11(TRA).                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:31:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WOOL asked  what else  would be  required other  than a                                                               
presidential permit.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUSHNELL  responded that she  would have  to get back  to Co-                                                               
Chair Wool  with an  answer.   She said  the companies  in Canada                                                               
would be concerned with crossing the land of indigenous people.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:32:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  expressed interest  in seeing a  map of                                                               
possible routes for a rail line.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  BUSHNELL  said  she  could  procure  "a  map  of  what  both                                                               
companies envisioned."                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL  related he would  like visual aids brought  to the                                                               
committee by the next hearing of CSSJR 11(TRA).                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. BUSHNELL, in response to  a query from Co-Chair Wool, related                                                               
that  one of  the companies  addresses  a route  from Alberta  to                                                               
Alaska  ("A to  A"),  while the  other  proposes "Generating  for                                                               
Seven Generations" ("G7G").   She said both plans  would start in                                                               
Fort  McMurray  in  Canada  and   come  through  Delta  Junction,                                                               
directly across  the border from Canada.   The G7G plan  would go                                                               
from  Delta Junction  to [Valdez],  [following] the  Trans-Alaska                                                               
Pipeline route.   The A to A  plans on going up  to Fairbanks and                                                               
"taking the rail line down."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:34:24 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  SHELLEY  HUGHES,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  as  prime                                                               
sponsor  of CSSJR  11(TRA),  stated that  the  project would  not                                                               
require a funding allocation from the  State of Alaska.  She said                                                               
Congress  "granted  us the  authority  to  have this  rail  since                                                               
1914."   She indicated that of  the up to 1,000  miles allowable,                                                               
"we  only have  500 right  now."   She added,  "This would  be an                                                               
added 250."  She posited that  at the time of westward expansion,                                                               
the event  of most  significance was the  connection of  the rail                                                               
line.  She  said, "The product that would be  shipped pencils out                                                               
for the  business interests that  have looked  at it."   She said                                                               
the rail could benefit numerous ports in Alaska.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES, in response to  Co-Chair Wool, confirmed that $17                                                               
billion is  the estimated cost  of the overall project;  it would                                                               
come from private investment.   She said the applicable companies                                                               
have  had conversations  with indigenous  peoples  and have  been                                                               
good  at "getting  their social  license."   Those  conversations                                                               
will continue.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:37:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN  sought  to confirm  that  the  project                                                               
could  add  infrastructure  for those  communities  that  do  not                                                               
presently have connectivity to the rest of the state.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES pointed  out that  there would  be infrastructure                                                               
added  to come  into Delta  Junction, then  there are  roads from                                                               
Delta  Junction to  Fairbanks and  rail  out of  Fairbanks.   She                                                               
added,  "There  would  be  some  new  areas  where  it  would  be                                                               
stretched across."                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN  asked, "So,  it  would  connect in  at                                                               
Fairbanks?"                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES  answered yes.  She  said the other plan  would be                                                               
"to  feed the  bitumen, liquify  it, and  put it  into TAPS  [the                                                               
Trans-Alaska  Pipeline System]."    She indicated  that the  rail                                                               
line includes a  substance much like children's  play sand, which                                                               
makes  cleanup  of any  spilled  substances  easier, because  "it                                                               
doesn't seep  into the ground."   She said there would  be "well-                                                               
made  containers."   She pointed  out that  currently the  Alaska                                                               
Railroad Corporation  is certified  to carry  diesel, which  is a                                                               
more volatile substance.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  inquired if  this might develop  into a                                                               
passenger line between Canada and Alaska.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES answered that the  initial development is intended                                                               
for the movement  of products; however, there  could be expansion                                                               
into tourist  travel.  In  that event,  she said the  same border                                                               
crossing  requirements used  at  custom  stations along  roadways                                                               
would  apply to  railway border  crossings.   Senator Hughes,  in                                                               
response to  a follow-up  question, deferred  to Tim  Sullivan to                                                               
explain how [a transition from  cargo to passenger carrier] could                                                               
work.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:41:20 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
TIM SULLIVAN, JR., Director of  External Affairs, Alaska Railroad                                                               
Corporation, proffered  that conversations  are still  ongoing to                                                               
figure out how such a transition could work.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:41:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STUTES  asked for  confirmation that  the intent  of the                                                               
rail line is to transport fuel.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES answered  that what  she is  calling "the  anchor                                                               
tenet" is  bitumen.  She said,  "Anything else on top  of that is                                                               
icing on  the cake."  She  noted that shipping ports  from Alaska                                                               
to Asia are closer than shipping from other ports.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:43:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WOOL noted  that bitumen  is also  referred to  as "tar                                                               
sands."  He summarized that  the bitumen would be transported via                                                               
rail  into Alaska,  to an  Alaska port,  then exported  somewhere                                                               
else for refinement.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES confirmed that is correct.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL inquired  whether a line starting  in Alberta would                                                               
also connect to the Lower 48.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR HUGHES answered  that "Alberta is connected  to the Lower                                                               
48."   She said she is  not certain, but "there  may be something                                                               
coming from different directions in Alberta."                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:44:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN asked how many  miles would be covered with                                                               
the estimated cost of $17 billion.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  HUGHES  answered that  from  Alberta  to the  border  of                                                               
Alaska is  1,200 miles, and  from the Alaska border  to Fairbanks                                                               
is  250  miles.    In  response  to  a  follow-up  question,  she                                                               
confirmed the cost would cover the entire distance.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN remarked that $17 billion sounds low.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:45:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. SULLIVAN  stated that $17 billion  is a rough estimate.   The                                                               
typical  cost for  building rail  line ranges  between $8  to $10                                                               
million per  mile; the $17  billion estimate is derived  based on                                                               
$10 million per mile.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:45:48 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR   HUGHES   offered   her  understanding   that   if   the                                                               
presidential permit is granted and  all goes as planned, the rail                                                               
could be installed by 2022.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL  noted that [Representative Talerico]  has proposed                                                               
legislation  to get  a  train  from Fairbanks  to  Delta, and  he                                                               
suggested the two could be done at the same time.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:47:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND related  an anecdote  of traveling  from                                                               
Anchorage to Haines  and described seeing Walmart  and Sam's Club                                                               
trucks  heading  south.    She  found out  that  the  trucks  had                                                               
originated from Anchorage.   At that time, West  Coast ports were                                                               
congested, and  it was faster  for those companies to  send their                                                               
materials  overland from  the port  in Anchorage  to the  Midwest                                                               
markets.  She  said this eye-opening occurrence  took place about                                                               
10 years ago.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
[CSSJR 11(TRA) was held over.]                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:48:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Transportation Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 1:49                                                                 
p.m.                                                                                                                            

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