Legislature(2015 - 2016)Anch LIO AUDITORIUM

08/25/2015 02:00 PM Senate SPECIAL CMTE ON THE ARCTIC

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02:04:41 PM Start
02:05:25 PM Report(s): Thoughts and Takeaways from the Alaskan Arctic: A summit on Shipping and Ports
04:13:23 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Joint with House Special Committee on TELECONFERENCED
Economic Development, Tourism and Arctic Policy
Following Alaska Summit on Arctic Shipping and
Report on takeaways and thoughts from conference,
and how the Legislature can address challenges
and opportunities in Alaska's Maritime Arctic.
-Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland
-Mead Treadwell, Former Lt. Governor &
President, PT Capital
-Alice Rogoff, Arctic Shipping & Port Summit
-Tara Sweeney, Chair, Arctic Economic Council
-Shirley Marquardt, Mayor of Unalaska
-Denise Michels, Mayor of Nome
-Reggie Joule, Mayor of Northwest Arctic Borough
-Charlotte Brower, Mayor of North Slope Borough
-Mayors from Coastal Arctic Villages
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                         JOINT MEETING                                                                                        
 HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM, AND                                                                
                         ARCTIC POLICY                                                                                        
             SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE ARTIC                                                                            
                       Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                        
                        August 25, 2015                                                                                         
                           2:04 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM, AND                                                                   
ARCTIC POLICY                                                                                                                   
 Representative Bob Herron, Chair                                                                                               
 Representative Craig Johnson                                                                                                   
 Representative Charisse Millett                                                                                                
 Representative Louise Stutes (via teleconference)                                                                              
 Representative Cathy Tilton                                                                                                    
 Representative Dan Ortiz (via teleconference)                                                                                  
 Representative Adam Wool                                                                                                       
SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE ARTIC                                                                                           
 Senator Cathy Giessel, Co-Chair                                                                                                
 Senator Lesil McGuire, Co-Chair                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, TOURISM, AND                                                                   
ARCTIC POLICY                                                                                                                   
 All members present                                                                                                            
SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON THE ARTIC                                                                                           
 Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                                                                          
 Senator Gary Stevens                                                                                                           
 Senator Donald Olson                                                                                                           
 Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                           
 Senator John Coghill                                                                                                           
 Senator Berta Gardner (alternate)                                                                                              
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
Representative Lora Reinbold                                                                                                    
Representative Neal Foster                                                                                                      
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative David Guttenberg (via teleconference)                                                                            
Representative Liz Vazquez                                                                                                      
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
REPORT(S):  THOUGHTS AND TAKEAWAYS FROM THE ALASKAN ARCTIC:  A                                                                  
SUMMIT ON SHIPPING AND PORTS                                                                                                    
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
SEAN O'KEEFE                                                                                                                    
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reported thoughts and takeaways from The                                                                 
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
OLAFUR RAGNAR GRIMSSON, President                                                                                               
Republic of Iceland                                                                                                             
Reykjavik, Iceland                                                                                                              
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reported thoughts and takeaways from The                                                                 
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
MEAD TREADWELL, President                                                                                                       
Pt Capital, LLC                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reported thoughts and takeaways from The                                                                 
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
REGGIE JOULE, Mayor                                                                                                             
Northwest Arctic Borough                                                                                                        
Kotzebue, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reported thoughts and takeaways from The                                                                 
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
HUGH SHORT (ph)                                                                                                                 
(No address provided)                                                                                                           
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reported thoughts and takeaways from The                                                                 
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
ALICE ROGOFF, Publisher/Owner                                                                                                   
Alaska Dispatch News (ADN)                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Reported thoughts  and takeaways  from The                                                             
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
SHIRLEY MARQUARDT, Mayor                                                                                                        
City of Unalaska                                                                                                                
Unalaska, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Reported thoughts  and takeaways  from The                                                             
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
TARA SWEENEY, Executive Vice President                                                                                          
External Affairs                                                                                                                
Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC)                                                                                        
Barrow, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Reported thoughts  and takeaways  from The                                                             
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
DENISE MICHELS, Mayor                                                                                                           
City of Nome                                                                                                                    
Nome, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Reported thoughts  and takeaways  from The                                                             
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
CHARLOTTE BROWER, Mayor                                                                                                         
North Slope Borough                                                                                                             
Barrow, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Reported thoughts  and takeaways  from The                                                             
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
PATRICK PLETNIKOFF, Mayor                                                                                                       
City of St. George                                                                                                              
St. George, Alaska                                                                                                              
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Reported thoughts  and takeaways  from The                                                             
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
THOMAS SPITLER, Mayor                                                                                                           
City of Adak                                                                                                                    
Adak, Alaska                                                                                                                    
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Reported thoughts  and takeaways  from The                                                             
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
MAIJA LUKEIN, Mayor                                                                                                             
City of Kotzebue                                                                                                                
Kotzebue, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Reported thoughts  and takeaways  from The                                                             
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit on Shipping and Ports.                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
2:04:41 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR BOB  HERRON called the  joint meeting of the  House Special                                                             
Committee  on Economic  Development, Tourism,  and Arctic  Policy                                                               
and  the  Senate Special  Committee  on  the  Artic to  order  at                                                               
2:04 p.m.   Present at the call  to order from the  House Special                                                               
Committee  on Economic  Development, Tourism,  and Arctic  Policy                                                               
were  Representatives Herron,  Wool, and  Tilton; Representatives                                                               
Johnson,    Stutes     (via    teleconference),     Ortiz    (via                                                               
teleconference),  and  Millett  arrived  as the  meeting  was  in                                                               
progress.   Present  from  the Senate  Special  Committee on  the                                                               
Artic  were  Senators  McGuire   and  Giessel.    Representatives                                                               
Reinbold,  Foster, Edgmon,  Guttenberg (via  teleconference), and                                                               
Vazquez were also in attendance.                                                                                                
^REPORT(S):   Thoughts  and Takeaways  from  The Alaskan  Arctic:                                                               
A Summit on Shipping and Ports                                                                                                  
  REPORT(S):  Thoughts and Takeaways from The Alaskan Arctic:                                                               
                 A Summit on Shipping and Ports                                                                             
2:05:25 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR HERRON announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
a reporting  of thoughts and  takeaways from The  Alaskan Arctic:                                                               
A Summit on Shipping and Ports, which just concluded.                                                                           
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE -  noting that both the  House Special Committee                                                               
on  Economic  Development, Tourism,  and  Arctic  Policy and  the                                                               
Senate  Special Committee  on the  Artic have  passed legislation                                                               
pertaining  to  infrastructure in  the  Arctic  - said  that  her                                                               
favorite part  of The Alaskan Arctic:   A Summit on  Shipping and                                                               
Ports  was  that  pertaining  to  financing,  finding  it  to  be                                                               
particularly  insightful  and  thought-provoking,  providing  her                                                               
with  ideas regarding  other things  that  can be  done with  the                                                               
tools  available.    The  Arctic  is one  of  the  most  coveted,                                                               
visited, and  interesting places on  the earth, and it's  time to                                                               
start using  existing policies and  tools to build and  create an                                                               
Arctic that attracts [more] people.                                                                                             
2:10:25 PM                                                                                                                    
SEAN  O'KEEFE offered  his understanding  of what  the late  U.S.                                                               
Senator Ted  Stevens - for  whom he said  he once worked  - might                                                               
have thought  and said  about The  Alaskan Arctic:   A  Summit on                                                               
Shipping  and  Ports.   In  closing,  Mr. O'Keefe  commended  the                                                               
members  of  the  committees for  meeting  jointly  [to  consider                                                               
issues raised during the summit].                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR  MCGUIRE  indicated  that  at the  summit,  Mr.  O'Keefe                                                               
presented information regarding icebreaker  construction.  On the                                                               
issue of Arctic infrastructure, she  offered her belief that once                                                               
ports in the  Arctic become available and  more infrastructure is                                                               
developed, then  more people from  around the world will  come to                                                               
the Arctic, thereby benefiting [Alaska's] economy.                                                                              
2:18:09 PM                                                                                                                    
OLAFUR RAGNAR  GRIMSSON, President, Republic of  Iceland, offered                                                               
his  belief that  [while]  there  is a  growing  interest in  the                                                               
Arctic from  business leaders and  governments around  the world,                                                               
there is a  deficiency with regard to  [participation by] elected                                                               
representatives of  Arctic territories  and countries.   He asked                                                               
that the Alaska  State Legislature become more  active in working                                                               
with others  across the Arctic  to ensure that during  the coming                                                               
years and  decades, the  Arctic evolves as  the people  - through                                                               
their  elected  representatives -  will  it  to, with  regard  to                                                               
setting the  course and deciding  the future  of the Arctic.   He                                                               
said the  Republic of Iceland,  the Faroe Islands,  and Greenland                                                               
play a crucial  role in the future of the  Arctic, and, referring                                                               
to  Alaska,  Canada,  Greenland, and  [the  Russian  Federation],                                                               
offered his  understanding that over  90 percent of  the Arctic's                                                               
land  mass is  under  what he  called  a "federal  constitutional                                                               
system."  He  offered his belief that the  Arctic, constituting a                                                               
big  part of  the  planet,  is now  being  viewed  by the  United                                                               
States, Canada,  and other Arctic countries  as global territory,                                                               
bringing   with  it   extraordinary   political,  economic,   and                                                               
scientific challenges but, with  the cooperation of the countries                                                               
involved,    offering   new    opportunities   for    investment,                                                               
construction,  financing, and  scientific and  political progress                                                               
now  that  the   Arctic  is  no  longer   as  geographically  and                                                               
politically isolated as it once was.                                                                                            
PRESIDENT  GRIMSSON,  referring  to the  summit,  indicated  that                                                               
taking advantage  of the economic opportunities  presented in the                                                               
Arctic  is going  to  require the  creation  of infrastructure  -                                                               
energy systems,  roads, and  harbors -  and economic  activity in                                                               
both urban and rural settings.   And such progress in the Arctic,                                                               
he predicted,  will start with  small-scale projects  in villages                                                               
and  other  [rural]  communities;  these  projects,  once  linked                                                               
together,  will transform  the Arctic.    The world's  financial,                                                               
corporate,  and  economic  communities   -  many  of  which  were                                                               
represented at the  summit - are expressing  interest in becoming                                                               
partners [in such transformation].   He suggested that the Alaska                                                               
State   Legislature  simply   go  forth   with  its   own  Arctic                                                               
infrastructure  projects,   enter  into  agreements   with  other                                                               
nations - say for financial  backing, for example - and establish                                                               
its own Arctic policy in order  that Alaska may take advantage of                                                               
the Arctic's [opportunities] and  remain the nation's vanguard in                                                               
terms of Arctic development; Alaska  shouldn't wait for others to                                                               
agree  with its  proposals, because  the  pace of  change in  the                                                               
Arctic is far more [rapid] than people once thought possible.                                                                   
2:34:49 PM                                                                                                                    
MEAD TREADWELL,  President, Pt Capital,  LLC, offered  his belief                                                               
that as  a result of  information provided by  President Grimsson                                                               
at The  Alaskan Arctic:  A  Summit on Shipping and  Ports, people                                                               
are beginning to  recognize that there is a  maritime industry in                                                               
the  Arctic.   Referring  to Mr.  O'Keefe's  presentation at  the                                                               
summit  regarding  alternative  financing  for  icebreakers,  Mr.                                                               
Treadwell   characterized  the   information  provided   as  very                                                               
important; there  is a  need for icebreakers  in the  Arctic, and                                                               
Mr.  O'Keefe's presentation  emphasized that  something different                                                               
must be done  with regard to procurement.   Mr. Treadwell relayed                                                               
that  the  presentation  by Governor  Bill  Walker  included  the                                                               
governor's vision of  Arctic ports and the  sentiment that Alaska                                                               
[should]  take the  lead  with regard  to  the Arctic's  maritime                                                               
MR. TREADWELL  indicated that  one major  topic addressed  at the                                                               
summit was  [that of establishing]  a seaway [through  the Arctic                                                               
Ocean].  His company, he relayed,  has been working on the issues                                                               
of safety, security, and reliability;  a lot of progress has been                                                               
made  with regard  to safety  and  security, but  with regard  to                                                               
reliability, the  issues of "regime," business  structure, trans-                                                               
shipment ports,  and securing customers must  still be addressed,                                                               
with a focus on solving the  problems of how to finance ports and                                                               
icebreakers,   and  determining   what   type  of   international                                                               
cooperation  to seek.   A  second  major topic  addressed at  the                                                               
summit was that  of port development, and some of  the ideas that                                                               
were  brought forth,  he  ventured, could  be  worked on  through                                                               
Alaska's  legislative  process  or   via  the  Pacific  NorthWest                                                               
Economic Region (PNWER) and other  such organizations.  According                                                               
to  information provided  by the  U.S.  Coast Guard,  one out  of                                                               
every  five ships  transiting  the Aleutian  Islands  is not  yet                                                               
subject to  an oil-spill  contingency plan;  he ventured  that by                                                               
working with Canadian counterparts,  progress on that issue could                                                               
probably be made  via the use of what he  called reciprocal "port                                                               
state"  agreements, which  could specify,  for example,  that all                                                               
ships must comply with certain  oil-spill prevention and response                                                               
plans.  A  third major topic addressed at the  summit was that of                                                               
financing;  ideas  brought  forth  included  the  use  of  Arctic                                                               
infrastructure   funds,   and   the   financing   of   icebreaker                                                               
MR. TREADWELL, in conclusion,  recommended establishing an Arctic                                                               
ports association that could research  what other countries need,                                                               
establishing a  "vessel traffic system"  in the Bering  Strait in                                                               
cooperation  with Russia,  and advocating  for  an icebreaker  in                                                               
order to establish a program that could result in a seaway.                                                                     
2:43:25 PM                                                                                                                    
REGGIE JOULE, Mayor, Northwest  Arctic Borough, characterized The                                                               
Alaskan Arctic:  A Summit  on Shipping and Ports, as interesting,                                                               
and  indicated that  Alaska's favorable  position in  the Arctic,                                                               
especially  given  the  opportunities  arising, was  a  topic  of                                                               
discussion, as was the issue  of financing infrastructure [in the                                                               
Arctic].  [It was relayed  that] how such infrastructure would be                                                               
financed  in  rural Alaska  would  be  different [than  in  other                                                               
places], and  that's to be  expected given the  challenges faced.                                                               
However, it's not  yet known exactly what that will  mean for the                                                               
people  living in  Alaska's rural  communities, and  this can  be                                                               
worrying, particularly  given their  many-millennia-long reliance                                                               
on  subsistence fishing/hunting  and the  area's other  renewable                                                               
ocean  resources.    Changes  [in the  Arctic]  are  going  bring                                                               
considerable challenges  and opportunities  to the  people living                                                               
there, and the  issues of how to adjust to  those changes, how to                                                               
lessen their costs  and impacts, and how to focus  on a direction                                                               
and  work  together  must  still be  addressed,  as  must  issues                                                               
regarding  financing,   the  environment,   maintaining  existing                                                               
maricultures,  search and  rescue operations,  foreign investors,                                                               
and  other  issues  related to  the  development/construction  of                                                               
2:53:20 PM                                                                                                                    
HUGH SHORT  (ph) indicated that  he'd given a  presentation about                                                               
Australia during  The Alaskan Arctic:   A Summit on  Shipping and                                                               
Ports,  mentioned  that  his  presentation   came  to  a  similar                                                               
conclusion as that  of another presentation given  at the summit,                                                               
and  repeated  portions  of his  Australia  presentation.    With                                                               
regard  to  that  other  presentation given  at  the  summit,  he                                                               
indicated  that  it used  larger-scale  [infrastructure-financing                                                               
estimates and  debt estimates] than  his did, and said  that both                                                               
it and  his presentation are  proposing an idea that  could maybe                                                               
be used  for catalyzing investment  in Arctic  ports so as  to be                                                               
able to  take advantage of  the opportunities being  presented in                                                               
the Arctic.   "We have the assets, we have  the leverage, we have                                                               
the  private-sector partners,  and -  from my  calculations -  we                                                               
have a  potential of almost a  $10-billion-fund to be able  to go                                                               
out and invest into our state," he said in conclusion.                                                                          
CO-CHAIR  MCGUIRE, in  response to  comments, indicated  that the                                                               
Arctic  infrastructure  [funding]  mechanism  that's  already  in                                                               
place has  not yet been  [used], and characterized the  notion of                                                               
selling   Alaska's  existing   assets   in  order   to  pay   for                                                               
infrastructure projects in the Arctic as intriguing.                                                                            
MR. SHORT, in  response to questions, indicated  his beliefs that                                                               
the  state's existing  debt authority  could potentially  be used                                                               
for leveraging  purposes, and  that there  may be  an opportunity                                                               
for  the  state  to  sell  the  assets  from  its  hydro-electric                                                               
projects   and   other   energy-producing  projects   to   global                                                               
investors;  he also  acknowledged that  for purposes  of matching                                                               
private investment  dollars with public dollars,  monies from the                                                               
general  fund (GF)  could  be used  in lieu  of  monies from  the                                                               
selling of the state's existing assets.                                                                                         
3:09:58 PM                                                                                                                    
ALICE  ROGOFF,  Publisher/Owner,   Alaska  Dispatch  News  (ADN),                                                               
[speaking as  the organizer,]  indicated that a  lot of  what was                                                               
accomplished at  The Alaskan  Arctic:  A  Summit on  Shipping and                                                               
Ports  was  made  possible  as  a result  of  actions  taken  [by                                                               
legislators,  in various  roles, and  other interested  parties].                                                               
The  summit  was  intentionally   focused  on  Arctic  ports  and                                                               
shipping because  they constitute the  aspect of the  Arctic that                                                               
Alaska  [could address  as landowner];  it was  felt that  it was                                                               
time to start focusing on the  specifics of the issue in order to                                                               
come  up with  some sort  of framework  for a  legislative action                                                               
plan.   She  indicated that  at the  summit, Governor  Walker and                                                               
Craig  Fleener  announced that  they  were  going to  develop  an                                                               
Arctic infrastructure plan  for Alaska; she predicted  that a lot                                                               
of that infrastructure will be  located on the coast since Alaska                                                               
is  a  coastal  state.    She  said  she  thinks  the  inevitable                                                               
emergence  of  a maritime  economy  in  Alaska is  becoming  more                                                               
tangible,  but noted  that discussions  with  the private  sector                                                               
thus far  indicate that first  an expansion of  Alaska's existing                                                               
ports might be in order,  particularly given that some don't even                                                               
have docks yet.                                                                                                                 
MS. ROGOFF  mentioned that at  the summit, a speaker  from Canada                                                               
had relayed that the Port of  Prince Rupert was developed as part                                                               
of a national plan designed to focus on what she called, "multi-                                                                
modal infrastructure"; she  surmised that that's why  a rail line                                                               
with  connections  to Eastern  Canada  and  the U.S.  Midwest  is                                                               
located  near that  port,  helping  to make  it  so  vital.   She                                                               
predicted,  therefore,  that  any   maritime  economy  that  gets                                                               
developed  in  Alaska will  require  the  development of  ground-                                                               
transportation infrastructure  such as  a rail line  running from                                                               
the coast  of the Bering  Sea to Alaska's Railbelt,  for example,                                                               
since that's where [the bulk] of  cargo will be headed.  She also                                                               
mentioned that the Port of Nome  was discussed at the summit, and                                                               
that  she'd recently  heard  that  there is  a  U.S. Coast  Guard                                                               
cutter currently  moving towards  Port Clarence  in advance  of a                                                               
bad Bering Sea storm in order  to take refuge.  Without planning,                                                               
she added in conclusion, one will  never get where one intends to                                                               
be, regardless that sometimes plans go awry.                                                                                    
3:17:00 PM                                                                                                                    
SHIRLEY MARQUARDT, Mayor, City of  Unalaska, said that one of her                                                               
big takeaways from The Alaskan Arctic:   A Summit on Shipping and                                                               
Ports was  a positive and  energized outlook with regard  to some                                                               
of the ideas that have  been discussed for several years, because                                                               
finally  some specifics  with  regard  to financing,  investment,                                                               
planning, and strategies were also  discussed, and she found this                                                               
to  be really  helpful.   Mayor Marquardt  expressed appreciation                                                               
for  the work  that  Ms.  Rogoff did  in  organizing the  summit,                                                               
bringing  those  specifics to  the  forefront,  both locally  and                                                               
internationally,  and  keeping  everyone  engaged.    Information                                                               
provided at the summit addressed  both what communities should be                                                               
doing as  well as what they  shouldn't be doing, and  this can be                                                               
really  helpful in  terms  of community  planning.   The  state's                                                               
financial   difficulties   will   present  challenges   for   the                                                               
legislature,   she   acknowledged,   and  expressed   her   hope,                                                               
therefore, that people  will be able to come up  with a strategic                                                               
and  immediate plan  to implement,  in terms  of what  she called                                                               
"protection and response."  Such a  plan will be key, and once in                                                               
place as much  as is possible in and around  the Arctic, then the                                                               
rest of the  necessary infrastructure can start  to be developed.                                                               
Progressing on infrastructure without  already having such a plan                                                               
in place would cause her concern, though.                                                                                       
MAYOR  MARQUARDT characterized  the information  provided at  the                                                               
summit  regarding   private  and  public  partnerships   as  very                                                               
exciting and helpful.  In  conclusion, she encouraged legislators                                                               
to  attend  as   many  such  [gatherings/conferences/summits]  as                                                               
possible, because  of the amount  and type of  information that's                                                               
provided, information  that can really  make a big  difference in                                                               
terms of how the associated challenges are viewed.                                                                              
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE,  in terms of  takeaways from the  summit, noted                                                               
that  Alaska's deep-water  Arctic  port is  located in  Unalaska,                                                               
that  vessels transiting  the Arctic  are  passing right  through                                                               
[some  of Alaska's  richest] fishing  grounds, and  that Unalaska                                                               
has already "outgrown" its [existing facilities].                                                                               
3:24:22 PM                                                                                                                    
TARA SWEENEY, Executive Vice  President, External Affairs, Arctic                                                               
Slope  Regional  Corporation  (ASRC),  said she  also  serves  as                                                               
International Chair  for the Arctic  Economic Council  (AEC), and                                                               
noted that the  chairmanship transferred to the  United States in                                                               
April of 2015.  During the conference in Ottawa,  Canada, the AEC                                                               
provided a presentation  to foreign ministers on  the progress of                                                               
the  AEC.   She  then  described  the  AEC's themes,  focus,  and                                                               
growth, and explained  that subsequent to the  AEC encourages the                                                               
legislature  to  establish  a   delegation  of  legislators,  AEC                                                               
representatives,  Institute  of  the North  members,  and  Alaska                                                               
Chamber members to  work directly with the  Arctic Affinity Group                                                               
within  the  U.S.  Department  of   Commerce  to  identify  trade                                                               
barriers and  potential state and  federal solutions  to increase                                                               
and improve Arctic trade, and  to offer responsible investment in                                                               
the Arctic.   She relayed that there are  opportunities for other                                                               
Alaska businesses to  invest in the Arctic -  providing access to                                                               
capital - and  noted that the Arctic  Aboriginal Corporation, for                                                               
example,  is reviewing  its opportunities  for  investment.   She                                                               
stated  that   the  AEC  is   interested  in  working   with  the                                                               
legislature  regarding investment  issues and  reviewing Alaska's                                                               
policies  to ensure  there are  no barriers  to Arctic  commerce,                                                               
and, if there  are, submit legislation to  remedy those barriers.                                                               
With respect to shipping, she  advised, an area of concern within                                                               
the  maritime  industry  is  that  of  obtaining  insurance,  and                                                               
emphasized the  need to  ensure that  the insurance  industry has                                                               
established  clear policies  with regard  to its  Arctic maritime                                                               
customers.  She informed the  committee that often such insurance                                                               
policies   are   unpredictable,  inconsistent,   and   expensive.                                                               
Therefore, the  legislature should ascertain that  [the insurance                                                               
industry's] vision  for the  maritime transportation  industry is                                                               
aligned with Alaska's business climate and practices.                                                                           
CHAIR HERRON  advised that Alaska  is one  of the members  of the                                                               
Pacific  Northwest  Economic  Region  (PNWER),  and  extended  an                                                               
invitation that  AEC attend its  winter meeting,  in Yellowknife,                                                               
Northwest Territories, Canada, on November 15-18, 2015.                                                                         
3:35:38 PM                                                                                                                    
DENISE MICHELS,  Mayor, City of  Nome, said that a  takeaway from                                                               
the  summit  is that  a  lack  of  infrastructure in  the  Arctic                                                               
constitutes a national  and economic security issue  for both the                                                               
nation  and Alaska.    When reviewing  this  issue globally,  she                                                               
pointed out,  there are other countries  interested in developing                                                               
resources  in the  Arctic,  and  advised that  the  City of  Nome                                                               
continues   to  work   [on   using]   assets  for   environmental                                                               
protection,  search  and rescue,  and  a  deep-draft port.    She                                                               
stated she  is grateful to the  U.S. Army Corps of  Engineers for                                                               
the work they have provided,  and will continue to provide during                                                               
the   review  process.     She   expressed   gratitude  for   the                                                               
infrastructure bank,  and indicated that she  has been discussing                                                               
with  the  Alaska  Industrial Development  and  Export  Authority                                                               
(AIDEA) one option  of public and private  financing to determine                                                               
how  much control  of the  facility would  be given  away.   With                                                               
regard to the U.S. Army  Corps of Engineers' project, things will                                                               
happen very  quickly and the hope  is that by January,  the chief                                                               
report will be  out and work with Congress can  begin in order to                                                               
determine how  significant the project  will be to the  nation in                                                               
comporting with its Arctic policy.                                                                                              
CHAIR  HERRON  asked whether  a  letter  from the  House  Special                                                               
Committee on  Economic Development,  Tourism, and  Arctic Policy,                                                               
and the Senate Special Committee on the Arctic would be helpful.                                                                
MAYOR MICHELS relayed that it would be.                                                                                         
3:39:44 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLOTTE BROWER,  Mayor, North  Slope Borough, said  that Arctic                                                               
shipping  is increasing  in the  Chukchi and  Beaufort Seas,  and                                                               
expressed   that   Alaska   lacks  port   and   other   essential                                                               
infrastructures to take advantage  of emerging opportunities, and                                                               
more must be  done to develop its resources.   She proffered that                                                               
action, and  not just words,  is what's  required now.   She said                                                               
she  has  pushed  for  the  formation of  the  North  Slope  Port                                                               
Authority in  order that her  region could begin leading  the way                                                               
in   developing  ports   and   other   types  of   transportation                                                               
infrastructure  in  the Arctic.    Furthermore,  the North  Slope                                                               
Borough joined with the Northwest  Arctic Borough and the City of                                                               
Nome and pushed  for the creation of the  Arctic Waterways Safety                                                               
Committee  (AWSC)  to  protect local  hunters  and  the  maritime                                                               
industry, and  she is encouraged  about the progress it  has made                                                               
in a  relatively short  period of  time.  This  is an  example of                                                               
Alaskans  being willing  to take  the initiative  and demonstrate                                                               
leadership  on Arctic  issues.   While the  challenges Alaska  is                                                               
facing are  daunting, they are  not insurmountable and  offer the                                                               
impetus  necessary   to  explore  ways  of   increasing  Alaska's                                                               
economic base beyond  oil and gas development.   She advised that                                                               
the  legislature can  show support  for what  she referred  to as                                                               
U.S.  Senator  Lisa  Murkowski's Outer  Continental  Shelf  (OCS)                                                               
Revenue  Sharing legislation,  as  Alaska  [currently] risks  OCS                                                               
development with little benefits.   Alaska's tribes could use the                                                               
dedicated   funds   to   develop  needed   infrastructure   along                                                               
unprotected coast  lines, and the state's  coastal municipalities                                                               
would have access  to revenues to build  an infrastructure needed                                                               
to  support OCS  development  and build  up local  spill-response                                                               
3:45:18 PM                                                                                                                    
MAYOR BROWER  opined that enactment  of Senator  Murkowski's bill                                                               
will  result in  providing  momentum  for greater  infrastructure                                                               
development along  the North  Slope and  America's Arctic.   This                                                               
infrastructure development could  include substantial investments                                                               
to import infrastructure  pertaining to telecommunications, spill                                                               
response, search and  rescue, and airports in  a relatively short                                                               
period of time.   For example, this year the  U.S. Coast Guard is                                                               
experiencing lack  of hanger  space at the  Barrow airport.   She                                                               
pointed out that this is an  opportunity for the state to partner                                                               
with the U.S. Coast Guard to  build hanger space in that facility                                                               
and   other   facilities,   and  support   increased   commercial                                                               
activities.     She  suggested  the  legislature   look  at  more                                                               
opportunities  to facilitate  public-private partnerships,  using                                                               
the state's ability to finance  projects at low interest rates so                                                               
as to  help make  more projects economical  for the  potential of                                                               
greater  return years  down the  road.   For  example, she  said,                                                               
building a  medium-sized port may  have somewhat  limited returns                                                               
today, but  could provide larger  returns in the future  with OCS                                                               
development and  increased Arctic shipping.   She recommended the                                                               
legislature  re-examine  the infrastructure  fund  authorization,                                                               
contained in  Senator McGuire's bill from  a few years ago,  as a                                                               
starting point.  She remarked that  the state could take a direct                                                               
role in  financing Arctic port infrastructure;  for example, they                                                               
could consider placing before the  voters the question of whether                                                               
to  approve an  Arctic  Port general  obligation  bond.   Alaskan                                                               
voters  could then  determine how  much initiative  they want  to                                                               
take  with   respect  to  investing  in   Arctic  development  in                                                               
conjunction  with the  federal government  and private  industry.                                                               
She  indicated  that  the  legislature   should  not  become  too                                                               
concerned with  Alaska's current  challenges as those  serving on                                                               
the  local level  are willing  to work  with the  legislature and                                                               
position Alaska to  take advantage of the  opportunities that lay                                                               
on  its doorstep.   She  referred to  challenges the  North Slope                                                               
Borough  currently faces,  such as  addressing issues  related to                                                               
the  [semi-submersible   drilling  rig,}  the   TransOcean  Polar                                                               
Pioneer,  [intended   for  deployment  70  miles   northwest  of]                                                               
Wainwright.    She noted  the  current  lack of  icebreakers  and                                                               
infrastructure for them in the  Arctic, and raised the specter of                                                               
an oil  spill occurring in the  Arctic.  The legislature  and the                                                               
U.S.  Army  Corps  of  Engineers  must take  a  serious  step  in                                                               
assisting with developing the necessary infrastructure.                                                                         
3:53:12 PM                                                                                                                    
PATRICK  PLETNIKOFF, Mayor,  City  of St.  George,  said that  in                                                               
February of 1984, Governor Bill  Sheffield signed a Memorandum of                                                               
Understanding with  the federal government, agreeing  that Alaska                                                               
would take responsibility for building  harbors at St. George and                                                               
St. Paul.   He  offered that  in 33  years nothing  realistic has                                                               
occurred at St.  George.  During a conference, years  ago, it was                                                               
mentioned that  rural communities  should be consulted,  and that                                                               
the  ocean environment  should be  kept  clean so  as to  protect                                                               
resources in  order to continue  a subsistence manner  of living.                                                               
However, his community did not  receive information regarding the                                                               
new routes the  U.S. Coast Guard is proposing  through the Bering                                                               
Sea.  He said there is  concern about ocean acidification, and if                                                               
that problem  develops further it  will affect all of  the marine                                                               
mammals and fish, and already adverse  impacts are seen.  He said                                                               
he has  always lived in  St. George and  in the spring  the birds                                                               
sing,  except this  summer  it  is silent;  for  example, at  one                                                               
observation point  there were  183 eggs in  bird nests,  but only                                                               
three  were  hatched  and  the  remainder  were  abandoned.    He                                                               
indicated that his takeaways from  the summit were:  consult with                                                               
rural  Alaska communities,  inform the  state's federal  partners                                                               
they need to consult more  thoroughly, and do everything possible                                                               
to protect the environment.                                                                                                     
3:57:34 PM                                                                                                                    
THOMAS SPITLER,  Mayor, City of  Adak, offered concern  about the                                                               
environment, but  noted that development  is needed.  He  said it                                                               
is a  matter of working  together and not forgetting  about Adak,                                                               
getting exposure, and he invited the legislature to Adak.                                                                       
3:58:42 PM                                                                                                                    
MAIJA  LUKEIN,  Mayor, City  of  Kotzebue,  noted that  President                                                               
Barak Obama would be visiting  Kotzebue, and that Kotzebue is the                                                               
gateway to  the Arctic, especially  in the case of  Cape Blossom.                                                               
She referred  to previous witnesses  stressing the need  for port                                                               
infrastructure and concurred with  their statements.  She pointed                                                               
out that although  Cape Blossom was mentioned  during the summit,                                                               
Kotzebue  needs more  than just  Cape  Blossom, because  multiple                                                               
ports on  the coast of  Alaska are necessary for  the development                                                               
of Arctic  infrastructure; for example,  there are  15-16 vessels                                                               
owned by Shell in Hope Bay, off  of Cape Blossom, because it is a                                                               
port of  refuge.   However, Cape  Blossom is not  just a  port of                                                               
refuge.  Furthermore, rural communities  suffer the highest costs                                                               
of energy,  shipping, and  living, and thus  having a  deep water                                                               
port at Cape Blossom will  cut shipping costs by approximately 24                                                               
4:03:35 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG  concurred with the  comments expressed                                                               
regarding the need to start taking action.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD said  she found  it impressive  that the                                                               
summit  attracted potential  partners in  Arctic investment  from                                                               
across  the globe,  promoting public-private  partnerships.   She                                                               
surmised that Alaskans have hope for the future of the Arctic.                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  referred  to President  Grimsson's  remarks                                                               
that the rate of change in the  Arctic is far more rapid than was                                                               
once  thought possible,  and indicated  a preference,  therefore,                                                               
for  immediately  starting  the process  of  obtaining  community                                                               
4:06:45 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE VAZQUEZ  said it is  imperative that the  State of                                                               
Alaska take initiatives as it  is obvious that infrastructure and                                                               
the issue of climate change must be  dealt with.  She noted it is                                                               
not  only  a matter  of  national  security,  but also  of  state                                                               
security, economic prosperity, and the wellbeing of Alaskans.                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT pointed  out that the United  States is an                                                               
Arctic nation because of Alaska,  and indicated a belief that the                                                               
Arctic presents as equal an  economic opportunity for Alaska as a                                                               
gas line.                                                                                                                       
CHAIR   HERRON   opined   that  the   state,   with   legislative                                                               
involvement, should move forward  [with the process of developing                                                               
infrastructure in the Arctic].                                                                                                  
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE pointed out that  Alaskans envision a future [in                                                               
the  Arctic]   with:  more  jobs,  lower   suicide  rates,  lower                                                               
addictions to  drugs and alcohol  - stemming from  people lacking                                                               
hope for  a [better] future  - better education,  more affordable                                                               
energy, access  to world views,  access to goods  and commodities                                                               
that  come in  and  out of  port, and  an  opportunity for  local                                                               
kuspuk  and jewelry  makers to  export their  goods out  as well.                                                               
She referred  to President Obama's  upcoming visit to  Alaska and                                                               
expressed  hope  that  he  understands  the  link  between  human                                                               
prosperity  and emotional  and physical  independence that  comes                                                               
from  the wide  development of  Alaska's resources.   She  warned                                                               
that without  that hope or  an opportunity to develop  the Arctic                                                               
responsibly,  Alaskans  living  in  the North  are  relegated  to                                                               
secondary status,  and stifling a  chance to develop  Alaska with                                                               
some  goal of  reducing global  warming isn't  in Alaskans'  best                                                               
4:13:23 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business  before the committees, the joint                                                               
meeting of  the House Special Committee  on Economic Development,                                                               
Tourism, and  Arctic Policy and  the Senate Special  Committee on                                                               
the Artic was adjourned at 4:13 p.m.                                                                                            

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