Legislature(1995 - 1996)

01/27/1995 03:30 PM RES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                   SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE                                  
                        January 27, 1995                                       
                           3:30 P.M.                                           
 MEMBERS PRESENT                                                               
 Senator Loren Leman, Chairman                                                 
 Senator Drue Pearce, Vice Chairman                                            
 Senator Lyman Hoffman                                                         
  COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT                                                     
 Senator Steve Frank                                                           
 Senator Rick Halford                                                          
 Senator Robin Taylor                                                          
 Senator Georgianna Lincoln                                                    
  COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                           
 SENATE BILL NO.  3                                                            
 "An Act relating to an antitrust exemption for persons engaged in             
 the fishing industry."                                                        
 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 3                                                 
 Opposing the ban on the export of Alaska North Slope crude oil;               
 endorsing federal legislation to remove restraints on the export of           
 Alaska North Slope oil; requesting the Congress of the United                 
 States to pass legislation to permit the export of Alaska North               
 Slope crude oil; and urging the President of the United States to             
 support the legislation to lift the ban on the export of Alaska               
 North Slope crude oil.                                                        
  PREVIOUS ACTION                                                              
 SB 3 - See Resources minutes dated 1/25/95 and 1/27/95.                       
 SJR 3- See Resources minutes dated 1/25/95 and 1/27/95.                       
  WITNESS REGISTER                                                             
 Senator Duncan                                                                
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Ak. 99811-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Sponsor of SB 3.                                       
 Ed Crane                                                                      
 Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank (CFAB)                                
 2550 Denali                                                                   
 Anchorage, AK 99502                                                           
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Commented on SB 3.                                     
 Dorne Hawxhurst                                                               
 Cordova District Fishermen United                                             
 Cordova, Ak. 99574                                                            
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 3.                                        
 Rick Lauber                                                                   
 Pacific Seafood Processors Association                                        
 321 Highland Dr.                                                              
 Juneau, Ak. 99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 3.                                        
 Dean Paddock                                                                  
 Bristol Bay Driftnetters Association                                          
 P.O. Box 20312                                                                
 Juneau, Ak. 99802                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 3.                                        
 Jerry McCune                                                                  
 United Fishermen of Alaska                                                    
 212 4th Street, Suite 112                                                     
 Juneau, Ak. 99801                                                             
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 3.                                        
 Donna Parker                                                                  
 Fisheries Specialist                                                          
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development                               
 P.O. Box 110804                                                               
 Juneau, Ak. 99811-0804                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SB 3.                                        
 Senator Ellis                                                                 
 State Capitol                                                                 
 Juneau, Ak. 99811-1182                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Sponsor of SJR 3.                                      
 Chuck Logsdon, Economist                                                      
 Department of Revenue                                                         
 550 W 7th Ave., Suite 570                                                     
 Anchorage, Ak. 99501-3557                                                     
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SJR 3.                                       
 Commissioner Hensley                                                          
 Department of Commerce and Economic Development                               
 P.O. Box 110800                                                               
 Juneau, Ak. 99811-0800                                                        
  POSITION STATEMENT:   Supported SJR 3.                                       
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 95-2, SIDE A                                                            
 SRES - 1/27/95                                                                
          SB   3 ANTITRUST EXEMPTION FOR FISHERMEN                         
 Number 001                                                                    
 CHAIRMAN LEMAN called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to               
 order at 3:30 p.m. and announced SB 3 to be up for consideration.             
 SENATOR DUNCAN, sponsor, said the bill will allow fishermen to form           
 associations to collectively negotiate raw or processed fish prices           
 with processors.  It does not authorize processors to agree among             
 themselves on the prices they will pay fishermen.                             
 Senator Duncan explained that once the State Legislature has                  
 approved this legislation the state fishermen and processors would            
 be in a position to request a federal exemption and said that the             
 attitude in Congress is favorable now that the Alaska delegation is           
 in the majority.                                                              
 Number 102                                                                    
 ED CRANE, Commercial Fishing and Agriculture Bank, said he didn't             
 see any immediate interest for CFAB with this legislation.  He has            
 personal views based on his considerable experience with producers            
 and marketers of agriculture commodities of all kinds.  He said               
 that a producer of commodities is greatly disadvantaged by his or             
 her isolated status within what may be a huge conflagration of                
 economic forces.  They are further made vulnerable by the limited             
 life nature of most commodities.  There has probably been no more             
 positive statutory force affecting commodities producers than the             
 limited antitrust exemptions in federal and most state statutes.              
 These are the cornerstones of the stability which is critical to              
 any food production and distribution system.                                  
 Mr. Crane reiterated that SB 3 establishes and clarifies this                 
 important exemption for harvesters, producers, and marketers of               
 Alaska seafoods' great resources.                                             
 Number 154                                                                    
 DORNE HAWXHURST, Cordova District Fishermen United, supported SB 3            
 because it clarifies ambiguities in existing law, it might remove             
 inconsistencies between state and federal laws, and it might remove           
 negative obstacles to negotiating a higher price per pound for                
 producers of consistently good quality fish.                                  
 Number 201                                                                    
 RICK LAUBER, Pacific Seafood Processors Association, said the                 
 members of his association have had significant difficulties in               
 dealing with fishermen who wish to discuss matters with them and              
 the state of Alaska who would like to bring together fishermen and            
 processors to help in price negotiations where there have been                
 price disputes.  Because of the state and federal antitrust laws,             
 it has been very difficult to do this.                                        
 Currently, Mr. Lauber said, the federal sentencing guidelines for             
 antitrust violations have a minimum sentence of 18 months in a                
 federal penitentiary.  So this is obviously treated as a very                 
 serious matter.                                                               
 This bill is very clear that it would not allow processors to get             
 together outside of fishermen being present and discuss prices or             
 any kind of price fixing, he said.  It would allow fishermen and              
 processors to be in the same room when price is discussed.                    
 He thought it more likely if we changed the state law that we would           
 get some relief from the federal law.                                         
 Number 284                                                                    
 DEAN PADDOCK, Bristol Bay Driftnetters Association, strongly                  
 supported SB 3 as a constructive piece of legislation.  Fishermen             
 need more tools like this.  He supported Mr. Lauber's remarks.                
 Number 297                                                                    
 JERRY MCCUNE, United Fishermen of Alaska, supported SB 3.  He said            
 it is impossible to have a discussion on price with any processors            
 present.  He used the example of the Exxon Valdez oil spill where             
 fishermen had many discussions with the processors about the                  
 perception of the seafood and effect on price, but on the mention             
 of the word "price" the room clears out.                                      
 Number 317                                                                    
 DONNA PARKER, Fisheries Specialist, Department of Commerce and                
 Economic Development, strongly supported this bill.                           
 She said a couple of years ago Governor Hickel appointed a Salmon             
 Strategy Task Force which was specifically designed to look at the            
 price declines of salmon.  She said the Department of Law                     
 recommended this legislation as a possible way to better position             
 ourselves in the marketplace.                                                 
 The market strategy was to expand marketing efforts, increase                 
 product options to consumers, improve consistency of quality, and             
 reduce the cost of production, Ms. Parker said.  This legislation             
 addresses the component of increasing the value of our salmon by              
 increasing the options we provide to consumers with products they             
 want, specifically frozen convenience style foods - a market which            
 requires a stable price, a stable supply, and quality.                        
 The DCED undertook a study of a comparison of Canadian and Alaskan            
 salmon prices to find out why Canadian producers were getting more            
 money for their salmon.  There were several reasons, but one of               
 them was that they negotiate 3-year price agreements.                         
 Ms. Parker said the DCED offers an 11-minute video describing the             
 salmon strategy that was developed and how the legislature and                
 other agencies might facilitate that.                                         
 SENATOR LEMAN thanked everyone for the testimony and said the                 
 Committee would take SB 3 up at the next meeting.                             
 SRES - 1/27/95                                                                
                  SJR  3 EXPORT OF ALASKA OIL                                 
  Number 407                                                                  
  SENATOR LEMAN announced SJR 3 to be up for consideration.                   
 SENATOR ELLIS, sponsor, said it is important to renew support of              
 SJR 3 with our delegation in Congress at this time because they are           
 now in the majority.  He said some of the numbers in the resolution           
 need to be amended to contain the very best information available             
 to send to Congress.                                                          
 Senator Ellis noted that ARCO had just changed its stance to one of           
 support for SJR 3.  He noted there was a position paper from the              
 Department of Commerce in strong support of SJR 3.                            
 Number 443                                                                    
 CHUCK LOGSDON, Economist, Department of Revenue, supported SJR 3.             
 This would not only increase state oil revenues, but would make               
 further investment in our oil fields more attractive.  He said the            
 window of opportunity provided with lifting the export ban is                 
 closing as production continues to go down.  There are                        
 approximately 18 months after which the export ban will not                   
 necessarily increase our revenues.                                            
 Number 509                                                                    
 COMMISSIONER HENSLEY, Department of Commerce and Economic                     
 Development, said Alaska's oil will become increasingly important             
 as production in the lower 48 declines.  He supported passage of              
 SJR 3.  He said the ban precludes the North Slope oil from being              
 sold into the highest value markets, particularly in Japan and                
 Korea.  He said he was in Washington when this ban was proposed               
 which was in another age and another time.                                    
 SENATOR LEMAN thanked everyone for their testimony and said he                
 would take this legislation up again at the next meeting.  He then            
 adjourned the meeting at 4:15 p.m.                                            

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