Legislature(1995 - 1996)
02/06/1995 03:35 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE February 6, 1995 3:35 P.M. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Loren Leman, Chairman Senator Drue Pearce, Vice Chairman Senator Steve Frank Senator Rick Halford Senator Robin Taylor Senator Georgianna Lincoln COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Lyman Hoffman COMMITTEE CALENDAR CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 13 (O&G) Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, to oil and gas exploration, development, and production. SENATE BILL NO. 42 "An Act relating to restrictions attached to certain commercial fisheries limited entry permits." PREVIOUS ACTION HJR 13 - No previous action to record. SB 42 - No previous action to record. WITNESS REGISTER Sara Hannan Alaska Environmental Lobby P.O. Box 22151 Juneau, AK 99802 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HJR 13. Representataive Mike Navarre State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Sponsor of HJR 13. Keith Burke The Alliance 4220 B St., Suite 200 Anchorage, AK 99513 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported CSHJR 13. Marilyn Crockett, Ass't Executive Director AOGA 121 W. Fireweed, Ste 207 Anchorage, AK 99503 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported CSHJR 13. Mary Solomon P.O. Box 126 Ft. Yukon, AK 99740 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported amendment #1 to CSHJR 13. Sarah James P.O. Box 51 Arctic Village, AK 99722 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported amendment #1 to CSHJR 13. Terry Hermach P.O. box 2493 Valdez, AK 99686 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed CSHJR 13. David Van Den Berg Northern Alaska Environmental Center 218 Driveway Fairbanks, AK 99701 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed CSHJR 13. Orville Huntington P.O. Box 85146 Fairbanks, AK 99708 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported amendment #1. Ernest Erick P.O. Box 6 Ventie, AK 99781 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed HJR 13. Isaac Tritt Council Member P.O. Box 68 Arctic Village, AK 99722 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed to CSHJR 13. Patricia Salmon Chalkyitsik Village Council P.O. Box 53 Chalkyitsik, AK 99788 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed CSHJR 13. Bill Flor Southeast Dungeness Crab Association (SEDCA) P.O. Box 262 Petersburg, AK 99833 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 42. David Grebe P.O. Box 564 Petersburg, AK 99833 POSITIONS STATEMENT: Commented on SB 42. Ladd Norheim P.O. Box 935 Petersburg, AK 99833 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 42. Frank Homan, Commissioner Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission Department of Fish and Game 8800 Glacier Hwy, #109 Juneau, AK 99801 POSITION STATEMENT: Supported SB 42. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 95-6, SIDE A Number 001 SRES 2/6/95 HJR 13 ENDORSING ANWR LEASING CHAIRMAN LEMAN called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to order at 3:35 p.m. and announced HJR 13 to be up for consideration. He said they would take Senator Lincoln's testimony at this time. She said she would like to wait for a quorum, since she was going to offer an amendment to the bill. SENATOR LEMAN announced an at-ease 3:38 - 3:39 p.m. and set HJR 13 aside. SRES 2/6/95 SB 42 RESTRICTED LIMITED ENTRY PERMITS SENATOR LEMAN announced SB 42 to be up for consideration. Number 57 SENATOR TAYLOR, sponsor, said the purpose of this legislation is to deal with the moratorium the legislature imposed on dungeness crab fishing 5 years ago which is due to run out this next year. After the moratorium comes off, there would be additional large amounts of gear in the water which would cause further restrictions on harvest and season within the commercial fishery by returning to a derby style fishery. This legislation allows the Commercial Fisheries Entry Permit Commission (CFEC) to implement a new permit system for the crab fishery. It provides for a tiered system of permitting - at 100, 200, and 300 pots. SRES 2/6/95 SENATOR LEMAN said they would set SB 42 aside in the interests of Senator Lincoln who would soon have to leave to attend a funeral and announced HJR 13 to be before the Committee again. Number 123 SARAH HANNAN, Executive Director, Alaska Environmental Lobby, opposed CSHJR 13. She said the economics of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are marginal and limited. At the most optimistic predictions it would only present about 33 billion barrels of oil, she said. AEL believes there are other ways to reduce our dependence on foreign oil through endorsing a national energy policy, and opening of the National Petroleum Reserve. She noted that ANWR contains the breeding grounds for the Porcupine Caribou herd. MS. HANNAN urged them to use the original version of HJR 13 which articulates and acknowledges the unique and biological things in ANWR and the people who are dependent on the Porcupine herd. Number 207 SENATOR LINCOLN said her testimony was on Amendment #1. She said in 1987 there was an international agreement between Canada and the U.S. which established the Porcupine Caribou Technical Committee. They found that there is calving of caribou from June 1 - 10. Fifty percent of mortality is within that first month. The nursing period June 11 - 30 is also important in this area. She said the language in the proposed amendment does not dilute the intent of the resolution to support the development of ANWR. It recognizes the concern of the people it most directly affects. She noted that there were a number of people who had left their families to fly to town to testify regarding this issue. She said that Paula Terrel, her legislative aide, was available in Juneau to answer questions. Number 354 SENATOR TAYLOR said he was involved in the first hearings that were held on the original pipeline and all the "experts" that didn't want to build the pipeline told the legislature they were going to destroy the central arctic caribou herd if the pipeline were built. According to the count today, he said, this caribou herd is seven times larger than when the pipeline was built. SENATOR LINCOLN responded that it's not known how many times that herd would have multiplied without the pipeline, but the intent of the amendment is to ensure that caribou herd continues to be a healthy one. The amendment does not dilute the resolution; it more fully states the subsistence point of view. Number 376 REPRESENTATIVE MIKE NAVARRE, sponsor, commented that for the first time in our history our Congressional delegation is well suited to promote Alaska's interests. Also, the trade deficit is continuing to grow and the import of oil contributes greatly to it. Domestic production is at a 40-year low and ANWR has the highest potential of anywhere on the North American continent for hydrocarbon production. He did not have any problem with the proposed amendment. It is an issue that will be raised at the national level whether it's referenced in the resolution or not. REPRESENTATIVE NAVARRE explained that there were numerous reports, studies, environmental impact statements, etc. that would have to be made before any development takes place. Number 436 BEVERLY WARD, ARCO Alaska, supported CSHJR 13. ARCO's experience with the Alaska oil fields has given them a thorough understanding of the local environmental requirements and convinces them that the ANWR can be explored and developed without causing harm to the health and viability of the Refuge ecosystem, she said. Technology has advanced significantly since the original development of the oil field in the Arctic. Existence of productive and abundant populations of birds and caribou throughout all the North Slope oil fields is evidence of ARCO's ability to be good neighbors with all current land users. Number 462 KEITH BURKE, The Alliance, said it is an organization of support industries and is a major employer in rural Alaska. They have no objection to the amendment and encouraged passage of CSHJR 13. MARILYN CROCKET, AOGA, supported CSHJR 13, because allowing oil and gas exploration, development, and production on the ANWR coastal plain would enhance national energy security, provide income for both federal and state governments, and would generate jobs and business opportunities for Alaskans, as well as residents in all 50 states. MARY SOLOMON, Fort Yukon, said preserving the Porcupine Caribou herd and its calving grounds was very important and urged adopting amendment #1 of CSHJR 13. She said the herd was needed to fulfill the nourishment, spiritual, and cultural needs of her people. Number 518 SARAH JAMES, Arctic Village, said for as long as she could remember they have tried to protect the Porcupine Caribou herd. Her ancestors told her to respect the herd and said if they took care of it, it would take care of them. She said they are trying to cooperate and be reasonable and this is a reasonable request. TERRY HERMACH, Valdez, opposed drilling in ANWR. He asked them to look forward to Alaska in 100 or 200 years and see what rapid development there would be. There is increased pressure everywhere and we need our park land protected, he said. It will no longer be wilderness once drilling begins. Number 581 DAVID VAN DEN BERG, Fairbanks, opposed CSHJR 13. He said the current fiscal crisis was not going to go away. TAPE 95-6, SIDE B Number 001 He thought the reason for this resolution was to create some revenue. He commented that there was no mention of the Porcupine Caribou herd and there are no stipulations to benefit Alaska. SENATOR HALFORD asked him when was the last time he was on the coastal plain. He answered, "last summer." Number 563 ORVILLE HUNTINGTON, wildlife biologist, supported Amendment #1. Without it, their (native) human rights and their religious freedom to practice subsistence was being violated. Number 555 ERNEST ERICK opposed CSHJR 13. He wanted the land and animals to be protected, because he eats the animals and that is part of his life. The people who develop the land don't eat the animals and they need some protection. ISAAC TRITT said the Porcupine Caribou herd needed permanent protection. PATRICIA SALMON said their lifestyle is in jeopardy if wildlife is not protected. Her people depend on the land and wild animals. Number 485 Amendment #1 was not moved by any Committee member. SENATOR TAYLOR moved to pass CSHJR 13 with individual recommendations. There were no objections and it was so ordered. SRES - 2/6/95 SENATOR LEMAN announced SB 42 to be back before the Committee. BILL FLOR, President, SEDCA, supported SB 42. Because of the nature of the fishery, multiple units of gear, the type of limited entry developed for salmon and herring presents many problems for the crab fishery. SB 42 is the next step after a moratorium was declared on the crab fishery in 1994. Number 430 DAVID GREBE, Petersburg, said something had to be done, but did not know if a tiered system was the right way to go about it. SENATOR HALFORD asked if he supported permits, whether they were tiered or not, being non-transferable and, thus, not accruing any value. MR. GREBE answered he thought that would be fair and that was how he thought the whole limited entry system should be. Number 427 LADD NORHEIM, Petersburg, supported the tiered system, because he had started out small and gradually built up to larger boats and a larger number of pots and now he needs to have a large number of pots to keep his business going. He said the only other alternative is to go back to open access. He supported CSHJR 13. SENATOR TAYLOR asked him to comment on Senator Halford's question. MR. NORHEIM said he agreed with non-transferrable permits. Number 390 FRANK HOMAN, Limited Entry Commissioner, supported a tiered pot system and SB 42. He said they have been meeting with fishermen throughout Southeast during the moratorium and this idea is what has grown out of those meetings. The current system allows them to limit the permit holder, but not the amount of effort within the fishery. MR. HOMAN explained that the Southeast Dungeness Crab fleet is very diverse with large and small boats. Currently there are about 45,000 pots. A limited entry system establishes a 300-pot level. So giving permits to the 300 or so fishermen could potentially put 90,000 pots in the water and this would be counterproductive to conserving the resource. Taking no action before the January 1, 1996 deadline would return it to open access which is not acceptable to the majority of the fishermen. He supported Senator Taylor's proposed amendment. SENATOR HALFORD said he wanted Homan's ideas on avoiding the huge debt that was created in the industry when limited entry was established 20 years ago. MR. HOMAN said it is an issue that comes up regularly. One of the reasons for "free transferability" was to allow entry into a fishery at any stage. The courts do not look favorably upon a closed class type of system, because no one can come in and there is no way to expand the level of participation. He said he didn't see how this particular fishery could be isolated from all the others. SENATOR HALFORD said it could just be stated in the statute that these permits cannot accrue any value and cannot be transferred anywhere except back to the state. He noted there was a lot of artificial application when someone can qualify to buy one. Number 262 SENATOR TAYLOR moved to delete on page 2, lines 22 - 23. There was discussion on the amendment, but no vote. SENATOR LEMAN asked the way the bill is written now could a fisherman accumulate permits? MR. HOMAN said you couldn't accumulate permits under this bill, but you can upgrade. SENATOR LEMAN asked if 100 pots was too high for the basic level. MR. HOMAN said that was an example they were using, and it would require some analysis of past fishing effort. The number could be set lower. SENATOR LEMAN said they would hold the bill for further work and adjourned the meeting at 5:05 p.m.