Legislature(1999 - 2000)
04/18/2000 03:00 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SENATE RESOURCES COMMITTEE April 18, 2000 3:00 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Senator Rick Halford, Chairman Senator Robin Taylor, Vice Chairman Senator Jerry Mackie Senator Lyda Green Senator Pete Kelly Senator Georgianna Lincoln MEMBERS ABSENT Senator Sean Parnell COMMITTEE CALENDAR CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 432(FIN)"An Act extending the termination date of the Board of Storage Tank Assistance; expanding the authority of the board to issue recommendations concerning cleanup decisions; relating to the eligibility of certain nonprofit entities for financial assistance under the tank cleanup grant program and the tank upgrading and closure program; and providing for an effective date." -MOVED CSHB 432(FIN)am OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 414(O&G) "An Act relating to the appointment and qualifications of the members of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission; and providing for an effective date." -MOVED CSHB 414(O&G) OUT OF COMMITTEE SENATE BILL NO. 308 "An Act relating to certain passenger vessels operating in the marine waters of the state." -MOVED SB 308 OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 108(FIN) am "An Act relating to the use, operation, and regulation of boats; establishing a uniform state waterway marking system; and providing for an effective date." -MOVED SCS CSHB 108(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 206(FIN) am "An Act relating to migratory game bird hunting, to a nonresident combined sport fishing and hunting license, to the nonresident military small game and sport fishing license, to applications for certain licenses, tags, registrations, and permits issued by the Department of Fish and Game, to sport fishing license and anadromous king salmon tag fees for residents of Yukon Territory, Canada, and to duplicate crewmember licenses; and providing for an effective date." -MOVED SCS CSHB 206(RES) OUT OF COMMITTEE CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 349(FIN) "An Act relating to the Board of Game, means of access for hunting, trapping, and fishing, the definition of 'means' and 'methods,' and hunting safety education and wildlife conservation education programs; and relating to the purposes of game refuges, fish and game critical habitat areas, and public use areas." -SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD PREVIOUS SENATE COMMITTEE ACTION HB 432 - See Resources Committee minutes dated 4/17/00. SB 308 - See Resources Committee minutes dated 4/17/00. HB 414 - No previous Senate action. HB 206 - No previous Senate action. HB 349 - No previous Senate action. HB 108 - See Resources Committee minutes dated 4/7/00. WITNESS REGISTER Jim Hayden Division of Spill Prevention and Response Department of Environmental Conservation 410 Willoughby Ave. Juneau, AK 99801-1795 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions regarding HB 432. Michael Abbott Economic Development Assistant Office of the Governor 500 West 7th Ave., Suite 1700 Anchorage, AK 99503 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed to HB 414. Jeff Logan Legislative Aide to Representative Green Alaska State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified for the sponsor of HB 414. J. David Norton, P.E. Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission 3001 Porcupine Drive Anchorage, AK 99501 POSITION STATEMENT: Opposed to HB 414. Representative Joe Green Alaska State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Answered questions about HB 414. John Manley Legislative Aide to Representative Harris Alaska State Capitol Juneau, AK 99801-1182 POSITION STATEMENT: Testified for the sponsor of HB 206. Dick Bishop Alaska Outdoor Council P.O. Box 73902 Fairbanks, AK 99707 POSITION STATEMENT: Supports HB 206 and proposed an amendment. ACTION NARRATIVE TAPE 00-28, SIDE A Number 001 CHAIRMAN HALFORD called the Senate Resources Committee meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. Present were Senators Mackie, Green, Taylor and Chairman Halford. The first order of business to come before the committee was CSHB 432(FIN)am. HB 432-BOARD OF STORAGE TANK ASSISTANCE CHAIRMAN HALFORD announced that the committee has heard CSHB 432(FIN)am and he would like to move the bill on its way. SENATOR TAYLOR asked about the application for storage tank assistance submitted by the town of Hyder. MR. JIM HAYDEN, Department of Environmental Conservation, informed Senator Taylor that the application does not fall under this program although he is familiar with it because the Hyder association asked him to check some numbers for an above ground tank. Apparently the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is doing away with its maintenance station and is making land available to the town. The town plans to install an above ground tank and is looking for an appropriation from the legislature to fund it. SENATOR TAYLOR asked if there is another program available to the town of Hyder to fund the project. MR. HAYDEN said he was not sure whether the Alaska Energy Authority Program (under the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority) would cover that cost. It does cover rural tanks but Hyder would have to get on that list. An unidentified speaker pointed out that a provision in SB 128, which passed last year, allows for direct appropriations for specific projects out of the storage tank assistance fund. The Hyder project could be funded through that program but it would have to be done through a direct appropriation. MR. HAYDEN clarified that fund is limited to underground tanks. The unidentified speaker pointed out one section of that bill provides enough flexibility to fund the Hyder project. SENATOR MACKIE moved CSHB 432(FIN)am from committee with individual recommendations. There being no objection, the motion carried. SB 308-MARINE PASSENGER VESSELS SENATOR MACKIE moved SB 308 from committee with individual recommendations. There being no objection, the motion carried. HB 414-OIL & GAS CONSERVATION COMMISSION JEFF LOGAN, legislative aide to Representative Joe Green, sponsor of HB 414, made the following comments. HB 414 clarifies the requirements to serve on the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC). It is the sponsor's opinion that there has been some question about the qualifications and requirements for service on the board over the past five or six years. HB 414 will help the Governor and legislature make appointments that will be better for the oil fields and better for the people of Alaska by requiring certain technical expertise of the people who serve. SENATOR TAYLOR asked if HB 414 will ensure that a "down-hole" engineer will serve on the AOGCC. MR. LOGAN said yes, it will require that one of the members, appointed and confirmed by the legislature, will have subsurface experience. CHAIRMAN HALFORD read the required qualifications in HB 414 and asked how many people in Alaska will qualify for that position. MR. LOGAN said the number is a moving target but, according to the industry people he has spoken with and the Society of Petroleum Engineers, about 500 people would qualify. MR. MIKE ABBOTT, Special Assistant to the Governor, pointed out the Administration has two serious concerns with HB 414. The first concern is programmatic; the Administration is concerned that the proposed bill will make it difficult, if not impossible, to resolve some of the clarification issues that the sponsor is trying to get at in terms of who will be considered qualified. As an example, the bill talks primarily about the engineering position but it also deals with the geologist position. By the Administration's count, based on registration information from the American Institute of Petroleum Geologists, about 12 Alaskans will qualify for the geologist position if HB 414 passes. Although he does not necessarily dispute that 500 people in Alaska are eligible for the engineering position, a lot depends on how one interprets the standard. MR. ABBOTT continued. Section 2 of the bill lays out two different ways that a person can become qualified. First, a licensed engineer who is qualified as a petroleum engineer would be qualified. That is an interesting standard because a person can become a petroleum engineer with less than four years of professional experience. A person with a degree from a five year program would only need three years of actual experience and no supervisory experience, no Alaskan experience, and no down-hole experience. A person with a degree from a four year petroleum engineering program would need four years of experience to become a registered engineer. That will allow a person, albeit licensed but without a lot of experience, to sit on the AOGCC. MR. ABBOTT explained that the second way a person can become qualified is through Section (B) which requires a person to meet three standards. The first standard requires 10 years of professional subsurface experience in drilling well operations, production process operations, etc. It is a little confusing since the production process operation consists of surface oriented production work and not subsurface work. Second, one has to have a degree from a qualified program. The third standard requires one to have completed university or industry training that covers certain issue areas specific to petroleum engineering. The third standard is fairly unquantified because industry training sometimes consists of day or week long sessions. University programs might include seminars. It is unclear whether this standard requires course work, degrees, certificates or attendance so it will be difficult to know whether a candidate meets the qualifications. The standard appears to be a university degree. MR. ABBOTT explained the particularly troubling part of the Section (B) standard is that the engineer would not be required to be registered. Currently, the AOGCC commissioner who fills the engineer's seat has a lot of direct supervisory responsibilities over the rest of the engineering staff, which is the bulk of the professional staff on the AOGCC. There are some professional concerns in the engineering community about whether registered engineers can be supervised by non-registered engineers. Right now the AOGCC has been hiring staff engineers and the AOGCC has required registration for those positions. MR. ABBOTT said HB 414 implies that the sitting Chairman of the AOGCC, who was confirmed by the legislature three years ago, will not be eligible for reappointment when his term is up later this year. The Administration finds it troubling that someone who has served as the Chair without complaint from the industry or public at large would automatically be removed as a result of this legislation. This gentleman has more than 20 years of engineering experience in the Alaskan oil fields and is a former president of VECO Engineering. CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked if the AOGCC Chairman owned his own engineering firm. MR. ABBOTT said he owned a company named Christenson Engineering which was subsequently purchased by VECO. In the course of that action, Mr. Christenson became the President of VECO Engineering. Mr. Abbott noted that he, a representative from the Department of Law, and other AOGCC Commissioners were available to answer questions. SENATOR GREEN recalled that lengthy discussions occurred during the last approval process and said, with all due respect to Mr. Christianson who she believes is doing a fine job, some people questioned whether he was a duly qualified candidate under the previous criteria. She said she hates to think that is what HB 414 is about. She questioned whether there is a place under Section (B) where the word "registered" should be used. Regarding fluid flow through subsurface formations, Senator Green thought it might be difficult to have ten years of experience in that particular field. She suggested that instead, the criteria require that a person have that experience coupled with other underground experience. MR. ABBOTT replied that the Administration continues to have concerns about any standards that will not allow a person with Mr. Christenson's background to serve. SENATOR GREEN agreed but thought the member should have the right to say we have some new standards that we think should be in place for this particular commission. MR. ABBOTT said he does not disagree and it is up to the legislature to make that decision but, using the example of Mr. Christenson, he would tell him the standard is not appropriate. SENATOR TAYLOR pointed out the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers (ASPE) opposes HB 414 based on the fact that this bill does not require that the engineer be certified by the State of Alaska. MR. ABBOTT said that is correct. SENATOR TAYLOR asked whether the reference to AS 08.48 on page 2 (Subsection A) applies to a certificate of registration as an engineer under Alaska law. MR. ABBOTT explained one can qualify under (A) or (B). Subsection (A) is fine in terms of registered engineers. Subsection (B) does not require an engineer to be registered. SENATOR TAYLOR thought Section (B) looks like it talks about an engineer because it no longer says "petroleum engineer." MR. ABBOTT replied "... one of the concerns we have with (B) is that it would allow a non-registered engineer - of which there are a lot, especially within the oil and gas industry - I don't mean to misstate this - there are a lot of fine engineers within the oil and gas industry, and because they don't generally work on public facilities, they don't necessarily have to be registered to do work. And so, I'm not calling into question what are a lot of very experienced and very successful engineers. Whether or not they could be supervising other professional certified engineers is a concern and it's one that we think is - well, it's certainly one of our serious concerns with the bill as proposed right now." SENATOR TAYLOR asked if the Administration's concern would be alleviated if Subsection (B) was deleted. MR. ABBOTT said the Administration would not have that concern but Subsection (A) is problematic for two reasons. First, it applies to a very narrow community of individuals. Subsection (B) was included primarily because such a limited number of people would qualify under Subsection (A). Subsection (A) as a stand alone does not require a lot of experience. A person can become a registered petroleum engineer in Alaska with three or four years of experience, post graduation. SENATOR TAYLOR suggested removing Section (B) and adding to Section (A) some of the experience requirements. He asked if that would narrow the field of 12 even further. MR. ABBOTT clarified that the field of 12 has to do with geologists. To his knowledge, there are about 47 Alaskan registered petroleum engineers. About 40 others are non-residents who are registered to work in Alaska. SENATOR LINCOLN asked if only 12 people qualify for the geologist position because of the requirement of ten years of professional experience. MR. ABBOTT replied that right now if a person is registered as a professional geologist with the American Institute of Professional Geologists, the person has the opportunity to indicate what his/her professional expertise includes. There is not a discrete registration for petroleum geology. CHAIRMAN TAYLOR asked what these jobs pay. MR. ABBOTT replied, "About 85." CHAIRMAN TAYLOR questioned why a petroleum geologist with ten years of field experience would want to work for $85,000 as an AOGCC Commissioner. MR. ABBOTT said it is difficult to recruit people for the two directed Commission seats. SENATOR LINCOLN suggested moving lines 3 and 4 on page 2 up to line 2 so it would read, "who holds a certificate of registration as an engineer under AS 08.48. and under regulations adopted to implement that chapter." MR. ABBOTT said the statute could be left as is under (1) because it has the licensed professional engineer standard in it right now. The current standard is very short which doesn't mean it is simple. There have been concerns raised in the past about what qualifies a professional engineer regarding education and professional background in the field of petroleum geology. That is clearly a term that is subject to interpretation. SENATOR GREEN said Alaska needs more discovery and drilling which would increase the number and level of engineers and geologists. This discussion would be unnecessary because there would be many people who qualify. There being no further questions of Mr. Abbott, CHAIRMAN HALFORD took teleconference testimony. Number 1535 MR. DAVE NORTON, AOGCC Commissioner, recapped a letter he sent to committee members summarizing his concerns about HB 414. His first point is that being a professional engineer implies that a person must follow a code of professional conduct. That would provide a safeguard to the public and ensure that their best interests are being looked after. Subsection B of HB 414 goes the other way and excludes professional engineers with critical experience in the oil and gas industry from the qualifications, which is what will happen in Mr. Christenson's case. Third, the bill, with its very prescriptive requirements for down-hole, subsurface engineering experience only, limits qualified candidates and also limits the purview of the AOGCC. It has not only subsurface responsibilities, it has responsibilities for surface activities. His letter describes that problem in detail. He feels the requirements for engineers should be plain and clear and leave room for discretion in appointments. An engineer should be required, at a minimum, to have experience in the Alaska oil and gas industry. The bill is overly prescriptive and complicated. It tries to fix something that is not broken. He is opposed to HB 414. MR. LOGAN asked to speak to HB 274, which was virtually the same bill introduced during the previous legislature. He said regarding the qualifications, Representative Green started out with a bill that said, "holds a certificate of registration as an engineer under AS 08.48" and then listed the qualifications under Subsection (B). The Administration came to the table and said that was unacceptable. Representative Green then changed that language for the Administration. During hearings in House committees, the Administration never came forward to express any displeasure with the language as it is stated here today. Representative Green assumed the bill was okay with the Administration. Mr. Robert Christenson of the AOGCC did testify, however. He made a few suggestions that were incorporated into the bill. The first was Section 1 which gives the Governor direction to give preference to Alaska experience. The second suggestion by Mr. Christenson was the phrase, "production process operations" which the Governor's representative said he had some questions about. That phrase was incorporated into the bill. MR. LOGAN clarified for the record that the engineers who qualify under Subsection (B) are very qualified, technically trained individuals. A number of engineers in this state are not registered Alaska petroleum engineers but they are registered in another state. They have extensive training and have been in Alaska a number of years and are very qualified to serve. Much of the description of what would make a good candidate came from suggestions by people in the industry. Representative Green asked them the question, "With millions of dollars of assets at stake, what are the kinds of people that you have responsible for those assets?" He then put the bill together and sent it to the University of Alaska Fairbanks Petroleum Engineering Department for review. The department thought the language described a good candidate for that position. Mr. Logan said he is sorry the Administration did not come forward earlier for clarification. He also acknowledged that Representative Green was unaware of the opposition from a professional engineering group. That group did not contact him. SENATOR LINCOLN referred to Section 1 and questioned where the "wiggle room" is. MR. LOGAN replied that in order to be a certified Alaska engineer, one must pass what is known as the Arctic test - a specific test dealing with Arctic engineering measures. Therefore, to qualify for (A), one has already met the requirements in Section 1 so no "wiggle room" is needed. He then asked Senator Lincoln to clarify her question. SENATOR LINCOLN stated that if under Subsection (B) there are 500 people to choose from, but under Section 2 there are only 12, the Governor's only option is within the criteria that is laid out in HB 414. MR. LOGAN said that is true, but on the geologist point, in order to be certified under AS 08.02.011, one must be a member of AIPG, the Association of Professional Geologists. To be a member of AIPG, one needs eight years of experience. Therefore, just to get the license one needs eight years of experience so HB 414 only asks for two more years. During testimony given to the House Oil and Gas Committee, former Commissioner Harold Heinze made the point that these are minimum qualifications. The bill does not require the Governor to appoint the least qualified people, it simply sets the floor. SENATOR LINCOLN pointed out the bill was introduced on March 15. She asked Mr. Logan if today is the first time he has heard a response from the Administration. MR. LOGAN said that is correct and the Administration's concerns were a shock to him because at the end of the process during the previous legislature, the bill was in a House Resources subcommittee for six weeks where good participation from all parties took place and everyone was okay with the bill. SENATOR LINCOLN asked Mr. Abbott why the Administration has not expressed its opposition to HB 414 prior to today. MR. ABBOTT said the Administration's opposition to HB 414 has been consistent from the day the bill was introduced and throughout the confirmation process for the previous engineering commissioner and the current commissioner. The Administration has made it clear that it prefers the existing standard. He did not think the sponsor has ever doubted that the Administration is satisfied with the standard as written and that it has opposed efforts to mandate a more specific requirement, specifically the subsurface experience requirement. SENATOR LINCOLN asked if the Administration testified in opposition to this bill in the House. MR. ABBOTT replied, "We have never testified in support of this. No Administration official has ever testified in a manner that ...." SENATOR LINCOLN clarified that her question was whether the Administration testified in opposition to HB 414. MR. ABBOTT said, "Yes, Mr. Christenson testified in the House Oil and Gas Committee that the Administration opposed the legislation." CHAIRMAN TAYLOR announced that because a quorum was not present, he would hold the legislation and recess the Senate Resources Committee to the call of the chair. CHAIRMAN HALFORD called the Senate Resources Committee back to order at 7:00 p.m. Present were Senators Lincoln, Pete Kelly, Green, Mackie, Taylor, and Chairman Halford. The committee took up HB 108. HB 108-USE, REGULATION, AND OPERATION OF BOATS CHAIRMAN HALFORD announced that a proposed Senate Resources committee substitute had been prepared for HB 108 and that the committee has worked extensively with the sponsor on the areas of question. The committee substitute places the program in the Department of Public Safety with only the education portion going to the Department of Natural Resources. It parallels the federal requirement of a three year registration renewal. A technical amendment needs to be made on page 10 of the proposed committee substitute: "90" should be changed to "30" which applies to the exemption that allows a non-resident to operate a non-powered boat in the State. The 90 days would allow a person to leave a boat here year round and never have to register so the exemption was changed to 30 days. He stated that he does not support taking over this federal program but finds the bill to be the least objectionable way to do it. SENATOR TAYLOR moved to adopt SCS CSHB 108(RES) (Version L) as the working document before the committee. There being no objection, the motion carried. CHAIRMAN HALFORD announced that the committee substitute had been adopted and it includes the change on page 10 to 30 days. SENATOR MACKIE noted he understands that the sponsor supports the committee substitute and will not be advocating for more changes. He then moved SCS CSHB 108(RES) from committee with individual recommendations. There being no objection, the bill moved from committee. CHAIRMAN HALFORD noted that Representative Green was present so the committee would revisit HB 414. REPRESENTATIVE JOE GREEN, sponsor of HB 414, apologized for not knowing what transpired earlier in the day, but said the problem remains that with the present Administration's appointments to the AOGCC, Alaska has lost one of the most critical parts of that Commission, and that is technical expertise. When he came to Alaska in 1977, the Oil and Gas Division did essentially the same things that the AOGCC does now: monitoring and supervising down- hole and surface operations in the oil fields, something that all states that have oil field operations do. In 1977, the Oil and Gas Division was in the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). It had, and the AOGCC now has, the power of compulsory imposition. That has not been an issue in this state because Alaska has not had differential royalty owners. However, as development moves across the Colville River, different subsurface owners are likely in the future. There may be a time when a subsurface owner does not want to become involved. If 65 percent of the other subsurface owners agree to a unit, the AOGCC has the authority to create that unit under the compulsory unitization statute. In the late 1970s, the AOGCC was created, much like the Texas railroad commission. It has always had a petroleum engineer as a commissioner, the reason being that while things are out of sight, they are out of mind, and if no one is guarding the hen house, a lot of chicks could get away. An underground blow-out into another reservoir or other disastrous things could happen. That would also apply if unitization occurs. He believes it is critical that a person with technical knowledge and experience in that field serve on the AOGCC yet this Administration has seen fit to not honor that. HB 414 tries to ensure that the Governor appoints a geologist and an engineer of knowledge. The third Commissioner could be of any other profession. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said the reason HB 414 does not require a registered petroleum engineer is because when this issue was brought up last year, he got flack from the Administration who said the pool is too small - there are only 70 or 80 registered petroleum engineers in the entire state. To accommodate that concern, the bill was changed to allow all petroleum engineers to qualify because a lot of companies employ people who are not registered in Alaska. The companies see no need for registration in Alaska as these people are registered in other states and they can perform the work. SENATOR MACKIE asked how many commissioners are on the AOGCC. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied three. SENATOR MACKIE asked if there are specific qualifications for the other two. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said there are specific qualifications for the geologist and engineer but not for the third member - the statute says the third member need not be expert in either field. CHAIRMAN HALFORD informed Representative Green that all testimony was in opposition to the bill, with the exception of Mr. Logan's. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN asked if those testifying gave specific reasons for their opposition. He also asked if one group testified that the engineer should be a registered petroleum engineer rather than just a petroleum engineer. CHAIRMAN HALFORD said that was one group but that the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers also opposes the bill because of the non-registered engineer requirement. He noted that he disagrees with Representative Green on the appointment question as it applied under existing law. He thought the appointment was a good one and that the person had a lot of experience in petroleum engineering in a broader sense. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said the problem is that the AOGCC has no one with down-hole experience. That is why he thinks they set it up as a petroleum engineer because a petroleum engineer's focus is down- hole rather than surface. He explained that down-hole experience has to do with the containment, spacing, and reservoir mechanics of actually producing the oil from that reservoir in an optimum manner. CHAIRMAN HALFORD noted that Mr. Abbott stated that the geologist vacancy would be harder to fill than the petroleum engineer vacancy. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied that may be so, but the requirements for a geologist in HB 414 are essentially the same as they are right now. SENATOR MACKIE asked how many people are eligible for the geologist position under HB 414. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said the number is around 400 - it was 500 but he assumes the number has decreased by about 20 percent with the last downsizing. He added that right now there is a requirement that the geologist be geologist certified. SENATOR MACKIE questioned what will happen if that pool shrinks even further. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied that pool is far larger than that of the medical board or others. The possibility of shrinking exists but as long as Alaska is an oil producing state, it will have a plethora of engineers. The AOGCC has always had applicants even in the days when engineers were paid significantly higher wages. Number 2175 SENATOR LINCOLN asked if the number of professional geologists has also decreased due to the downsizing so that there would be fewer than 12. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said he didn't know because his field has been in engineering. He thought that in the last 18 months, while downsizing was occurring, a significant number of exploration geologists were brought to Alaska with the now-defunct ARCO. ARCO had shipped most of their exploration geologists to Texas and then brought them back because their budget was going to expand. Phillips has indicated that it will spend in excess of $400 million. SENATOR LINCOLN asked Representative Green to respond to the April 14 letter from the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN replied, "Well originally, before this bill - its predecessor had that they had to be a registered engineer and we heard from the Administration saying that they couldn't support that because there were too few - there were something less than 70 registered petroleum engineers, as I say, of a field of in excess of 500, because the companies didn't see a need for that. That merely entitled those engineers to hire themselves out to someone else as a professional. It didn't inhibit the use of those engineers for engineering work that the company felt was adequate to do the jobs that they wanted them to do. Being registered doesn't make you a better engineer. It just means that you passed the test and you are willing to pay the annual dues. That's why I didn't become registered here. I was carrying these registrations from other states and began to realize I'm spending an awful lot of money here for no reason." SENATOR LINCOLN asked if the engineers are required to be registered whether the pool would be reduced dramatically to 70. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said very much so and to comply with the desire to have a broader base to choose from and to offset the concerns brought up by Senator Mackie, the pool is enlarged - not the discounting of the quality, just the discounting of not having to be registered. CHAIRMAN HALFORD noted that it is up to committee members to decide what to do with CSHB 414 (O&G). SENATOR PETE KELLY moved CSHB 414(O&G) from committee with individual recommendations and its accompanying zero fiscal notes. There being no objection, the motion carried. HB 206-FISH AND GAME LICENSES & TAGS MR. JOHN MANLEY, legislative aide to Representative Harris, sponsor of HB 206, said that Representative Harris introduced this bill at the request of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) to take care of some housekeeping measures needed to clean up their statutes. The bill changes the word "waterfowl" to "migratory game bird" in about six different sections. That change will bring into the federal government's migratory game bird reporting program the taking of snipes and cranes. This will give them a complete picture of who is taking what birds in the state. Section 3 allows disabled veterans and $5 license holders to register in the national migratory game bird harvest program by one of two methods. Because these people are not required to buy duck stamps, the statute needed another provision to enable them to register into the program. Section 4 creates a new combination seven day non- resident hunting and fishing license. The $115 charge for that license costs the same as a seven day fishing license and a non- resident hunting license but it is more convenient to put both licenses on one piece of paper. The bill also sets fees for special non-resident military small game licenses. There was a glitch when the price of resident hunting licenses was changed. The cost of a license for a non-resident military person would be more than the cost of a non-resident license. HB 206 straightens that problem out. The House Finance Committee added a provision that allows Yukon residents to obtain a non-resident fishing license and a non-resident king salmon tag at the same rate that a resident pays. That provision was added at the request of Senator Phillips and it will not go into effect until the Yukon reciprocates. CHAIRMAN HALFORD said when the Yukon is willing to give 600,000 Alaskans the same treatment, Alaska will give their 35,000 people a deal. MR. MANLEY continued his explanation of HB 206. Sections 9 and 10 replace a requirement in current statute that sellers and purchasers of licenses must take an oath. That requirement was replaced with a notice that will be placed on licenses stating there is a penalty for unsworn falsification. CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked how much a resident sport fishing license costs. MR. MANLEY said it costs $15. CHAIRMAN HALFORD asked if the non-resident military sport fishing license will cost the same. He also asked the cost of the non- resident seven day sport fishing and hunting license. MR. MANLEY said a non-resident sport fishing license would cost $30 and the non-resident hunting license costs $85 for a total of $115 which is what the combined license would cost. He explained that Sections 11 through 16 just add the word "registration" in various parts of the statutes to comply with the change made in Section 3. The final change will allow ADFG to issue replacement licenses for commercial fishing crew members for $5. ADFG is already doing that but needs statutory authority. MR. MANLEY noted that an amendment to the bill was presented to him today and that it is relatively innocuous. The amendment would read as follows. Page 2, line 16 after "birds" insert ", migratory game bird hunting," After "and" insert "other" After "public" delete "use" and insert "uses" CHAIRMAN HALFORD questioned whether the phrase, "other public uses of migratory game birds" covers the Alaska Outdoor Council's concern. MR. MANLEY thought it would. SENATOR LINCOLN asked Mr. Manley how important the amendment is to the bill because it might slow the bill down considerably. MR. MANLEY said Representative Harris did not have a problem with the amendment but at the same time it is not critical to the bill. CHAIRMAN HALFORD noted the bill has a referral to the Senate Finance Committee. MR. DICK BISHOP, Vice President of the Alaska Outdoor Council, stated that the Council supports this bill. ADFG and the sponsor did a good job in cleaning up some of the loose ends with licensing. The Council did suggest the amendment in view of the fact that the only place in the bill, other than the title, that hunting is mentioned is in the price tag. The Council felt it is appropriate that some of the benefits of the price tag that hunters pay be directed to their interests in particular. The Council would like to see the amendment as well as the bill pass. SENATOR LINCOLN asked Mr. Bishop whether he would rather see the bill amended and take the chance that it will slow the bill down. MR. BISHOP replied if the bill was slowed up enough to the point where it cannot complete the process, he would be concerned. He repeated that he would like to see the amendment entered into the bill. SENATOR TAYLOR moved the amendment proposed by Mr. Manley. There being no objection, the motion carried. SENATOR TAYLOR moved SCS CSHB 206(RES) from committee with individual recommendations and its accompanying fiscal note. There being no objection, the motion carried. There being no further business to come before the committee, CHAIRMAN HALFORD adjourned the meeting at 7:35 p.m.