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30th Legislature(2017-2018)

Bill Text 30th Legislature


00 Enrolled HJR 33                                                                                                         
01 Urging the Alaska delegation in Congress to pursue the establishment of a U.S. Coast Guard                              
02 port in the Arctic region; supporting the increase in defensive capabilities in the Arctic region;                      
03 and encouraging the development of critical Arctic infrastructure.                                                      
04                                          _______________                                                                
05 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                             
06      WHEREAS Alaska is the only state in the nation that has land bordering the Arctic                                  
07 Ocean; and                                                                                                              
08      WHEREAS the retreat of Arctic sea ice is increasing the seasonal navigability of the                               
09 Arctic Ocean, which has resulted in an influx of traffic and activity in the circumpolar Arctic;                        
10 and                                                                                                                     
11      WHEREAS the increased navigability of Arctic routes has the potential to reliably                                  
12 decrease shipping distances of intercontinental vessels by as much as 40 percent in the                                 
13 coming decades; and                                                                                                     
14      WHEREAS the control of access to newly opening Arctic waterways is becoming an                                     
15 objective for nations in the region; and                                                                                
16      WHEREAS the other seven Arctic nations have been very proactive in addressing the                                  
01 changing situation in the Arctic and have begun to assert their interests in the region; and                            
02      WHEREAS the Russian Federation has recently established the Arctic Joint Strategic                                 
03 Command to assert its long-term military strategy in the Arctic region; and                                             
04      WHEREAS the Russian Federation has constructed as many as 40 icebreakers, 14                                       
05 airfields, and 16 deepwater ports in the region; and                                                                    
06      WHEREAS the United States has been very inactive in addressing the changing                                        
07 situation in the Arctic region; and                                                                                     
08      WHEREAS the United States possesses only two operating icebreaking vessels, none                                   
09 of which is stationed in this state; and                                                                                
10      WHEREAS vessels with icebreaking capabilities may operate in any environment,                                      
11 but ships without that capability cannot operate in an Arctic environment without an                                    
12 icebreaker escort; and                                                                                                  
13      WHEREAS the United States has an extremely limited capability to respond to                                        
14 medical emergencies that may occur as a result of increased activity in the region; and                                 
15      WHEREAS the United States has no means of asserting itself in the Arctic Ocean or                                  
16 maintaining domain awareness along its northernmost flank; and                                                          
17      WHEREAS the extreme weather conditions in the Arctic increase the amount of time                                   
18 needed to complete large infrastructure projects in the region; and                                                     
19      WHEREAS the potential for energy discovery in the Arctic region may produce new                                    
20 investment, infrastructural development, and other economic opportunities;                                              
21      BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature recognizes that the increased                                     
22 activity in the Arctic region is becoming a national security concern for the nation; and be it                         
23      FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature recognizes the potential                                        
24 for economic development in the Arctic; and be it                                                                       
25      FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature recognizes the urgency of                                       
26 developing key infrastructure and defense capabilities, considering the investments other                               
27 nations have committed to the region as well as the increased amount of time needed for those                           
28 types of projects because of the extreme weather of the region; and be it                                               
29      FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Alaska                                                
30 delegation in Congress to pursue the establishment of a United States Coast Guard port                                  
31 capable of supporting naval contingency operations in the Arctic as well as the development                             
01 of critical infrastructure that is necessary to improve emergency response capabilities in the                          
02 region; and be it                                                                                                       
03      FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature calls on the Alaska                                             
04 Congressional delegation to advocate for the security of the nation's northernmost flank by                             
05 increasing the military and emergency response capabilities in the Arctic region.                                       
06      COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President                                
07 of the United States; the Honorable Paul D. Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of                                          
08 Representatives; the Honorable Orrin Hatch, President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate; the                               
09 Honorable Jim Mattis, United States Secretary of Defense; the Honorable Ryan Zinke, United                              
10 States Secretary of the Interior; Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard;                                
11 and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the                                 
12 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.                                 
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