HJR 41: Supporting an exemption from the Jones Act for bulk commodities, such as coal and coal derived fuels, produced in Alaska.
00HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 41 01 Supporting an exemption from the Jones Act for bulk commodities, such as coal 02 and coal derived fuels, produced in Alaska. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS 46 U.S.C. Appx. 861 - 889 (Merchant Marine Act of 1920), commonly 05 known as the Jones Act, requires that seaborne shipping between United States ports be done 06 on vessels that have been constructed in the United States and that are crewed by United 07 States crews; and 08 WHEREAS this requirement has resulted in much higher costs for shipping bulk 09 commodities on United States vessels between domestic ports than for shipping those 10 commodities on foreign carriers between United States and foreign ports; and 11 WHEREAS there are currently no bulk carriers constructed in the United States that 12 are capable of servicing the large-scale movement of Alaska coal and coal derived fuels; and 13 WHEREAS, because the transportation cost for a high-tonnage, low-value bulk 14 commodity is often a significant part of the total delivered cost of that commodity, a higher
01 shipping cost can frequently keep a bulk commodity from being competitive; and 02 WHEREAS Alaska coal and coal derived fuels are a potential fuel source for utilities 03 and industries on the west coast of the United States and in Hawaii; and 04 WHEREAS the current difference between Jones Act shipping rates and foreign 05 shipping rates has made the delivered cost of foreign coal significantly less expensive than 06 domestic coal as evidenced by the current supply agreements between a Hawaiian independent 07 power producer and an Indonesian coal supplier; and 08 WHEREAS greatly increased coal usage figures prominently in the future generation 09 plans for Hawaiian utilities and thus will create prospective markets for Alaska coal; and 10 WHEREAS it is the policy of the State of Alaska under AS 44.19.035 to persuade the 11 Congress to repeal the Jones Act; 12 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature opposes the application of the 13 Jones Act to bulk commodities, such as coal and coal derived fuels, because of the Act's 14 detrimental effect on Alaska commerce; and be it 15 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests the 16 Congress to pass legislation exempting Alaska bulk commodities, such as coal and coal 17 derived fuels, from provisions of the Jones Act. 18 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the 19 United States; the Honorable Al Gore, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and President 20 of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Federico Pena, Secretary of the U.S. Department of 21 Transportation; the Honorable Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; 22 the Honorable Bob Dole, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; and to the Honorable Ted 23 Stevens and the Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, 24 U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.