HR 12: Reaffirming support for the environmentally responsible development of the Kensington Gold Mine; and urging the governor to encourage and facilitate the prompt continuation or reinstatement, reactivation, and period extension of permits authorizing the construction and operation of the Kensington Gold Mine upon a decision by the United States Supreme Court in favor of the Kensington Gold Mine.
00 HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 12 01 Reaffirming support for the environmentally responsible development of the Kensington 02 Gold Mine; and urging the governor to encourage and facilitate the prompt 03 continuation or reinstatement, reactivation, and period extension of permits authorizing 04 the construction and operation of the Kensington Gold Mine upon a decision by the 05 United States Supreme Court in favor of the Kensington Gold Mine. 06 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: 07 WHEREAS the state possesses abundant natural resources, particularly mineral 08 resources, and the state seeks to develop these resources in an environmentally responsible 09 manner to benefit all residents of the state; and 10 WHEREAS the economy of Southeast Alaska is experiencing a decline and the 11 Kensington Gold Mine, which is of vital economic importance both to Juneau and to 12 Southeast Alaska, would help to diversify the struggling economy of Southeast Alaska; and 13 WHEREAS the Kensington Gold Mine enjoys the support of the members of the 14 Alaska State Legislature, as indicated in resolutions passed in 2005, 2007, and 2008; and 15 WHEREAS the Kensington Gold Mine enjoys the support of a great majority of the
01 residents of Juneau, as well as the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, the Haines Chamber of 02 Commerce, the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce, Goldbelt, Inc., Kake Tribal Corp., 03 Klukwan, Inc., the City and Borough of Juneau, the Haines Borough, the City of Hoonah, 04 Local 942 of the Laborers International Union of North America, Huna Totem Corporation, 05 the Juneau Economic Development Council, the Resource Development Council, the 06 Southeast Conference, the Alaska Miners Association, the Central Council of Tlingit and 07 Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, the Southeast Alaska Native Economic Futures Coalition, the 08 Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand Camp, and many Alaska residents statewide; and 09 WHEREAS the Kensington Gold Mine will continue to provide substantial income to 10 many Alaska businesses through direct and indirect purchases; and 11 WHEREAS the Kensington Gold Mine will continue to recruit, train, and employ 12 Alaska residents, including Alaska Natives and other citizens participating in a voluntary 13 affirmative action program conducted in cooperation with the University of Alaska Southeast, 14 Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Central Council of Tlingit and 15 Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, and the Berners Bay Consortium Human Resources 16 Development Corporation; and 17 WHEREAS the Kensington Gold Mine was fully permitted by all federal, state, and 18 local agencies, including the United States Forest Service, the United States Environmental 19 Protection Agency, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Alaska, and the 20 City and Borough of Juneau, using research and data from three environmental impact 21 statements and over 1,000 environmental and engineering studies that exhaustively studied 22 the plan and allowed the agencies to make the firm determination that the plan for the 23 construction and operation of the Kensington Gold Mine is the environmentally preferred 24 option; and 25 WHEREAS the House of Representatives is confident that all of the federal, state, 26 and local agencies have properly permitted the Kensington Gold Mine; and 27 WHEREAS Coeur Alaska filed an appeal with the United States Supreme Court to 28 reverse a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a case brought by the Sierra Club, 29 Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, and Lynn Canal Conservation against permits 30 granted to Coeur Alaska by the United States Forest Service and the United States Army 31 Corps of Engineers; and
01 WHEREAS the State of Alaska joined as a party in the appeal to the United States 02 Supreme Court in support of the Kensington Gold Mine to express its confidence in the 03 federal agencies' decisions to issue permits to allow the Kensington Gold Mine to go forward; 04 and 05 WHEREAS the United States Department of Justice, on behalf of the United States 06 Forest Service and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, together with the United 07 States Environmental Protection Agency, joined in the appeal to the United States Supreme 08 Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision; and 09 WHEREAS, on January 12, 2009, the United States Supreme Court heard oral 10 arguments regarding the Kensington Gold Mine tailings permit, and is expected to issue its 11 decision in the near future; and 12 WHEREAS the Kensington Gold Mine is nearly fully constructed and, as one of the 13 most "shovel-ready" projects in the United States, stands ready to provide family-wage jobs 14 paying an annual average of $80,000, plus benefits, to approximately 300 people during 15 continued construction, and 200 people each year during operation for the estimated 10-year 16 life of the mine; and 17 WHEREAS the Kensington Gold Mine is a showcase project that would help address 18 the Obama administration's concern for economic recovery and employment of Americans; 19 BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives reaffirms its long-term 20 commitment to the Kensington Gold Mine and strongly supports environmentally responsible 21 development of the mine; and be it 22 FURTHER RESOLVED that, should the United States Supreme Court rule in favor 23 of the permits for the Kensington Gold Mine, the House of Representatives urges the 24 governor to encourage and facilitate efforts by state and federal agencies to facilitate the 25 prompt continuation or reinstatement, reactivation, and period extension of the permits that 26 were in effect at the time that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction 27 delaying mine operations, in order to allow the Kensington Gold Mine to complete 28 construction and begin operations in the most timely manner. 29 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of 30 the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and 31 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of
01 Representatives; the Honorable Jeff Bingaman, Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on 02 Energy and Natural Resources; the Honorable Nick J. Rahall II, Chair of the U.S. House 03 Committee on Natural Resources; Dennis E. Wheeler, President, Coeur Alaska, Inc.; and the 04 Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the 05 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.