SCR 22: Establishing and relating to the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission.
00 SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 22 01 Establishing and relating to the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS the Arctic is warming at twice the global rate, resulting in the loss of 04 perennial sea ice and changes to the terrestrial environment; and 05 WHEREAS scientists recently predicted that, in 30 to 40 years, there will no longer 06 be summer sea ice in the Arctic; and 07 WHEREAS reduced sea ice is affecting polar route navigation by opening oceans 08 previously frozen year-round; and 09 WHEREAS the loss of sea ice will bring new opportunities for mineral extraction, oil 10 and gas development, fisheries, tourism, and marine shipping; and 11 WHEREAS the Arctic might contain one-quarter of the world's untapped petroleum 12 reserves; and 13 WHEREAS Norway, Canada, Russia, and Denmark are making or preparing to make 14 claims to the Arctic seafloor under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and 15 are increasing their scientific research on and offshore exploration for minerals and oil and 16 gas; and
01 WHEREAS Canada and Russia are increasing their military presence in the Arctic 02 and are planning to build infrastructure to support that increased military presence; and 03 WHEREAS both Arctic and non-Arctic countries are increasing their presence in the 04 Arctic and are building or planning to build additional infrastructure, including ports, safe 05 harbors, search and rescue centers, and icebreakers and other Arctic-capable vessels; and 06 WHEREAS the waters of Northern Alaska are of national security and strategic 07 importance to the United States and the state; and 08 WHEREAS, because of national security concerns, the United States Coast Guard is 09 increasing its presence in the North and has plans to build new infrastructure to support its 10 heightened activity, including housing and office facilities and possibly including a deepwater 11 port; and 12 WHEREAS Northern Alaska contains important mineral and other resources, both in 13 state waters and on the outer continental shelf; and 14 WHEREAS local communities, businesses, the state, and the natural resources that 15 local communities, businesses, and the state rely on will be affected by commercial activities 16 and resource development in the Arctic; and 17 WHEREAS climate changes in the Arctic affect the habitat, accessibility, and 18 viability of fish and wildlife species that local communities rely on for nutritional and cultural 19 purposes; and 20 WHEREAS Norway, Canada, Russia, Denmark, and other countries have formal 21 Arctic policies on or strategies for future development in the Arctic; and 22 WHEREAS the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut have developed a shared 23 northern vision to guide development in the Canadian Arctic; and 24 WHEREAS this state is the only Arctic state in the United States; and 25 WHEREAS the state does not have a comprehensive plan for the northern waters of 26 Alaska; and 27 WHEREAS the state does not have a comprehensive Arctic policy; and 28 WHEREAS a comprehensive policy to address the Arctic areas of the state, including 29 the economic, ecological, and security effects, will benefit the state and its residents; 30 BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Legislature that the Alaska Arctic Policy 31 Commission is created in the legislative branch and shall consist of 16 members as follows:
01 (1) three senators appointed by the President of the Senate, one member being 02 from the minority; 03 (2) three representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of 04 Representatives, one member being from the minority; and 05 (3) nine members appointed jointly by the President of the Senate and the 06 Speaker of the House of Representatives, as follows: 07 (A) one member representing the federal government; 08 (B) one member representing a tribal entity; 09 (C) one member representing the mining industry; 10 (D) one member representing the oil and gas industry; 11 (E) one member representing the University of Alaska, who has a 12 background in Arctic science; 13 (F) one member representing fisheries; 14 (G) one member from a local government or an association of a local 15 government; 16 (H) one member from a coastal community; 17 (I) one member representing an international Arctic organization; 18 (4) one member representing the executive branch of state government, 19 appointed by the Governor; and be it 20 FURTHER RESOLVED that a vacancy on the commission shall be filled in the 21 manner of the original appointment; and be it 22 FURTHER RESOLVED that the representatives on the commission shall select one 23 cochair from the representative members, and the senators on the commission shall select one 24 cochair from the senator members; and the cochairs may assign staff to provide support to the 25 commission; and be it 26 FURTHER RESOLVED that the public members and, if the member representing 27 the federal government does not receive reimbursement for expenses from the federal 28 government, the federal government member of the commission may receive per diem and 29 travel expenses authorized for boards and commissions under AS 39.20.180; and be it 30 FURTHER RESOLVED that the commission may meet during and between 31 legislative sessions, and the duties of the commission include the following:
01 (1) conduct hearings and take public testimony throughout the state to fulfill 02 the purpose of the commission; 03 (2) develop an Arctic policy for the state and produce a strategy for the 04 implementation of an Arctic policy; and be it 05 FURTHER RESOLVED that the commission shall provide recommendations 06 regarding Arctic policy and shall deliver a preliminary report of its findings to the legislature 07 by January 30, 2014, and deliver a final report to the legislature on January 30, 2015, together 08 with legislative proposals for consideration; and be it 09 FURTHER RESOLVED that the commission shall be available for legislative 10 hearings regarding its final report and recommendations; and be it 11 FURTHER RESOLVED that the continuation or termination of the commission 12 shall be reevaluated during the First Regular Session of the Twenty-Ninth Alaska State 13 Legislature.