HJR 9: Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development; urging the United States Department of the Interior to recognize the private property rights of owners of land in and adjacent to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; relating to oil and gas exploration, development, production, and royalties; and relating to renewable and alternative energy technologies.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 9 01 Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the 02 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development; urging the United States 03 Department of the Interior to recognize the private property rights of owners of land in 04 and adjacent to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; relating to oil and gas exploration, 05 development, production, and royalties; and relating to renewable and alternative 06 energy technologies. 07 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 08 WHEREAS, in 16 U.S.C. 3142 (sec. 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands 09 Conservation Act), the United States Congress reserved the right to permit further oil and gas 10 exploration, development, and production within the coastal plain of the Arctic National 11 Wildlife Refuge; and 12 WHEREAS the oil industry, the state, and the United States Department of the 13 Interior consider the coastal plain to have the highest potential for discovery of very large oil 14 and gas accumulations on the continent of North America, estimated to be as much as
01 10,000,000,000 barrels of recoverable oil; and 02 WHEREAS the "1002 study area" is part of the coastal plain located within the North 03 Slope Borough, and many of the residents of the North Slope Borough, who are 04 predominantly Inupiat, are supportive of development in the "1002 study area"; and 05 WHEREAS oil and gas exploration and development of the coastal plain of the refuge 06 and adjacent land could result in major discoveries that would reduce our nation's dependency 07 on oil produced by hostile foreign nations, help balance the nation's trade deficit, and 08 significantly increase the nation's security; and 09 WHEREAS the state's and the nation's future energy independence would be 10 enhanced with additional natural gas production from the North Slope of Alaska, including 11 what are expected to be significant gas reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and 12 the development of those reserves would enhance the economic viability of the proposed 13 liquefied natural gas project; and 14 WHEREAS development of oil at Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk, Endicott, Lisburne, and 15 Milne Point has resulted in thousands of jobs throughout the United States, and projected job 16 creation as a result of coastal plain oil development will have a positive effect in all 50 states; 17 and 18 WHEREAS North Slope production is declining; and 19 WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, a national asset that would cost 20 billions of dollars to replace, would have its useful physical life extended for a substantial 21 period if the additional reserves of recoverable oil from the coastal plain were produced; and 22 WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System is currently being extended to leases at 23 Point Thomson, an area bordering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and oil produced in 24 the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would require only the additional construction of a 25 pipeline to Point Thomson to deliver oil to market; and 26 WHEREAS, while new oil field developments on the North Slope of Alaska may 27 temporarily slow the decline in production, only allowing access to the state's coastal plain 28 fields would enable the production volume of Alaska oil to increase by up to 700,000 barrels a 29 day; and 30 WHEREAS opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge now 31 allows sufficient time for planning environmental safeguards, development, and national
01 security review; and 02 WHEREAS the 1,500,000-acre coastal plain of the refuge makes up less than eight 03 percent of the 19,000,000-acre refuge, and development of the oil and gas reserves in the 04 refuge's coastal plain would affect a limited area as defined by the United States Congress; 05 and 06 WHEREAS 8,900,000 of the 19,000,000 acres of the refuge have already been set 07 aside as wilderness; and 08 WHEREAS the oil industry has shown at Prudhoe Bay, as well as at other locations 09 along the Arctic coastal plain, that it is capable of conducting oil and gas activity without 10 adversely affecting the environment or wildlife populations; and 11 WHEREAS the state will continue to strive to ensure the ongoing health and 12 productivity of the Porcupine and Central Arctic caribou herds and the protection of land, 13 water, and wildlife resources during the exploration and development of the coastal plain of 14 the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and 15 WHEREAS the oil and gas industry has developed directional drilling technology that 16 will allow horizontal drilling in a responsible manner by minimizing the development 17 footprint within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and that directional drilling technology 18 may be capable of drilling from outside of the boundaries of the 1002 study area; and 19 WHEREAS the oil industry is using innovative technology and environmental 20 practices in new field developments, and those techniques are directly applicable to operating 21 on the coastal plain and would enhance environmental protection beyond traditionally high 22 standards; and 23 WHEREAS the state recognizes that the economic prosperity of the state is dependent 24 on available, reliable, and affordable energy; and 25 WHEREAS the state promotes the development of renewable and alternative energy 26 resources and created the Alaska Energy Authority to assist the state in advancing new energy 27 projects and technology; and 28 WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature encourages the use of revenue from 29 development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the development of renewable and 30 alternative energy resources in the state; 31 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges that oil and gas
01 exploration, development, and production activity be conducted in a manner that protects the 02 environment and the naturally occurring population levels of the Porcupine caribou herd on 03 which the Inupiat, Gwich'in, and other local residents depend, that uses directional drilling 04 and other advances in technology to minimize the development footprint in the 1002 study 05 area, and that uses the state's work force to the maximum extent possible; and be it 06 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 07 Congress to pass legislation opening the 1002 study area for oil and gas development while 08 continuing to work on measures for increasing the development and use of renewable and 09 alternative energy technologies; and be it 10 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 11 Department of the Interior to recognize and respect the rights of Native landowners in and 12 adjacent to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 1002 study area, including the rights of the 13 Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and the Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation to develop their land 14 and resource entitlements received under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and other 15 agreements; and be it 16 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature opposes any unilateral 17 reduction in royalty revenue from exploration and development of the coastal plain of the 18 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and any attempt to coerce the state into accepting less than 19 the 90 percent of the oil, gas, and mineral royalties from the federal land in the state that was 20 promised to the state at statehood. 21 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of 22 the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and 23 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Sally Jewell, United States Secretary of the 24 Interior; the Honorable John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the 25 Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the 26 Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Harry Reid, 27 Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, Chair of the Energy and 28 Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senator, 29 and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in 30 Congress; and all other members of the 114th United States Congress.