HJR 4: 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. 4 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. 3143 (sec. 1003 of the Alaska National Interest Lands 09 Conservation Act), the United States Congress reserved the right to permit oil and gas 10 development and production within the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; 11 and 12 WHEREAS, in 16 U.S.C. 3142 (sec. 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands 13 Conservation Act), the United States Congress authorized nondrilling exploratory activity 14 within the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (the "1002 study area"); and
01 WHEREAS the oil industry, the state, and the United States Department of the 02 Interior consider the coastal plain to have the highest potential for discovery of very large oil 03 and gas accumulations on the continent of North America, estimated to be as much as 04 10,000,000,000 barrels of recoverable oil; and 05 WHEREAS the 1002 study area is part of the coastal plain located within the North 06 Slope Borough, and many of the residents of the North Slope Borough, who are 07 predominantly Inupiat, are supportive of development in the 1002 study area; and 08 WHEREAS oil and gas exploration and development of the coastal plain of the refuge 09 and adjacent land could result in major discoveries that would reduce our nation's dependency 10 on oil produced by hostile foreign nations, help balance the nation's trade deficit, and 11 significantly increase the nation's security; and 12 WHEREAS the state's and the nation's future energy independence would be 13 enhanced with additional natural gas production from the North Slope of Alaska, including 14 what are expected to be significant gas reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and 15 the development of those reserves would enhance the economic viability of the proposed 16 liquefied natural gas project; and 17 WHEREAS development of oil at Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk, Endicott, Lisburne, and 18 Milne Point has resulted in thousands of jobs throughout the United States, and projected job 19 creation as a result of coastal plain oil development will have a positive effect in all 50 states; 20 and 21 WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, a national asset that would cost 22 billions of dollars to replace, would have its useful physical life extended for a substantial 23 period if the additional reserves of recoverable oil from the coastal plain were produced; and 24 WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System is currently being extended to leases at 25 Point Thomson, an area bordering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and oil produced in 26 the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would require only the additional construction of a 27 pipeline to Point Thomson to deliver oil to market; and 28 WHEREAS, while new oil field developments on the North Slope of Alaska may 29 temporarily slow the decline in production, only allowing access to the state's coastal plain 30 fields would enable the production volume of Alaska oil to increase by up to 700,000 barrels a 31 day; and
01 WHEREAS opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge now 02 allows sufficient time for planning environmental safeguards, development, and national 03 security review; and 04 WHEREAS the 1,500,000-acre coastal plain of the refuge makes up less than eight 05 percent of the 19,600,000-acre refuge, and development of the oil and gas reserves in the 06 refuge's coastal plain would affect a limited area as defined by the United States Congress; 07 and 08 WHEREAS 8,900,000 of the 19,600,000 acres of the refuge have already been set 09 aside as wilderness; and 10 WHEREAS the oil industry has shown at Prudhoe Bay, as well as at other locations 11 along the Arctic coastal plain, that it is capable of conducting oil and gas activity without 12 adversely affecting the environment or wildlife populations; and 13 WHEREAS the state will continue to strive to ensure the ongoing health and 14 productivity of the Porcupine and Central Arctic caribou herds and the protection of land, 15 water, and wildlife resources during the exploration and development of the coastal plain of 16 the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and 17 WHEREAS the oil and gas industry has developed directional drilling technology that 18 will allow horizontal drilling in a responsible manner by minimizing the development 19 footprint within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and that directional drilling technology 20 may be capable of drilling from outside of the boundaries of the 1002 study area; and 21 WHEREAS the oil industry is using innovative technology and environmental 22 practices in new field developments, and those techniques are directly applicable to operating 23 on the coastal plain and would enhance environmental protection beyond traditionally high 24 standards; and 25 WHEREAS the state recognizes that the economic prosperity of the state is dependent 26 on available, reliable, and affordable energy; and 27 WHEREAS the state promotes the development of renewable and alternative energy 28 resources and created the Alaska Energy Authority to assist the state in advancing new energy 29 projects and technology; and 30 WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature encourages the use of revenue from 31 development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the development of renewable and
01 alternative energy resources in the state; 02 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges that oil and gas 03 exploration, development, and production activity be conducted in a manner that protects the 04 environment and the naturally occurring population levels of the Porcupine caribou herd on 05 which the Inupiat, Gwich'in, and other local residents depend, that uses directional drilling 06 and other advances in technology to minimize the development footprint in the 1002 study 07 area, and that uses the state's work force to the maximum extent possible; and be it 08 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 09 Congress to pass legislation opening the 1002 study area for oil and gas development while 10 continuing to work on measures for increasing the development and use of renewable and 11 alternative energy technologies; and be it 12 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 13 Department of the Interior to recognize and respect the rights of Native landowners in and 14 adjacent to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 1002 study area, including the rights of the 15 Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and the Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation to develop their land 16 and resource entitlements received under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and other 17 agreements; and be it 18 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature opposes any unilateral 19 reduction in royalty revenue from exploration and development of the coastal plain of the 20 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and any attempt to coerce the state into accepting less than 21 the 90 percent of the oil, gas, and mineral royalties from the federal land in the state that was 22 promised to the state at statehood. 23 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President 24 of the United States; the Honorable Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States and 25 President of the U.S. Senate; the United States Secretary of the Interior; the Honorable Paul 26 D. Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, 27 Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Mitch McConnell, 28 Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Charles E. Schumer, Minority Leader of 29 the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources 30 Committee of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senator, and the Honorable 31 Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress; and all
01 other members of the 115th United States Congress.