HR 9 am: Encouraging the homeporting of new United States Coast Guard icebreakers in the state.
00 HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 9 am 01 Encouraging the homeporting of new United States Coast Guard icebreakers in the 02 state. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: 04 WHEREAS the United States Coast Guard has proposed a renovation and expansion 05 of its Seattle waterfront base, which, over the next decade, will be home to three new 06 icebreakers and other vessels; and 07 WHEREAS the United States has a strategic interest in keeping pace with the 08 development and deployment of icebreaker fleets by Arctic nations such as Russia, Finland, 09 Sweden, China, and other nations that are currently outpacing the United States in the number 10 of icebreakers and sustained presence in the Arctic, which provide security for those nations' 11 research, military, fishing, and merchant fleets; and 12 WHEREAS the United States Coast Guard aims to support the United States in 13 conducting national missions, responding to critical events, and projecting American presence 14 in the high latitudes; and 15 WHEREAS the increased activity in the Arctic underscores a commensurate need for 16 proximate maritime presence in the Arctic region of the United States to enable the
01 responsible development of resources, foster maritime commerce, safeguard the well-being of 02 Arctic residents and ecosystems, facilitate emergency and disaster preparedness and response, 03 and protect the sovereignty of the United States; and 04 WHEREAS the state is at the forefront of Arctic knowledge, research, and 05 development and is uniquely positioned to provide, support, manage, and facilitate ease of 06 access to the high latitudes; and 07 WHEREAS the state's workforce has the experience and regional knowledge to 08 support the operations of the United States Coast Guard, the maintenance of Coast Guard 09 vessels, and the extraction of natural resources in the world's high latitudes, which include an 10 estimated 10 percent of the world's oil reserves and an abundance of fish stocks; and 11 WHEREAS the United States Coast Guard currently has limited Arctic emergency 12 response capabilities and no permanent bases near the strategically important Bering Strait or 13 the state's North Slope to support Coast Guard operations; and 14 WHEREAS the January 2012 delivery of fuel to Nome, Alaska, by the Russian fuel 15 tanker Renda, escorted by the United States Coast Guard's only polar icebreaker in service at 16 the time, Healy, emphasizes the need for icebreaker presence in Alaska; and 17 WHEREAS the United States Coast Guard should have a greater overall presence in 18 the Arctic, with the ability to stage assets closer to future shipping, oil and gas drilling, 19 commercial fishing activities, and military and other critical events; and 20 WHEREAS Alaska has an abundance of deepwater ports strategically located near 21 established fuel storage infrastructure, availability of supply depots for the icebreakers, and 22 housing, jobs, schools, and shopping for members of the United States Coast Guard and their 23 families; and 24 WHEREAS Alaska is the only state located in the Arctic; and 25 WHEREAS homeporting icebreakers in the state would enhance the United States 26 Coast Guard's ability to meet its stated objectives; 27 BE IT RESOLVED that the House of Representatives encourages proposed new 28 United States Coast Guard icebreakers to be strategically homeported in Alaska rather than in 29 the Port of Seattle.