Legislature(2001 - 2002)
03/15/2002 01:09 PM RES
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HJR 44-ALASKA NATURAL GAS PIPELINE ROUTE CO-CHAIR MASEK announced that the next order of business would be HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 44, Urging the President of the United States, the United States Congress, and appropriate federal officials to support the construction and operation of the Alaska Highway Natural Gas Pipeline route. [Before the committee was CSHJR 44(O&G)]. Number 1269 REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT OGAN, Alaska State Legislature, presented the sponsor statement for HJR 44 on behalf of the House Special Committee on Oil and Gas, which he chairs. He told the committee he thought the issue was extremely timely and encouraged moving the bill forward. He mentioned that the [U.S.] Senate was simultaneously debating energy legislation. He remarked, "We are hoping to have this in hand for our congressional delegation to clearly articulate a position of the State of Alaska on natural gas development and the pipeline routes." Number 1335 [There was a motion to adopt CSHJR 44(O&G), but it was already before the committee.] CO-CHAIR MASEK called an at-ease from 1:29 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN mentioned that he wanted to offer some technical amendments. Number 1385 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN said he thinks the resolution is a great idea, but he expressed concern about the length of the six-page resolution and the fact that it contains a lot of language about the route [of the proposed gas pipeline, which had already been set out at the congressional level]. He suggested offering a "rendered down" version to avoid creating any "friction." REPRESENTATIVE OGAN mentioned the difficulty of working on a resolution while legislation on the federal level is [changing]. He suggested keeping some references to the northern route. He said there will be a conference committee on the [U.S.] energy bill. Representative Ogan suggested that certain [oil company] producers might not be happy with the mandated southern route and may try to lobby some changes in conference committee [in Congress]. He agreed that the resolution was long. Number 1587 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN, in response to Co-Chair Masek, explained that the [resolution] had come out of [the Joint Committee on Natural Gas Pipelines]; he said the committee chairman had "pretty much introduced it and we did go over it as a joint committee." Representative Ogan mentioned that the bill had been "tweaked" in the House Special Committee on Oil and Gas. REPRESENTATIVE GREEN remarked that the [resolution] was in the House Special Committee on Oil and Gas well before the [U.S.] Senate had started hearing the issue. He expressed concern about timing. Number 1665 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN turned attention to page 3, line 2, and offered Amendment 1, which read [original punctuation provided]: Page 3, line 2 delete (S. 1766) replace with the "Energy Policy Act of 2002", REPRESENTATIVE OGAN explained that [the resolution] talks about [U.S.] S. 1766, but that isn't the bill currently before [Congress]. He added: "We just thought we should call it the Energy Policy Act of 2002, because that's what it's being referred to in [the] title. So, just a technical amendment so it doesn't confuse people about what bill it is. Again, this thing [the Congressional legislation] morphs faster than we can keep up with it, and it will probably morph again before it's over." Number 1726 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved to adopt the foregoing as Amendment 1. There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted. Number 1740 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN offered Amendment 2, which read [original punctuation provided]: Page 3 line 10 delete (and which right is not in S. 1766) REPRESENTATIVE OGAN referred to page 3, lines 7-10, which read: WHEREAS ANGTA granted the State of Alaska "authoriz[ation] to ship its royalty gas on the approved transportation system for use within Alaska and ... to withdraw such gas from the interstate market for use within Alaska," which rights will be impaired if a northern route is followed and which right is not in S. 1766; and REPRESENTATIVE OGAN explained that the language ["and which right is not in S. 1766"] would be removed [by Amendment 2] to conform because the northern-route issue had been settled and because it referred to the wrong bill. Number 1783 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN moved to adopt the foregoing as Amendment 2. There being no objection, Amendment 2 was adopted. CO-CHAIR MASEK announced that public testimony was closed. Number 1852 REPRESENTATIVE GREEN suggested a reduction of several of the "whereas" [clauses]. However, he mentioned the time constraint regarding the resolution and said maybe he would talk with [Representative Ogan] before the resolution goes to the [House] floor. Number 1903 REPRESENTATIVE OGAN said he would be happy to work with Representative Green on some possible floor amendments. He again mentioned the [U.S. energy bill] in Congress and time constraints. Number 1929 REPRESENTATIVE FATE agreed that time is of the essence. He offered his view that people in Washington, D.C., and the oil companies are looking for an "expression" that leads to an accelerated interest by "this" legislative body. He indicated other things in [the resolution] besides the northern route are extremely important so that Congress knows the interest at stake for Alaska. He concurred with moving the resolution from committee and instead having amendments on the floor. Number 1967 REPRESENTATIVE McGUIRE suggested Representative Kott, who chairs the House Rules Standing Committee, would be willing to hold a meeting there to clean up the language. REPRESENTATIVE OGAN reiterated his concern about time constraints. Number 2013 REPRESENTATIVE STEVENS offered his view that all of the [clauses] of the resolution were important. He suggested sending it along as it is. Number 2034 REPRESENTATIVE FATE moved to report CSHJR 44 [CSHJR 44(O&G), as amended] out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying zero fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHJR 44(RES) was moved out of the House Resources Standing Committee.