Legislature(2013 - 2014)BARNES 124

04/08/2013 01:00 PM RESOURCES


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Delayed to 1:30 p.m. Today --
*+ HJR 16 NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHJR 16(RES) Out of Committee
+ SJR 3 ENDORSING ANWR LEASING TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSSSJR 3(RES) Out of Committee
+ SJR 8 MINING/PROCESSING OF RARE EARTH ELEMENTS TELECONFERENCED
Moved HCS CSSJR 8(RES) Out of Committee
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                  HJR 16-NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:37:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  SADDLER  announced that  the  first  order of  business                                                               
would  be HOUSE  JOINT RESOLUTION  NO. 16,  Relating to  national                                                               
ocean policy.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:37:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SADDLER passed the gavel to Co-Chair Feige.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:37:50 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SADDLER,  prime sponsor,  introduced HJR 16,  saying the                                                               
resolution urges  an exemption for  the State of Alaska  from the                                                               
imminent  and  far-reaching federal  policy  to  manage and  zone                                                               
activities in marine and coastal  areas.  In 2010 President Obama                                                               
created  the  National Ocean  Council  (NOC)  by executive  fiat,                                                               
granting it  broad authority  to create  a national  ocean policy                                                               
(NOP)  that  would among  other  things,  ensure the  protection,                                                               
maintenance,  and restoration  of the  health of  ocean, coastal,                                                               
and Great Lakes ecosystems and  resources, and also to respond to                                                               
climate change and ocean acidification.   A key element of NOP is                                                               
to  develop   coastal  and  marine  spatial   plans  which  would                                                               
determine what, where, and when  activities are allowed in marine                                                               
and  coastal  areas,  and  in   inland  wetlands  and  waterways.                                                               
Activities that could be subject  to regulation include oil, gas,                                                               
and  renewable  energy   development,  fishing,  mining,  timber,                                                               
transportation, and  tourism.  Although  this policy  may benefit                                                               
the  Lower 48  - where  there is  high density  development -  in                                                               
Alaska the  need for additional  layers of federal  management is                                                               
not warranted.   In January 2012 NOC released  its National Ocean                                                               
Policy Draft  Implementation Plan and  the final plan is  soon to                                                               
be  released,  thus  now  is   the  time  for  the  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature  to urge  for  an  Alaska exemption  to  the NOP  and                                                               
coastal and  marine spatial  planning, or at  a minimum,  ask for                                                               
voluntary  state-by-state   participation  in  the   new  federal                                                               
policies.   Co-Chair  Saddler  acknowledged  that the  resolution                                                               
joins a  long list of  legislation addressing  federal overreach;                                                               
however,  this and  similar resolutions  are in  response to  the                                                               
ongoing unprecedented expansion of  federal authority, and Alaska                                                               
must maintain its control over  activities on its oceans, coasts,                                                               
and waterways.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:41:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HJR 16,  Version 28-LS0683\C, Nauman, 4/6/13,                                                               
as the  working document.   There being  no objection,  Version C                                                               
was before the committee.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:42:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE opened public testimony on HJR 16.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
1:42:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
STEPHANIE   MADSEN,   Executive   Director,   At-Sea   Processors                                                               
Association (APA), informed the committee  she has been an Alaska                                                               
resident  involved with  fisheries  for  approximately 40  years.                                                               
She  said  APA's  written  comments  in support  of  HJR  16  are                                                               
provided  in   the  committee  packet,  and   stressed  that  the                                                               
commercial fishing  industry has been participating  in the ocean                                                               
policy process for over 10 years  through the U. S. Commission on                                                               
Ocean  Policy,  H.R.  21  legislation,  and now  the  NOP.    The                                                               
industry's   goal  is   to  preserve   the  system   of  regional                                                               
stakeholder-driven  fishery management  that has  met success  in                                                               
Alaska.    However, the  draft  implementation  plan ignores  the                                                               
industry's  participation  and proposes  the  creation  of a  new                                                               
ocean resource management system; in  fact, the draft plan states                                                               
that  the fisheries  can be  better  managed, and  that NOP  will                                                               
improve future  management decisions.   This raises  the question                                                               
of: Decisions  made by whom?   Ms. Madsen said APA  suggests that                                                               
the  regional  fishery  management   council  process  should  be                                                               
exempted from the program, or that  NOP should be revised so that                                                               
it returns to a voluntary  planning process.  Previously, APA has                                                               
been told repeatedly that this  is a collegial voluntary process,                                                               
and if so, it is pleased to  participate, but if NOP is instead a                                                               
new  federal  bureaucracy with  the  aim  to regulate  all  ocean                                                               
activities, APA recommends Alaska  "opt-out."  She restated APA's                                                               
support for the resolution.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:45:15 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICK  ROGERS, Executive  Director,  Resource Development  Council                                                               
for Alaska,  Inc. (RDC), said RDC  has been engaged in  the issue                                                               
of NOP  in marine spatial planning  since July 2010.   He noted a                                                               
copy of  RDC's 4/3/12 testimony  before the  federal Subcommittee                                                               
on Fisheries,  Wildlife, Oceans,  & Insular Affairs  was provided                                                               
in the  committee packet.  Mr.  Rogers said RDC and  the National                                                               
Ocean Policy  Coalition are concerned  about NOP because  it will                                                               
have  a disproportionate  impact on  Alaska's resource  dependent                                                               
industries.   Alaska has over  34,000 miles of coastline  and NOP                                                               
adds  uncertainty  and  anxiety  to an  existing  cumbersome  and                                                               
complex  regime of  state and  federal permitting  and oversight.                                                               
The  abovementioned  organizations   question  whether  increased                                                               
bureaucracy  will  benefit  environmental  protection;  in  fact,                                                               
coastal marine  spatial planning  is an  unauthorized, regulatory                                                               
program  with a  federal top-down  approach.   For example,  eco-                                                               
system  based  management sounds  like  a  worthy goal,  however,                                                               
RDC's  concern  is that  it  will  lead to  a  paralysis/analysis                                                               
situation.    Also,  the  NOP stated  goal  of  reaching  onshore                                                               
activities may  lead to  undue federal  control of  Alaska's land                                                               
and resource management.   Marine spatial planning  may result in                                                               
restrictions to  marine waters and submerged  lands that override                                                               
the needs of Alaskans, particularly  if they affect the transport                                                               
and  shipping of  resources.   Mr.  Rogers pointed  out that  one                                                               
justification for  NOP is  to resolve conflicts,  but all  of the                                                               
competing  industries   in  Alaska   such  as   mining,  tourism,                                                               
forestry, oil  and gas, and fisheries  are collectively concerned                                                               
about  this policy.   He  summarized,  and urged  for the  timely                                                               
passage of the resolution.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:50:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DOUG   VINCENT-LANG,  Acting   Director,  Division   of  Wildlife                                                               
Conservation, Alaska Department of  Fish and Game, summarized the                                                               
state's  concerns on  ocean policy.    He read  from an  untitled                                                               
document as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Let  me  begin by  stating  that  Alaska has  a  strong                                                                    
     interest   in  assuring   the   continued  health   and                                                                    
     productivity of  its marine and coastal  resources.  We                                                                    
     rely   on  these   areas  for   commercial  and   sport                                                                    
     fisheries,      subsistence      uses,      recreation,                                                                    
     transportation,  shipping,  and  a multitude  of  other                                                                    
     uses.   Marine and coastal  resources are vital  to our                                                                    
     economy,  supporting a  vibrant  fishing industry  that                                                                    
     produces  almost   six  billion  dollars   in  economic                                                                    
     activity   in   our   state  annually,   accounts   for                                                                    
     approximately  60  percent   of  the  nation's  seafood                                                                    
     production,   and  is   our   largest  private   sector                                                                    
     employer.    Coastal  and  marine  areas  also  provide                                                                    
     abundant development  opportunities, such  as: offshore                                                                    
     oil and  gas, renewable energy, shipping,  and tourism.                                                                    
     With  over 44,000  miles of  shoreline  - more  mileage                                                                    
     than the  other eight proposed planning  areas combined                                                                    
     - and  an expansive EEZ, Alaska's  interest in managing                                                                    
     ocean and coastal resources cannot be overstated.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Implementation  of   the  President's   National  Ocean                                                                    
     Policy  institutes a  new federal  framework to  govern                                                                    
     marine  and coastal  activities.   Upon inspection,  it                                                                    
     federalizes  decision  processes regarding  marine  and                                                                    
     coastal activities  and embeds authority  into regional                                                                    
     governance  boards dominated  by  federal agencies  and                                                                    
     federal decision processes.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska's marine  and coastal  resources and  their uses                                                                    
     are  already tightly  regulated by  a vast  and diverse                                                                    
     array of  federal, state, and local  authorities.  This                                                                    
     existing  oversight has  a proven  track record  and is                                                                    
     fully  capable of  ensuring  the  long-term health  and                                                                    
     viability of our  marine and coastal resources.   We do                                                                    
     not believe additional  federal regulatory oversight is                                                                    
     needed  and we  oppose creation  of additional  federal                                                                    
     bureaucracy  and   regulation  and  view  this   as  an                                                                    
     unnecessary threat to our sovereignty.   We also do not                                                                    
     support   use   of   this   process   for   zoning   or                                                                    
     alternatively  termed  regulated  marine  use  planning                                                                    
     purposes.  Instead, we  support achieving efficiency by                                                                    
     relying   on  the   effective   proven  processes   and                                                                    
     authorities   that  are   already   in   place.     Any                                                                    
     establishment  of further  authority should  be through                                                                    
     Congressional action.   Congress  has a  keen awareness                                                                    
     of  the  current   multi-jurisdictional  structure  and                                                                    
     respect for the traditional  role of states in managing                                                                    
     their marine and coastal resources.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Jurisdiction  and   management  decisions   for  marine                                                                    
     waters  and  submerged  lands  and  responsibility  for                                                                    
     marine  and   coastal  activities  and   ecosystems  is                                                                    
     divided between the states  and the federal government.                                                                    
     Alaska's jurisdiction includes  uplands, wetlands, tide                                                                    
     and  submerged lands  and  extends  out three  nautical                                                                    
     miles to  the territorial  limit.  Within  these areas,                                                                    
     Alaska manages  and leases lands, and  with federal and                                                                    
     local  agencies,  permits  or restricts  activities  on                                                                    
     them that  could impact the  environment.    Alaska and                                                                    
     the federal  government each have  respective sovereign                                                                    
     responsibilities and  authorities to  maintain healthy,                                                                    
     resilient,   and   sustainable   marine   and   coastal                                                                    
     resources.   Any  adopted  program  must recognize  and                                                                    
     respect    Alaska's    jurisdiction    and    sovereign                                                                    
     authorities.   Coastal  states  must  be recognized  as                                                                    
     equal   partners  with   sovereign  jurisdictions   and                                                                    
     authorities,  not relegated  to  stakeholder status  in                                                                    
     marine    and    coastal   policy    development    and                                                                    
     implementation.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Rather  than  development  and  implementation  of  new                                                                    
     regulatory   programs,   a   better  focus   would   be                                                                    
     investment   in   Arctic  research,   monitoring,   and                                                                    
     infrastructure.  In short, we  need more resources, not                                                                    
     more rules,  to ensure conservation of  our coastal and                                                                    
     marine  resources.    It  is unfortunate  that the  new                                                                    
     planning effort is draining agency  resources at a time                                                                    
     when core  agency functions are struggling  for funding                                                                    
     due to  declining federal  budgets.   We prefer  to see                                                                    
     the federal government focus its  resources on the many                                                                    
     needs  in  the  Arctic  and to  focus  on  much  needed                                                                    
     research   and   monitoring   rather   than   expending                                                                    
     resources  on an  unnecessary and  duplicative planning                                                                    
     effort.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     Finally,  to   ensure  an  effective  outcome,   it  is                                                                    
     important  that   any  planning  effort   have  clearly                                                                    
     defined  expected  outcomes, an  appropriate  timeline,                                                                    
     and provides  both the states  and the users  of marine                                                                    
     and  coastal   resources  with  primary   authority  to                                                                    
     develop ocean  and coastal policies.   Despite numerous                                                                    
     requests by  the state to provide  such specifics, they                                                                    
     have  yet to  be  provided by  the federal  government.                                                                    
     The  health and  management of  our marine  and coastal                                                                    
     resources  is  simply  too  critical  to  engage  in  a                                                                    
     process  that  does  not  provide  meaningful  dialogue                                                                    
     opportunities to address stated concerns.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     In  closing,  this  policy  is  simply  not  ready  for                                                                    
     implementation in Alaska.   Until requested details are                                                                    
     provided,  especially with  respect  to governance  and                                                                    
     regulated use, the State cannot  support this effort as                                                                    
     currently  described.    We urge  Congress  to  involve                                                                    
     itself  in  this process  and  for  the National  Ocean                                                                    
     Council  to  delay  implementation of  this  policy  to                                                                    
     allow  more meaningful  dialogue to  address state  and                                                                    
     other affected  users concerns.   We  also urge  a more                                                                    
     meaningful dialogue with the  State that recognizes its                                                                    
     sovereign authorities and responsibilities.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     We  appreciate  your  resolution  and  the  concern  it                                                                    
     expresses.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:56:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  FEIGE,  after  ascertaining   no  one  else  wished  to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON observed  that the  transfer of  authority                                                               
for  permitting  finfish  aquaculture  in offshore  areas  is  of                                                               
concern.   The  state has  prohibited pen-reared  finfish farming                                                               
within state waters  and if the federal  government proceeds with                                                               
regulations  to allow  the permitting  of finfish  aquaculture it                                                               
could be  very detrimental to  fisheries in  Alaska.  He  said he                                                               
supports the resolution.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK  raised questions  about the  executive order                                                               
and read:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Final   recommendations   shall  be   made   publically                                                                    
     available  for which  a notice  of public  availability                                                                    
     shall  be  published  in a  federal  register  ...  the                                                                    
     establishment  of a  National  Ocean  Council ...  this                                                                    
     order is not  intended to or does not  create any right                                                                    
     or benefit,  substantive or procedural,  enforceable at                                                                    
     law or in equity by any party against ...                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE TUCK asked if the  findings of the [National Ocean                                                               
Council]  are  just  recommendations   or  will  become  law  and                                                               
regulation.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:58:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SADDLER responded:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     There  is  a  disclaimer  that would  not  be  law  but                                                                    
     federal   regulation,  and   management  practices   of                                                                    
     federal agencies in Alaska  carry tremendous amounts of                                                                    
     weight and effectiveness.  So  it may be a distinction,                                                                    
     not a difference, to say  they're not law, but it would                                                                    
     still  be effective.  I don't  think  you can  actually                                                                    
     create law by executive order.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  TUCK  surmised  then  that the  findings  of  the                                                               
[Council] from the executive order will become recommendations.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SADDLER said no, they are policies.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:59:42 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE said:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Which  would  then  mean, you  could  have  regulations                                                                    
     written against  those policies, and  those regulations                                                                    
     would then have the force of law.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR FEIGE added  that he and Representative  Saddler went to                                                               
a meeting with employees of  the National Oceanic and Atmospheric                                                               
Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department  of Commerce, who would be                                                               
administering  NOC,  and  his impression  was  that  the  federal                                                               
government does not  have the assets to enforce,  or research and                                                               
understand, a program managing  Alaska's coastline, which exceeds                                                               
the total  coastline of  the rest  of the country.   In  light of                                                               
federal  budget concerns,  he questioned  whether  the policy  is                                                               
merely a way to arbitrarily  impose the federal government's will                                                               
on U.S.  waters surrounding Alaska.   Co-Chair Feige  doubted the                                                               
ability  of the  federal government  to make  educated, informed,                                                               
science-based   decisions    regarding   the    nation's   oceans                                                               
surrounding Alaska.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON  returned   attention  to  the  subsection                                                               
identified  by  Representative  Tuck,  found on  page  7  of  the                                                               
executive order which read:                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     (d)   This  order is  not  intended to,  and does  not,                                                                    
     create   any   right   or   benefit,   substantive   or                                                                    
     procedural,  enforceable at  law  or in  equity by  any                                                                    
     party  against  the  United  States,  its  departments,                                                                    
     agencies,  or  entities,  its officers,  employees,  or                                                                    
     agents, or any other person.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON  advised the  subsection does not  say this                                                               
will not be policy that will control actions at sea.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:02:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  called  attention  to  section  6,  sub-                                                               
subparagraph (i) which read:                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     (i)   take such  action as  necessary to  implement the                                                                    
     policy set  forth in  section 2 of  this order  and the                                                                    
     stewardship    principles    and   national    priority                                                                    
     objectives as set for the  in the Final Recommendations                                                                    
     and subsequent guidance from the Council; and                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  opined the  above instructs  the agencies                                                               
to  basically  implement  the  policy;   previous  to  that,  "it                                                               
instructs other agencies to fund  it."  He questioned whether the                                                               
phrase, "as  applicable by law"  is a regulation or  an executive                                                               
order.  Representative Johnson  characterized the executive order                                                               
under   discussion  as   "a  very   far-reaching  and   dangerous                                                               
document."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON   clarified  he  is  supporting   HJR  16,                                                               
however, there  are circumstances  when certain  restricted areas                                                               
on and off the coast  that are identified by regional management,                                                               
are important and beneficial to the state.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE   P.  WILSON   said   she   will  co-sponsor   the                                                               
resolution.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR SADDLER  agreed with the  previous comments,  saying HJR
16 does  not stand in the  way of the policy,  but Alaska's needs                                                               
are unique  and the resolution  urges the  federal administration                                                               
to consider exempting Alaska.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:05:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON moved to report  the proposed committee                                                               
substitute  for HJR  16, Version  28-LS0683\C,  out of  committee                                                               
with individual recommendations and  the accompanying zero fiscal                                                               
notes.   There  being no  objection, CSHJR  16(RES) was  reported                                                               
from the House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                                    

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR16 Executive Order 13547.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR16 Fiscal Note - LAA.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR16 National Ocean Council.xps HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR16 NOP Draft Implementation Plan Comments.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR16 NOPC Comments on Draft Implementation Plan.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR16 RDC NOP Comments.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR16 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR16 Version N.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
HJR 16
HJR16 Work Draft (Version C).pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
HJR 16
SJR3 113th Congress HR49.xps HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR3 ANWR Top Ten.xps HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR3 Arctic Power Fact Sheet.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR3 Fiscal Note - LAA.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR3 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 3
SJR3 Version O.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR3 Work Draft (Version P).pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR8 DGGS REEs Overview.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 8
SJR8 Fiscal Note - SRES.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 8
SJR8 RDC Letter.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 8
SJR8 SEC Resolution.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 8
SJR8 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 8
SJR8 Ucore Letter.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 8
SJR8 Version U.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM
SJR 8
LAA Legislative Resolutions.pdf HRES 4/8/2013 1:00:00 PM