Legislature(2015 - 2016)BARNES 124

02/02/2015 01:00 PM House RESOURCES

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved HJR 9 Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
Moved CSHJR 10(RES) Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
+ Confirmation Hearings: TELECONFERENCED
- Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
- Board of Fisheries
-- Public Testimony --
<Above Item Removed from Agenda>
           HJR 10-OPPOSE ANWR WILDERNESS DESIGNATION                                                                        
1:05:09 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR HAWKER  announced that the first order  of business is                                                               
HOUSE   JOINT   RESOLUTION   NO.   10,   Opposing   the   revised                                                               
Comprehensive   Conservation   Plan  and   Environmental   Impact                                                               
Statement  for  the  Arctic National  Wildlife  Refuge;  opposing                                                               
attempts by  President Obama to  alter management of  the coastal                                                               
plain  of the  Arctic National  Wildlife Refuge;  encouraging the                                                               
United States Congress to reject  a proposal based on the revised                                                               
Comprehensive  Conservation  Plan or  accompanying  Environmental                                                               
Impact Statement;  and encouraging the United  States Congress to                                                               
reject a  proposal that does  not open  the coastal plain  of the                                                               
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development.                                                                     
1:06:12 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR NAGEAK, sponsor, introduced HJR  10 by speaking from his                                                               
sponsor statement,  which read  as follows  [original punctuation                                                               
          The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has introduced a                                                                     
     new draft Comprehensive Conservation  Plan to turn more                                                                    
     than 12  million acres of the  Arctic National Wildlife                                                                    
     Refuge (ANWR)  into Wilderness, effectively  ending any                                                                    
     chance  the  lands  can  be managed  for  oil  and  gas                                                                    
     exploration and  development.   This includes  the 1002                                                                    
     area on  the Coastal Plain, which  was specifically set                                                                    
     aside for such  purposes.  It also  includes 10 million                                                                    
     acres   offshore.  With   the   onshore  and   offshore                                                                    
     combined, this is an area  larger than 10 states, or 28                                                                    
     Rhode Islands.   This is in addition to  the already 58                                                                    
     million acres of federal  Wilderness which accounts for                                                                    
     53 percent of America's federal Wilderness areas.                                                                          
          The 1002 area of ANWR was excluded from                                                                               
     Wilderness designation  in a compromise made  under the                                                                    
     1980  Alaska National  Interest Lands  Conservation Act                                                                    
     (ANILCA).   In exchange,  Congress doubled the  size of                                                                    
     the refuge  and designated eight million  acres outside                                                                    
     the 1002 area as Wilderness.                                                                                               
          The Comprehensive Conservation Plan fails to                                                                          
     clearly  guarantee  protection of  subsistence  access,                                                                    
     resources  and  uses, and  further  is  an exercise  in                                                                    
     disparate treatment  of two distinct  indigenous Alaska                                                                    
     Native  groups,  the   Inupiat  and  Gwich'in;  thereby                                                                    
     limiting  access  to  privately  owned  lands  held  by                                                                    
     Kaktovik Inupiat Corporation  and Arctic Slope Regional                                                                    
     Corporation  through  a Wilderness  designation,  while                                                                    
     failing to  incorporate lands on  the southern  edge of                                                                    
     ANWR into this same designation.                                                                                           
          The people of the Arctic Slope region, especially                                                                     
     the  residents of  Kaktovik,  are conservation  minded,                                                                    
     and yet rely on responsible  oil and gas development to                                                                    
     sustain their  communities.  This  proposed designation                                                                    
     as announced  would effectively slam  the door  shut on                                                                    
     the substantial economic  opportunities associated with                                                                    
     future development  of the  potential resources  in the                                                                    
     Coastal Plain.                                                                                                             
          Alaskans strongly oppose a Wilderness designation                                                                     
     on  ANWR's  coastal plain.    In  fact, 78  percent  of                                                                    
     Alaskans  support oil  exploration  in  the 1002  area.                                                                    
     Every  Alaskan  Governor   and  every  legislature  and                                                                    
     elected congressional  representative and  senator from                                                                    
     Alaska  has  supported  responsible development.    The                                                                    
     North  Slope  Borough  and  the  Alaska  Federation  of                                                                    
     Natives also  support responsible development,  as well                                                                    
     as  a  majority of  residents  in  Kaktovik, a  village                                                                    
     within the Coastal Plain.                                                                                                  
1:09:33 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  HAWKER noted that  the confirmation hearings  for the                                                               
Alaska  Oil and  Gas  Conservation Commission  and  the Board  of                                                               
Fisheries,  originally scheduled  for today,  were cancelled  and                                                               
will be held at a later date.                                                                                                   
1:10:27 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON, noting he is  a co-sponsor of HJR 10, said                                                               
he does  not think Congress  will approve  Wilderness designation                                                               
of the  1002 area as  recently proposed  by President Obama.   He                                                               
inquired whether that  area will now be treated  as Wilderness by                                                               
the Fish  and Wildlife  Service and the  federal government  as a                                                               
result of President Obama's request.                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR NAGEAK replied that [management  as Wilderness] has been                                                               
done since the  very beginning.  Although the area  was set aside                                                               
in 1987  as a potential  for oil  and gas development,  it hasn't                                                               
come.   People live off that  land and the majority  of people in                                                               
Kaktovik, where  he was born, support  responsible development of                                                               
the 1002  area.  He  related that  the Fish and  Wildlife Service                                                               
has  said it  does not  want development  or activity  on federal                                                               
lands.  He  said he has fought the Fish  and Wildlife Service for                                                               
many, many years.  He had  problems with the agency's people when                                                               
the agency  was working on the  walrus issue and he  was chairman                                                               
of  the  Eskimo  Walrus  Commission,  as  well  as  when  he  was                                                               
"director  of wildlife  management"  and  the "Porcupine  Caribou                                                               
treaty" was  being held.   He argued  that the Fish  and Wildlife                                                               
Service  is  supposed  to  do  what  the  legislation  says,  not                                                               
something  on its  own; for  example, the  agency did  this study                                                               
about the  oil and gas potential  and why the U.S.  should not do                                                               
that in  the interest  of the  wildlife in that  area.   The 1987                                                               
designation for  oil and  gas didn't stop  the agency  from doing                                                               
what  it has  done and  now  the agency  has convinced  President                                                               
Obama to  do shut this area  to oil and gas.   He said it  is the                                                               
purview of Congress,  not the agencies, to  designate what should                                                               
be open or closed.                                                                                                              
1:15:39 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON  observed  that the  sponsor  statement                                                               
says  the Comprehensive  Conservation  Plan  includes 10  million                                                               
acres offshore.  Trying to  ascertain where that 10 million acres                                                               
is located,  he asked whether  it is within the  three-mile limit                                                               
or is some  of the disputed Beaufort Sea  in the administration's                                                               
other order about offshore drilling.                                                                                            
CO-CHAIR NAGEAK responded that in  Native Country when discussing                                                               
tribal lands  and tribal waters  and what  [a tribe] owns  or has                                                               
controlled  for  millennia, the  Arctic  Ocean  is always  talked                                                               
about as  a whole.   [Tribes] control or  own the area  miles out                                                               
offshore.  He has hunted there  for bearded seals.  He has waited                                                               
for his cousins and uncles to  come back from whaling when he was                                                               
the director of  wildlife management and they went  way out there                                                               
a lot  of times.   He has seen his  aunts and uncles  waiting for                                                               
their children  to come back from  hunting way out in  the ocean.                                                               
The  people living  along the  coast  consider that  to be  their                                                               
garden and they  do everything to protect it, but  they also know                                                               
that in some places economic  development is needed and would not                                                               
destroy the  beauty and the animals  that live on the  land or in                                                               
the water in that region.                                                                                                       
1:18:03 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR  noted the committee  packet has  no official                                                               
communication  from the  North Slope  Borough or  the village  of                                                               
Kaktovik.   She  inquired whether  either  of them  has taken  an                                                               
official position on HJR 10.                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR NAGEAK answered  that he thinks the  North Slope Borough                                                               
has, but he does  not know if the Native community  has or if the                                                               
community of  Kaktovik has.  He  said that in the  past they have                                                               
opposed designating the  1002 area as Wilderness and  he does not                                                               
believe  that  has changed.    While  a  few people  are  against                                                               
development in the  1002 area, the majority who  live in Kaktovik                                                               
support designating  that area for  oil and gas development.   It                                                               
is a  wonderful place and  people make  their homes there.   Many                                                               
homes  were  built in  the  1970s  and  are  in need  of  repair.                                                               
Economic opportunity  would allow people  to fix those  homes and                                                               
would allow  the North Slope Borough  to do more for  the village                                                               
and the  whole region.  In  the village, people would  be able to                                                               
produce oil  and gas in their  own land.  The  federal government                                                               
created corporations  instead of  tribes like the  people wanted.                                                               
What do corporations do?  They  make money.  What is the resource                                                               
for economic development  in the North Slope area?   Oil and gas.                                                               
Through village  and regional corporations,  the people  own that                                                               
oil  and  gas.    This  includes not  only  the  Arctic  National                                                               
Wildlife Refuge,  but also the National  Petroleum Reserve-Alaska                                                               
(NPR-A) where he now lives.                                                                                                     
1:21:02 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  NAGEAK  continued, stating  that  Gates  of the  Arctic                                                               
National Park  & Preserve was  created by Congress  without input                                                               
from the local people.  For  thousands and thousands of years the                                                               
local  people used  trails to  go  to the  plentiful hunting  and                                                               
fishing  opportunities.   But the  National  Park Service  closed                                                               
those traditional  areas where generations upon  generations went                                                               
hunting.   So, the Arctic  Slope Regional Corporation had  a land                                                               
exchange with the federal government  in the NPR-A, which allowed                                                               
the people  to travel.   That  is the  federal government  he has                                                               
lived with since childhood, he  said, but people are not children                                                               
anymore and they  have lived there for a very  long time and have                                                               
not done  anything bad to it.   This is  why he is so  adamant to                                                               
make sure that the people are  allowed to do their own thing with                                                               
the land  they own  instead of the  federal government  saying to                                                               
the people  that it doesn't trust  them and is going  to shut off                                                               
the land.                                                                                                                       
1:24:01 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON said he would  like HJR 10 to move forward,                                                               
but suggested that before the  resolution gets to the House floor                                                               
a  whereas or  resolved clause  be added  that states  [the area]                                                               
should not be used and managed  as defacto Wilderness by the Fish                                                               
and Wildlife Service.   He further suggested  that a distribution                                                               
list be added to HJR 10  such that all members of Congress should                                                               
receive a copy of the resolution.                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR NAGEAK agreed.                                                                                                         
1:25:16 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE TARR requested some  direction from the sponsor on                                                               
the issue of  global climate change and melting sea  ice, and how                                                               
that is affecting  subsistence activities in the area.   She said                                                               
she would  like to have  enough information to understand  how to                                                               
honor  the subsistence  tradition while  also having  opportunity                                                               
for  economic  development  given the  environmental  effects  of                                                               
climate change.                                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR  NAGEAK replied  that animals  and people  have adaptive                                                               
capabilities to  changes in  their lives.   For example,  tens of                                                               
thousands of  walrus are now hauling  out on Icy Cape  near Point                                                               
Hope.  So, he maintained, those  walrus adapted.  Polar bears are                                                               
adapting too.   In the  summer they are  now along the  coast and                                                               
there are places for them to feed.   For example, in his town the                                                               
blubber from  whales is  left on  the point  and animals  come to                                                               
feed themselves.  Seals are also  adapting.  People are told they                                                               
cannot do  something because  the animals  will be  endangered or                                                               
depleted, but that  time hasn't come yet.  No  one in their right                                                               
mind without any scientific studies  would designate an area, and                                                               
the animals in that area,  as warranting protection from an event                                                               
that  hasn't  really  happened  yet.   That  doesn't  make  sense                                                               
because people and animals adapt.                                                                                               
1:29:24 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON expressed his  doubt that closing industry                                                               
in Alaska and  moving people out of Alaska would  have any effect                                                               
on climate change.   Although Alaska is a big  pawn in that game,                                                               
until the rest of the world  quits burning coal and quits the way                                                               
they produce energy,  Alaska should not be the  poster child when                                                               
Alaska contributes such  a small carbon footprint  to the overall                                                               
problem.  Until there is a  handle on the world's climate change,                                                               
he is tired of Alaska being  the poster child and the fundraising                                                               
tool to save the planet at the expense of the state's economy.                                                                  
1:31:09 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR HAWKER opened public  testimony on HJR 10, then closed                                                               
it after ascertaining no one wished to testify.                                                                                 
VICE CHAIR HAWKER,  noting that the addition of  a whereas clause                                                               
would be complicated  and was not been provided  to the committee                                                               
earlier, suggested  that a conceptual  amendment only  be offered                                                               
for the addition of a distribution list.                                                                                        
1:33:13 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE HERRON said he would  offer Conceptual Amendment 1                                                               
to add to the very end of  the distribution list [page 5, line 3]                                                               
"and all other members of the 114th United States Congress."                                                                    
VICE CHAIR HAWKER  objected for discussion purposes.   He said he                                                               
is  interpreting  Representative  Herron's  offer  of  Conceptual                                                               
Amendment 1 to be  the same as a motion.   Vice Chair Hawker then                                                               
withdrew  his  objection.   There  being  no  further  objection,                                                               
Conceptual Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                                             
1:34:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE JOSEPHSON said part of  the reason for there being                                                               
an interest  in doing something  [about climate change]  within a                                                               
state of only 720,000 people, is  the belief that it has to start                                                               
with  each individual.   He  agreed  with Representative  Johnson                                                               
that Alaska's  impact is de minimus  relative to the rest  of the                                                               
country and he  agreed that the rest of the  world needs to lead.                                                               
Relative to whether Alaska is a  poster child, he said he doesn't                                                               
think anyone is trying to  provoke Alaskans with this recognition                                                               
of Alaska  and the Arctic as  a poster child.   He proffered that                                                               
Alaska is in fact the poster  child because of the change that is                                                               
so self-evident and empirically proven at this point.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  JOSEPHSON,   regarding  HJR  10,   expressed  his                                                               
concern about  the boundaries of  the Conservation  Plan, stating                                                               
that "Shell's  record in 2012 was  quite awful."  Even  though in                                                               
2013 he supported  a resolution for Arctic drilling,  he is going                                                               
to revisit that  subject when it comes before the  body or before                                                               
this committee.   However, the focus  of HJR 10 is  clearly about                                                               
drilling  in  the  Arctic National  Wildlife  Refuge.    Drilling                                                               
efforts of the  past are proprietary and  profoundly secret, open                                                               
seeps have been found, and  the [Trans-Alaska Pipeline System] is                                                               
in good  working order and  Judge Gleason  has found it  can work                                                               
for  another  30  years.    The state  is  running  out  of  oil.                                                               
Although the  appeal of visiting  the Coastal Plain for  its view                                                               
scape and  its untrammeled space  will be lost  with development,                                                               
he  said he  supports drilling  in the  Arctic National  Wildlife                                                               
Refuge and therefore supports HJR 10.                                                                                           
VICE  CHAIR  HAWKER,  responding  to  Representative  Josephson's                                                               
comments, pointed  out that  while drilling  is a  consequence of                                                               
the issues  contemplated in  HJR 10,  the resolution  is opposing                                                               
the  designation of  the  Arctic National  Wildlife  Refuge as  a                                                               
Wilderness area  with all  of those  consequences.   However, the                                                               
other  resolution that  the committee  will  be addressing  today                                                               
[HJR 9] does endorse the leasing activities in the refuge.                                                                      
1:38:10 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE SEATON supported HJR  10, but cautioned that while                                                               
the sponsor  statement says that  biological systems  adapt, that                                                               
doesn't mean there  is no need to worry  about biological systems                                                               
and impacting  them.  Ocean  acidification is  severely impacting                                                               
some of  the shellfish  along Alaska's beaches.   He  urged there                                                               
not be  such a broad  brush in  looking at global  climate change                                                               
and  it being  said  that no  analysis is  needed  on the  direct                                                               
impact of activities on species.   Species do need to be watched,                                                               
he continued,  whether it  is caribou  herds and  their migration                                                               
patterns or whether  there is direct impact on  fishery or animal                                                               
populations  in  Alaska.    Analysis should  always  be  done  on                                                               
whether activities will have significant  and immediate impact on                                                               
VICE  CHAIR  HAWKER concurred  with  Representative  Seaton.   He                                                               
added that  this is the first  time a resolution has  been before                                                               
the committee opposing Wilderness designation.   It is a new item                                                               
before  the  committee in  response  to  the chief  executive  in                                                               
Washington,  DC,  locking up  another  big  chunk of  Alaska  and                                                               
stopping  development by  executive  decision rather  than by  an                                                               
appropriate  deliberative process  through the  legislature.   He                                                               
said he  spent his first 15  years in Alaska living  on the North                                                               
Slope in Barrow  working on the original  KIC-1 drilling program.                                                               
Thirty plus years later, nothing  has been accomplished.  Now the                                                               
chief  executive   of  the  United  States   is  eliminating  all                                                               
opportunities for  the state  of Alaska and  therefore this  is a                                                               
timely resolution to consider.                                                                                                  
REPRESENTATIVE  HERRON  related   his  recent  conversation  with                                                               
Catherine Stevens, widow  of U.S. Senator Ted  Stevens, about the                                                               
many  times Senator  Stevens tried  to open  the Arctic  National                                                               
Wildlife Refuge to development.                                                                                                 
1:43:28 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE OLSON moved  to report HJR 10, as  amended, out of                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations and  the accompanying                                                               
[zero fiscal note].  There  being no objection, CSHJR 10(RES) was                                                               
reported from the House Resources Standing Committee.                                                                           

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HJR 9 - Legislation.pdf HRES 2/2/2015 1:00:00 PM
HJR 9 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 2/2/2015 1:00:00 PM
HJR 9 - Supporting Document - ANWR All Areas.pdf HRES 2/2/2015 1:00:00 PM
HJR 10 Sponsor Statement.pdf HRES 2/2/2015 1:00:00 PM
HJR 10
HJR 10 Sponsor Statement
HJR010A.pdf HRES 2/2/2015 1:00:00 PM
HJR 10
HJR 10 Sectional Analysis.pdf HRES 2/2/2015 1:00:00 PM
HJR 10
Board of Fisheries - Maw #1.pdf HRES 2/2/2015 1:00:00 PM
Board Oil and Gas Conserv - Gallagher #1.pdf HRES 2/2/2015 1:00:00 PM
HJR 9 - Supporting Document - Economic Impact.pdf HRES 2/2/2015 1:00:00 PM