Legislature(1993 - 1994)

04/15/1993 05:00 PM TRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  ACTION NARRATIVE                                                             
  TAPE 93-16, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 014                                                                   
  VICE-CHAIR DAVIS called the meeting to order at 5:20 p.m.,                   
  and stated that HB 184 would be held over until the next                     
  scheduled House Transportation Committee meeting due to time                 
  constraints.  Vice-Chair Davis also noted that HB 46 would                   
  be assigned to a subcommittee consisting of Representative                   
  Mulder and Representative Mackie.  Vice-Chair Davis also                     
  noted that HB 237 would also be assigned to a subcommittee                   
  consisting of Representative Hudson and Representative                       
  HB 237 MARINE PILOT LICENSING AND TARIFFS                                    
  Number 074                                                                   
  VICE-CHAIR DAVIS requested those wanting to testify on                       
  HB 237 on the teleconference system to present their                         
  statements to the committee at this time.                                    
  Number 078                                                                   
  AGENCIES, INC., began his testimony discounting previous                     
  testimony before the Labor and Commerce Committee.  Mr.                      
  Blackmore said it was his understanding that another pilot                   
  group in Dutch Harbor was performing unsafe pilotage,                        
  specifically, in the East Channel transit, and the reason                    
  being that Alaska Marine Pilots refused to move the vessel                   
  because of their concern over the depth of the water in the                  
  channel and the draft of the vessel.                                         
  MR. BLACKMORE stated that he believed competition in                         
  pilotage must be able to continue throughout the state of                    
  Alaska and has been shown to actually benefit safety                         
  concerns of the state.  Because of the competition, he                       
  believes that it gives the groups more reason to perform a                   
  better service, not the poor or unsafe groups that people                    
  are trying to make them believe.  Mr. Blackmore also stated                  
  that another advantage of competitive pilotage was that                      
  actions and costs must be justified.  He stressed his                        
  support towards competition and the desire that competition                  
  between the two groups increase, which would result in                       
  continued improvement and performance.                                       
  VICE-CHAIR DAVIS asked if there were questions for Mr.                       
  Blackmore.  Since there were no questions, he asked MICHAEL                  
  SPENCE to present his testimony.                                             
  ASSOCIATION, addressed his concerns contained in HB 237,                     
  which related to fixing tariffs, fixing the number of pilots                 
  in a region, and the measure forbidding cross-regional                       
  pilotage.  He felt these measures were intended to prevent                   
  or stifle competitive pilotage.  He discussed previous                       
  monopoly problems within the history of pilotage and that                    
  those problems led to the formation of a new organization,                   
  The Alaska Coastwise Pilot's Organization.  Mr. Spence said                  
  his organization has efficient dispatching, has optimized                    
  their manpower, and has reduced overhead costs.  He stated                   
  that the group which holds the dominant share of the market                  
  in Southeast Alaska, joined by the dominant groups in other                  
  regions, are the groups which currently seek legislation to                  
  prevent or limit competition.                                                
  MR. SPENCE mentioned that giving authority to the APUC                       
  (Alaska Public Utilities Commission) to set fixed tariffs                    
  may indeed move the tariff-setting process to a more                         
  organized venue for rate setting, however, at an increased                   
  costs to already burdensome fees.  He felt fixed tariff was                  
  anti-competitive since it disabled a new organization of                     
  pilots from offering a lower price to shippers.  He stated                   
  that if the APUC was involved, it should be setting a                        
  maximum rate tariff, not a fixed tariff.                                     
  MR. SPENCE remarked that HB 237 was not legislation which                    
  promoted safety of shipping or environment; it was a bill                    
  that promoted economic safety of already dominant pilot                      
  Number 330                                                                   
  BILL SHARP, representing pilot groups in the Ketchikan area,                 
  asked Vice-Chair Davis whether he had heard correctly.  He                   
  asked if HB 237 was going to be referred to a subcommittee                   
  consisting of Representative Mackie and Representative                       
  VICE-CHAIR DAVIS replied that was indeed the case.                           
  MR. SHARP indicated he echoed the concerns of the previous                   
  witness, Michael Spence.  Mr. Sharp stated that he did not                   
  want to take of the committee time and he would work with                    
  the subcommittee in the future.                                              
  Number 355                                                                   
  BERNIE SMITH, representing TESORO, spoke on the                              
  teleconference network against HB 237 and stated that he                     
  would present his comments in writing to the subcommittee.                   
  He stated Tesoro was willing to negotiate with the pilots                    
  and had done so twice recently.                                              
  VICE-CHAIR DAVIS stated that since there was no one else to                  
  testify via teleconference, he would move for testimony from                 
  the audience.                                                                
  Number 383                                                                   
  WILL ANDERSON, testifying in support of HB 237, noted that                   
  he would submit written testimony and work with the                          
  subcommittee during the interim on HB 237.                                   
  LARRY COTTER, a lobbyist representing the ALASKA STEAMSHIP                   
  COMPANY, testified against HB 237.  Mr. Cotter felt that the                 
  best way to address the current problems were for those                      
  involved to sit down together and work out the issues.  He                   
  further stated that he didn't think the current system was                   
  broken, it merely needed more tuning and thought it could be                 
  fixed.  Mr. Cotter stated he would also address his concerns                 
  before the subcommittee.                                                     
  Number 443                                                                   
  VICE-CHAIR DAVIS said he hoped that the parties on both                      
  sides of this proposed legislation would communicate between                 
  themselves and try and reach a compromise with the                           
  Number 449                                                                   
  noted that he was opposed to the current version of HB 237.                  
  However, he didn't want to take up a lot of the committee's                  
  time and he would be contacting the subcommittee and                         
  maintain his interest and address his concerns to them.                      
  MR. ZANE asked Vice-Chair Davis what a subcommittee's                        
  responsibilities were.                                                       
  VICE-CHAIR DAVIS replied that they would work on all                         
  recommendations, would not take any official action, and                     
  would report their recommendations to the full committee.                    
  Number 498                                                                   
  VICE-CHAIR DAVIS ADJOURNED the House Transportation                          
  Committee meeting at 5:50 p.m.                                               

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