Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205


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03:31:46 PM Start
03:33:06 PM HJR5
04:11:08 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved SCS CSHJR 5(ARC) Out of Committee
-- Public Testimony --
         HJR  5-ENDORSING ANWR LEASING; RELATED ISSUES                                                                      
CHAIR  GIESSEL announced  consideration of  HJR 5.  [CSHJR 5(AET)                                                               
labeled 30-LS0314\J,  was before the committee.]  She stated that                                                               
opening the Arctic National Wildlife  Refuge (ANWR) 1002 Area has                                                               
been  the subject  of countless  efforts by  this legislature.  A                                                               
product of the  compromise of the Alaska  National Interest Lands                                                               
Conservation Act  (ANILCA), this area was  specifically set aside                                                               
for   potential  exploration   and  resource   development.  This                                                               
resolution  supports  the  efforts of  the  Alaska  congressional                                                               
delegation to  complete the compromise fashioned  all those years                                                               
ago  to  preserve  the industry  and  infrastructure  that  keeps                                                               
Alaska great.                                                                                                                   
3:33:06 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  DEAN WESTLAKE,  Alaska State  Legislature, Kiana,                                                               
Alaska, sponsor  of HJR  5, stated that  the resolution  is about                                                               
the  coastal  plain  of  ANWR,  which is  in  his  district.  His                                                               
constituents  rely heavily  on subsistence,  but  they also  need                                                               
jobs, meaning  resource development jobs, and  this measure urges                                                               
the U.S. Congress to pass  legislation to open the coastal plains                                                               
of ANWR  to oil and  gas development.  It would be  beneficial to                                                               
both  Alaska and  the United  States creating  thousands of  jobs                                                               
across  the nation.  He  concluded that  he  interested in  jobs,                                                               
jobs, and subsistence.                                                                                                          
3:34:13 PM                                                                                                                    
JESSE LOGAN, staff to Representative  Dean Westlake, Alaska State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau,  Alaska, said  HJR  5  signifies a  unified                                                               
voice  from the  State Legislature  to Congress  prioritizing the                                                               
opening  of the  coastal plain  of ANWR.  It recognizes  that the                                                               
state has made efforts in  developing renewable energy and is not                                                               
focusing solely on  fossil fuels. In the end,  this resolution is                                                               
mostly about  self-determination for the state  in developing its                                                               
own resources and being able to  pay its own way, and having jobs                                                               
and a thriving economy.                                                                                                         
SENATOR KELLY  thanked Representative  Westlake for  bringing the                                                               
resolution  forward and  commented  that he  would  move it  from                                                               
committee now if he could, but it has to go through the process.                                                                
SENATOR OLSON  asked what kind  of opposition the other  body had                                                               
to this resolution.                                                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE replied  that the other body  heard a lot                                                               
of  testimony,   and  there  is   great  concern  for   both  the                                                               
availability of subsistence  caribou and recreational activities.                                                               
In looking at  both sides of recreation versus  perpetuation of a                                                               
culture and standard  of living, one must weigh  which one should                                                               
be  more  substantial.  In  this case,  the  cultures  should  be                                                               
SENATOR OLSON asked  what kind of opposition he  heard from other                                                               
from elected officials who are representing a large population.                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE WESTLAKE  replied that there  was a vote of  31 to                                                               
SENATOR DUNLEAVY said  this is a fantastic bill.  It benefits his                                                               
district, but it  also benefits the entire State  of Alaska. More                                                               
oil in  the pipeline  benefits the treasury  and the  more people                                                               
put  to work  benefits Alaskans.  "I agree  with you.  We can  do                                                               
3:38:19 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
3:38:56 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL called the meeting back to order at 3:30:56 p.m.                                                                  
SENATOR OLSON  said the two  of them  represent many of  the same                                                               
people and  asked Representative Westlake  for a feeling  of what                                                               
the local people want to happen in that area.                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE deferred  that answer  to Mr.  Logan and                                                               
the  role  the  Alaska  Arctic  Policy  Commission  had  on  that                                                               
MR. LOGAN  answered that during  the two years the  Alaska Arctic                                                               
Policy  Commission  traveled around  the  state,  it had  several                                                               
meetings:  one  was  in  Barrow.  They  had  a  complete  day  of                                                               
"listening sessions" when  representatives, elders, and prominent                                                               
individuals from all the villages  on the North Slope mostly said                                                               
they would much  rather see opening of oil and  gas developing in                                                               
ANWR  onshore rather  than the  offshore  OCS [Outer  Continental                                                               
Shelf], because  one, it was closer  to them and they  wanted the                                                               
jobs and two, because it could be done safely.                                                                                  
3:40:27 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL opened public testimony.                                                                                          
3:40:35 PM                                                                                                                    
PAMELA  MLLER, representing  herself, Fairbanks,  Alaska, opposed                                                               
HJR 5. She is a  former bird biologist, seismic monitor biologist                                                               
who studied impacts  in Prudhoe Bay, wilderness guide,  and now a                                                               
small  business owner.  She  spends  time in  the  refuge in  the                                                               
summer and winter.  They are talking about "the  real Alaska" and                                                               
a sustainable  future for the  state. A  new vision is  needed to                                                               
look for  the new economies  well beyond oil,  and now is  a good                                                               
time to do that, she said.                                                                                                      
The  Arctic Refuge  was established  before statehood,  including                                                               
the coastal  plain "1002"  area. It  is an  integral part  of the                                                               
refuge  and  has  a  rich  cultural  dependence  by  Inupiat  and                                                               
One common  falsehood about the refuge:  the so-called 2,000-acre                                                               
impact is  a hoax. She  said 1.5 million  acres would be  open to                                                               
leasing,  but the  United States  Geological  Survey (USGS)  said                                                               
that the potential prospects precluded  accumulations as large as                                                               
Prudhoe Bay.                                                                                                                    
3:42:06 PM                                                                                                                    
She believes  that tourism is a  far better way to  go. Fairbanks                                                               
has  a growing  tourism market  and  it is  a vital  part of  its                                                               
economy. The  state has  much more oil  remaining in  the Prudhoe                                                               
Bay field, both conventional and  unconventional, and that oil is                                                               
much more valuable.                                                                                                             
3:43:17 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  BOST, representing  himself,  Fairbanks, Alaska,  supported                                                               
protection of e  ANWR and opposed HJR 5. A  refuge is supposed to                                                               
provide protection  and shelter, and  the wildlife in  the refuge                                                               
needs to be  protected. Oil and gas drilling in  the refuge would                                                               
be  devastating  to the  wilderness  and  wildlife and  it  seems                                                               
incompatible with  the refuge. Aside  from that, the  state needs                                                               
to  transition  away  from  fossil  fuels  and  develop  and  use                                                               
alternative and renewable energy resources.                                                                                     
3:45:24 PM                                                                                                                    
ENEI PETER, representing herself,  Fairbanks, Alaska, opposed HJR
5.  She is  Navajo  and  married into  the  Gwich'in tribe.  Many                                                               
Alaskans  don't want  this area  opened for  drilling despite  an                                                               
"outdated" survey  saying that many  people want it.  She opposed                                                               
it for the  cultural and subsistence impacts it will  have on the                                                               
Gwich'in people and because of  climate change. "It is imperative                                                               
that we  don't take more fossil  fuels out of the  ground for our                                                               
future  generations." This  is  not a  solution  for our  current                                                               
fiscal crisis and there may not be anything substantially there.                                                                
3:48:07 PM                                                                                                                    
CHARLOTTE  BASHAM,   representing  herself,   Fairbanks,  Alaska,                                                               
strongly opposed HJR  5. The estimated amount  of recoverable oil                                                               
in  the   refuge  is  not   worth  the  cost  of   the  necessary                                                               
infrastructure  that would  do irreparable  harm  to the  fragile                                                               
ecosystem. ANWR  is a treasure to  be preserved. She said  a wide                                                               
diversity  of  wildlife, especially  caribou,  is  sacred to  the                                                               
Gwich'in people.  It is important  to preserve wilderness  - just                                                               
knowing that  it is  there. "We  do not need  the oil.  We should                                                               
develop   renewable  energy,   instead,"  she   said.  Developing                                                               
renewable energy actually creates more jobs than developing oil.                                                                
3:50:03 PM                                                                                                                    
FRAN MAUER, representing himself,  Fairbanks, Alaska, opposed HJR
5. He  was fortunate to  have worked  as a wildlife  biologist at                                                               
ANWR for  21 years. One  of the  things he learned  while working                                                               
there  is that  the  coastal  plain of  the  refuge  is the  most                                                               
heavily used  as calving ground  for the Porcupine  caribou herd,                                                               
and the  impacts that happen  there will influence a  far greater                                                               
area of  Alaska and Canada than  2,000 acres or even  1.5 million                                                               
Many people  think that the coastal  plain of the refuge  is just                                                               
like Prudhoe  Bay where  there are some  caribou in  proximity to                                                               
oil  development.  However,  the  refuge is  far  different.  The                                                               
mountains in  northeastern Alaska  come very  close to  the coast                                                               
line,  leaving  a narrow  area  for  caribou  to give  birth  and                                                               
nurture their  young. It has five  times as many animals  than at                                                               
Prudhoe Bay and  they are depending on one-fifth  as much habitat                                                               
for a critical  part of their lives. Studies at  Prudhoe Bay have                                                               
shown that  the females with  young are displaced  by development                                                               
activity during the calving and post-calving seasons.                                                                           
Studies of  the caribou  calving grounds  in the  refuge indicate                                                               
that  if caribou  are displaced  by oil  field development,  they                                                               
will move nearer  the mountains to areas of  higher predation and                                                               
mortality,  and the  herd  will decline.  This  will affect  more                                                               
wildlife than just the caribou.                                                                                                 
3:52:29 PM                                                                                                                    
JULIA YORK,  representing herself, Fairbanks, Alaska,  opposed to                                                               
HJR  5. Ms.  York was  born  and raised  in Fairbanks  and has  a                                                               
Master's  degree  in  biology.   Her  family  has  been  directly                                                               
affected  by   the  budgetary  crisis  in   Alaska,  and  further                                                               
developing  oil  infrastructure makes  no  economic  sense.   Oil                                                               
prices will  be maintained by  OPEC or  drop even further  in the                                                               
next several  decades due to  oversupply. Opening ANWR  will only                                                               
further tie Alaska to this failing global market.                                                                               
China  is  investing  $50 trillion  in  renewable  energies,  and                                                               
Alaska lawmakers  would have the  state give tens of  millions in                                                               
tax  breaks  to oil  companies  for  the possibility  of  getting                                                               
revenue more  than a decade from  now. Yet 31 towns  and villages                                                               
in Alaska  require relocation  at this moment  due to  rising sea                                                               
levels, and each  relocation is going to cost  $100 million. That                                                               
is over $3  billion that is needed now. She  believes that we are                                                               
beyond the  tipping point of  climate change. Oil  development of                                                               
the tundra only exacerbates this  problem, because disturbing the                                                               
tundra thaws  the permafrost and  releases tons of  stored carbon                                                               
into the atmosphere multiplying the effects of climate change.                                                                  
MS. YORK  said the Arctic is  warming more than twice  as fast as                                                               
any other  place on  earth, and  because it is  so cold,  and the                                                               
coastal  plain   ecosystem  is  already  facing   these  enormous                                                               
challenges.  Further  human   disturbance  would  mean  permanent                                                               
destruction of this ecosystem.                                                                                                  
One of  the primary arguments  for opening  ANWR is that  it will                                                               
impact  a  very  small  area  and  that it  can  be  done  in  an                                                               
environmentally  responsible   manner.  Unfortunately,   the  oil                                                               
companies  are  misleading Alaskans  about  their  ability to  be                                                               
environmentally responsible.                                                                                                    
3:54:47 PM                                                                                                                    
JOHN  STRASENBURGH,  representing   himself,  Talkeetna,  Alaska,                                                               
opposed HJR 5. He  has lived in Alaska for over  40 years and has                                                               
visited the  Arctic Refuge  including on  the coastal  plain 1002                                                               
area  many times  on extended  trips. He  has many  memorable and                                                               
inspirational experiences there "that speak  to my soul."  He has                                                               
long advocated  for permanent wilderness  protection of  the 1002                                                               
area and he is asking them to do so by voting no on HJR 5.                                                                      
MR. STRASENBURGH said  it is more than personal; he  is also very                                                               
supportive  of the  Gwich'in  people and  the  importance of  the                                                               
caribou  to their  subsistence and  culture. He  said the  Arctic                                                               
Refuge is,  "a coherent whole, as  true a wilderness as  there is                                                               
on  this  planet,  Earth,  and   it  is  not  possible  to  bring                                                               
industrial civilization to this  place without destroying what it                                                               
RUTH WOOD,  representing herself, Talkeetna, Alaska,  opposed HJR
5.  She  said,   "The  Arctic  National  Wildlife   Refuge  is  a                                                               
treasure." It is not just an  economic opportunity to dig oil out                                                               
of the ground. She has seen it and knows.                                                                                       
It is very misleading to talk  about how many acres in the refuge                                                               
are protected,  but to  leave out  the fact that  the plan  is to                                                               
open all  the coastline  in it.  So, there  will be  no coastline                                                               
that is still protected. It is  important for the polar bear, the                                                               
Porcupine  caribou herd,  and it's  important for  the people  of                                                               
Alaska who  go there to experience  a part of the  world that can                                                               
only be experienced there.                                                                                                      
Further, she said there is a glut  of oil and gas in the U.S. and                                                               
the  world right  now. ANWR  shouldn't be  opened unless  it's an                                                               
"absolute emergency."                                                                                                           
3:59:13 PM                                                                                                                    
BRIANNA YONKER, representing  herself, Fairbanks, Alaska, opposed                                                               
HJR 5. She  lives on Eielson Air  Force Base and is  a student at                                                               
the University of  Alaska. She quoted from the  Wilderness Act of                                                               
1964 that describes ANWR as:  "where this earth and its community                                                               
of life  are untrammeled  by man." She  said this  drilling would                                                               
disrupt  that  community  of  life,   and  there  is  an  ethical                                                               
obligation that supersedes  any economic value that  can be added                                                               
from drilling.                                                                                                                  
4:01:09 PM                                                                                                                    
MISTY NICKOLI,  representing herself, Fairbanks,  Alaska, opposed                                                               
HJR 5.  This is a  pro-industry resolution and has  zero economic                                                               
benefit for  Alaska for the  first seven years. It  threatens the                                                               
main food source  of 14 rural communities. As  it is, subsistence                                                               
hunting is  estimated to be  worth $2.5 billion  whereas imported                                                               
food is valued at $1.9 billion.                                                                                                 
The best jobs "Up North"  currently are outsourced to people from                                                               
other countries and  the Lower 48. Alaskans get  the lower paying                                                               
jobs and are  first to be laid off regardless  of their education                                                               
background. "When  big oil ruins  our wilderness, they  don't fix                                                               
it," she said, as was seen in the Exxon Valdez oil spill.                                                                       
She said it  is their responsibility today to  serve Alaskans and                                                               
the Alaska economy, and  the only way to do that  is to vote "no"                                                               
on HJR 5.                                                                                                                       
4:02:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CARL  PORTMAN, Deputy  Director,  Resourced Development  Council,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska,  strongly supported  HJR 5.  He said  the 1002                                                               
area is the most prospective area  for oil and gas development in                                                               
Alaska.   According    to   the   federal    Energy   Information                                                               
Administration, oil and  gas development in ANWR  could result in                                                               
new   domestic  production   ranging  from   510,000-1.5  million                                                               
barrels/day  for 12  years, with  additional production  for many                                                               
years  following  that. Such  production  would  save the  nation                                                               
billions  of dollars  in imported  oil, create  thousands of  new                                                               
jobs,  refill  the  TransAlaska  pipeline  (TAPS),  and  generate                                                               
billions  of dollars  in new  revenues to  the federal  and state                                                               
The  1002  area  is  the most  prospective  conventional  onshore                                                               
prospect  in  our  country  with  an  estimated  5.72-16  billion                                                               
barrels of technically recoverable oil.   If opened, not one acre                                                               
of designated wilderness would be  disturbed by development. With                                                               
advances  in technology  significantly diminishing  the footprint                                                               
of  development,   the  choice  between  energy   production  and                                                               
environmental protection doesn't have to be made.                                                                               
He stated, "It is possible  to develop the energy reserves inside                                                               
ANWR while  directly utilizing less  than 1 percent of  the area.                                                               
This  can  be  accomplished without  significant  disturbance  to                                                               
MR.  PORTMAN said  the  1002 area  of ANWR  should  be opened  to                                                               
responsible  oil and  gas development.  Our nation's  security in                                                               
the Arctic and  Alaska's economy depends on  it, especially since                                                               
the Arctic OCS  has been taken off the table.  He said 70 percent                                                               
of Alaskans consistently  support oil and gas  development in the                                                               
1002 area in surveys dated as late as 2016.                                                                                     
He responded  to the comment of  a previous caller who  said that                                                               
if the  coastal plain were opened,  all the coastal area  of ANWR                                                               
would be  open to development  and none would be  protected. This                                                               
is inaccurate,  because 500,000 acres  of the coastal  plain east                                                               
of the 1002  area are designated "wilderness" all the  way to the                                                               
Canadian border and would not be open to development.                                                                           
Further,  he said,  some people  have indicated  that new  energy                                                               
development is  not needed  in the Arctic,  because of  the shale                                                               
renaissance production  in the  Lower 48,  but the  Department of                                                               
Energy has indicated  that shale production in the  Lower 48 will                                                               
decline  beginning  midway  through  the next  decade,  and  ANWR                                                               
production won't come on line for 10 years or longer.                                                                           
4:06:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GIESSEL  thanked  him and  finding  no  further  comments,                                                               
closed public  testimony on  HJR 5.  She said  it was  brought to                                                               
their attention  that some language  needs to be removed  to make                                                               
the overall resolution a bit tighter.                                                                                           
4:06:45 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON moved conceptual Amendment 1.                                                                                     
CHAIR GIESSEL objected for explanation purposes.                                                                                
SENATOR  OLSON said  he  collaborated with  the  sponsor on  this                                                               
amendment, and explained that it  has three parts. The first part                                                               
is  on  page  1,  lines   2-4,  that  deletes  "urging  the  U.S.                                                               
Department of  Interior to recognize the  private property rights                                                               
of  owners  of  land  in  and adjacent  to  the  Arctic  national                                                               
Wildlife Refuge."                                                                                                               
The second  part is on page  4, line 9, after,  "resources" where                                                               
"and created the Alaska Energy  Authority to assist the state in"                                                               
is deleted.                                                                                                                     
The third part  is on page 4, that deletes  the "Further resolve"                                                               
on lines 24-29.                                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  WESTLAKE  said  he supported  the  amendment  and                                                               
wanted  to   strengthen  the   language  for   the  congressional                                                               
delegation to use in Washington, D.C.                                                                                           
CHAIR  GIESSEL   removed  her   objection.  Finding   no  further                                                               
objection,  she   announced  that  conceptual  Amendment   1  was                                                               
4:09:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR OLSON  moved to report  SCS HJR 5(AET), as  amended, from                                                               
committee  with individual  recommendations  and attached  fiscal                                                               
notes. There were no objections and it was so ordered.                                                                          
CHAIR GIESSEL  commented that Representative Westlake  had stated                                                               
before  that a  good-paying job  is  the great  equalizer in  our                                                               
society and that  these kinds of jobs continue  the vibrancy that                                                               
makes  Alaska great.  These are  transferable skills  that people                                                               
learn as they  have these jobs, which mean  dignity, helping make                                                               
towns and villages richer, as a  result. She thanked him for this                                                               
resolution  saying that  multi-generations of  Alaskans stand  to                                                               
benefit from this.                                                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
CSHJR 5 version J.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 5 Sponsor Statement.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 5 Sponsor Statement.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 5 Fiscal Note LAA.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 5 - Supporting Document- ANWR NETL.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 5 - Supporting Document - Estimates of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 5 - Supporting Document - ANWR Land Use.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 5 - Supporting Document - ANWR All Areas.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 5 Letters in opposition.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 5 Letters in support.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR 5 Opposition Document Campbell Webb Letter.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR5 Letter of Support- Governor Walker.PDF SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
HJR 5- Support-Alaska Miners Association.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM
CSHJR5- Opposition-Debbie Miller.pdf SARC 2/17/2017 3:30:00 PM