Legislature(2017 - 2018)CAPITOL 106


Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
11:36:00 AM Start
11:37:03 AM Presentation(s): by Nils Andreassen, Institute of the North
11:55:04 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation by Nils Andreassen, Institute of TELECONFERENCED
the North
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
           HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ARCTIC POLICY,                                                                          
               ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AND TOURISM                                                                              
                         March 7, 2017                                                                                          
                           11:36 p.m.                                                                                           
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative Dean Westlake, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Bryce Edgmon                                                                                                     
Representative Andy Josephson                                                                                                   
Representative Gary Knopp                                                                                                       
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
Representative David Talerico                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION(S): INSTITUTE OF THE NORTH                                                                                         
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
NILS ANDREASSEN                                                                                                                 
Executive Director                                                                                                              
Institute of the North                                                                                                          
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered a PowerPoint presentation as to the                                                              
Institute of the North.                                                                                                         
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
11:36:00 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR DEAN WESTLAKE called the  House Special Committee on Arctic                                                             
Policy,  Economic Development,  and Tourism  meeting to  order at                                                               
11:36  p.m.  Representatives  Edgmon, Josephson,  Knopp,  Neuman,                                                               
Talerico, and Westlake were present at the call to order.                                                                       
^PRESENTATION(S): BY NILS ANDREASSEN, INSTITUTE OF THE NORTH                                                                    
  PRESENTATION(S): BY NILS ANDREASSEN, INSTITUTE OF THE NORTH                                                               
11:37:03 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR WESTLAKE  announced that the  only order of  business would                                                               
be a PowerPoint presentation by  Nils Andreassen on the Institute                                                               
of  the  North.    He  pointed out  that  the  Arctic  policy  is                                                               
important to  the entire global  community, including  the United                                                               
States of America, which chaired  the Arctic Council for the past                                                               
two  years.   He  added that  Alaska makes  the  United State  an                                                               
Arctic  Nation.   The  state  has  recognized the  importance  of                                                               
Arctic  Policy for  several years  and formed  the Alaska  Arctic                                                               
Policy  Commission,  and  that  commission  submitted  its  final                                                               
report  two years  ago  with specific  recommendation  on how  to                                                               
implement  a  robust Arctic  Policy.    This resulted  in  Alaska                                                               
passing its  own Arctic Policy  two years  ago and it  focuses on                                                               
resource  development,  healthy communities,  response  capacity,                                                               
and  inclusive  decision  making in  Alaska-centric  science  and                                                               
research.   With all  of the opportunities  in the  Arctic, there                                                               
are  also  challenges,  and  Alaska   has  faced  some  of  these                                                               
challenges for years and some challenges will be new.                                                                           
11:39:19 AM                                                                                                                   
NILS  ANDREASSEN, Executive  Director,  Institute  of The  North,                                                               
turned to  slide 1, and advised  that the Institute of  The North                                                               
is the  center for Arctic Policy,  and in that role,  it works to                                                               
convene critical  conversations, develop strategies on  behalf of                                                               
the state, work to improve the  quality of life for citizens, and                                                               
inform public opinion.                                                                                                          
11:40:20 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  ANDREASSEN  turned  to  slides 2-5,  and  advised  that  the                                                               
institute looks  at the Arctic  from a number of  different lens,                                                               
but often through  socio-political or socio-economic lens.   In a                                                               
recent publication,  Arctic Book  Overview, the Institute  of the                                                             
North  split the  state into  the four  following regions:   High                                                               
Arctic is  defined by some  of the  oil and gas  development that                                                               
takes place on the North Slope;  Arctic is defined by some of the                                                               
mineral  developments and  maritime  activities  that take  place                                                               
through  the  Bering Straits;  Low  Arctic  include most  of  the                                                               
Aleutians  and  Western  Alaska  which  is  defined  by  maritime                                                               
especially, and  also the fisheries  activity, and  shipping that                                                               
takes place in  that region; and, the Near Arctic  where the bulk                                                               
of the  population lives and have  financial economic, political,                                                               
and academic capitols.  He  opined that while the institute split                                                               
the state into four regions,  it is true they are intra-connected                                                               
and inter-dependent.                                                                                                            
11:41:51 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. ANDREASSEN turned  to slide 6, and said the  slide is a quick                                                               
highlight of some of the  maritime, ground transportation or lack                                                               
thereof,  port infrastructure,  aviation,  and communications  in                                                               
MR. ANDREASSEN turned to slide 7,  and advised it is a collection                                                               
of the safety  and response assets that are  pulled together from                                                               
federal, state,  non-governmental, and other  entities.   The map                                                               
depicts  that Alaska  has quite  a  bit of  response capacity  in                                                               
place  where   there  is  greater  human   activity  or  economic                                                               
activity.   Certainly, he said,  there are gaps in  some portions                                                               
of the state, but also less activity and less risk.                                                                             
MR. ANDREASSEN  opined that the  members had received  the Arctic                                                             
Book and  Overview and described it  as a value resource  for the                                                             
state and the legislature.   He noted that it does  a good job of                                                               
introducing Alaskans,  and visitors to  the state, to  the Arctic                                                               
MR.  ANDREASSEN  turned  to  slides  8-9,  and  advised  that  in                                                               
addition to  the publication, the  Institute of the  North worked                                                               
for quite  a while with the  Arctic Council, such as,  the Arctic                                                               
Energy Atlas  which will be  a web-based energy atlas,  much like                                                               
the Alaska  Renewable Atlas, and will  include resource potential                                                               
for wind, hydro,  solar, geothermal biomass, and tidal.   It will                                                               
have  a community  energy production  consumption and  efficiency                                                               
database, best  practices guide, and  a list of  community energy                                                               
11:44:03 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. ANDREASSEN turned  to slides 10-12, and said this  has been a                                                               
good  project  period  in  connecting   with  data  and  centers,                                                               
ministries of  energy from  around the  Arctic, and  working with                                                               
them  to collect  the  data necessary  for  the Arctic  Renewable                                                               
Energy Atlas.  He advised  that slide 10 contains sample pictures                                                               
that at some  point will have a truly circumpolar  vision of what                                                               
renewable energy  in the region looks  like, as well as  what the                                                               
communities are facing.   Slide 12, he said, depicts  a brief map                                                               
reviewing the community capacity  and off-grid settlements in all                                                               
eight Arctic nations.                                                                                                           
11:44:44 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. ANDREASSEN turned to slide  13, and advised the slide depicts                                                               
a project that  will continue into the  Finnish chairmanship, and                                                               
by 2019, the  Arctic can "really redefine itself"  as a renewable                                                               
energy  leader and  change  some of  the  narrative around  other                                                               
priorities that  have been discussed  with regard to  the Arctic.                                                               
It  is important  for the  state  to be  aware of  just how  much                                                               
capacity Alaska has to be  advancing renewable energy leadership.                                                               
It  is in  Alaska where  there is  a great  selection of  subject                                                               
matter expertise,  data, and the  opportunity to export  "some of                                                               
this to other nations around the Arctic and world."                                                                             
MR. ANDREASSEN turned  to slides 14-15, and  noted that following                                                               
up on the energy theme, the  Institute of the North has also been                                                               
the  organizer of  the Arctic  Energy Summit  which in  2015 took                                                               
place in  Fairbanks, Alaska.   September of this  year, Helsinki,                                                               
Finland will host  the 2017 Arctic Energy Summit which  will be a                                                               
project  of  the  Sustainable  Development  Working  Group.    He                                                               
advised    that    more    information   can    be    found    at                                                               
11:46:03 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. ANDREASSEN turned to slide  16, and advised that the approach                                                               
for  the  Arctic  Energy   Summit  is  truly  cross-disciplinary.                                                               
Plenary  sessions  will  offer  glimpses  at  the  global  energy                                                               
outlook,     climate     change,    sustainable     developments,                                                               
transportation,  and  the  opportunity  for  local  and  regional                                                               
governments to advance the development of energy resources.                                                                     
MR.  ANDREASSEN turned  to  slides 17-18,  and  advised that  the                                                               
following issues  will be addressed:  renewable energy  issues of                                                               
affordability,   opportunities   to  mobilize   investment,   map                                                               
renewable energy  potential, renewable technologies,  examine the                                                               
role  of  an  energy  within  remote  and  off-grid  communities,                                                               
microgrid  technologies  which  Alaska  is well  known  for  with                                                               
regard to  its (indisc.) leadership,  but also  capacity building                                                               
and how "we look at  utility operations" within Alaska and around                                                               
the Arctic.                                                                                                                     
11:47:01 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. ANDREASSEN turned  to slide 18-19, and said  the session will                                                               
review  petroleum related  activities of  which Alaska  has shown                                                               
good  leadership  in all  of  these,  and  how it  works  between                                                               
sectors and cooperates  on oil and gas  development, works toward                                                               
carbon  intervention   and  mitigation,  and  how   oil  and  gas                                                               
development supports the economic  development of communities and                                                               
the state.                                                                                                                      
MR.  ANDREASSEN turned  to slide  20,  and said  that the  Arctic                                                               
Energy  Summit  will  examine, in  consultation  and  stakeholder                                                               
engagement,  opportunities  for  a   different  kind  of  benefit                                                               
sharing, intersection with  environmental impact assessments, and                                                               
food security which is an ongoing conversation in Alaska.                                                                       
MR. ANDREASSEN turned to slide  21, and advised that the outcomes                                                               
from the  Arctic Energy Summit  will be a summary  report looking                                                               
at best  practices, potential  projects, and  research gaps.   It                                                               
will   include  some   strategic  planning   as  it   relates  to                                                               
affordability,  renewables policy,  funding, and  an intersection                                                               
between oil, gas, and climate.                                                                                                  
11:48:09 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  ANDREASSEN  turned to  slides  22-26,  and referred  to  his                                                               
mention of risk and preparedness,  and noted that the PPR Working                                                               
Group of the  Arctic Council and the Institute of  the North have                                                               
been  involved in  oil spill  preparedness in  small communities.                                                               
This project should be completed this  year and will be public at                                                               
the conclusion of the United  States chairmanship having examined                                                               
within  350  different  communities   and  a  local  government's                                                               
approach to  preparedness and  risk.   A survey  was sent  out to                                                               
these  communities  with 88  different  questions  and the  early                                                               
results  from  Alaska,  Canada, Greenland,  Norway,  and  Finland                                                               
reveal  that most  communities across  the Arctic  are moderately                                                               
prepared  for  the risk  they  face.  Surprisingly, he  said,  no                                                               
community believes  it has had  adequate training from  Alaska to                                                               
Norway.  At the same time,  he remarked, most communities did not                                                               
feel it faced the potential for  risk in any moment so the impact                                                               
of a spill  could be great for many communities,  but most do not                                                               
feel a likelihood of that risk.                                                                                                 
11:49:51 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  ANDREASSEN noted  that he  is looking  forward to  the final                                                               
project to  come out from EPPR  and the Arctic Council  in May of                                                               
this year on a web-based  platform that will map out preparedness                                                               
with  each community  and have  a dashboard  relating to  overall                                                               
preparedness, planning, training, risk, impact, and resources.                                                                  
11:50:17 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. ANDREASSEN turned  to slide 27, and advised  that in addition                                                               
to some of  the Institute of the North's current  work related to                                                               
the Arctic Council, it has been assisting the state with its re-                                                                
joining of the Northern Forum.   Alaska membership is crucial for                                                               
that body  in order to  continue sub-national  cooperation around                                                               
the region.   He said that  he is looking forward  to the Council                                                               
of Northern  Regional Government's  forum, which  is a  great way                                                               
for  Alaska to  showcase some  of  its best  practices, but  also                                                               
learn from other regions.  The  Institute of the North is working                                                               
toward  a Council  of Northern  Regional  Governments that  would                                                               
span North  America and connect  the State of Alaska  to Northern                                                               
Canadian   Territories  and   the  regional   governments  within                                                               
Greenland.   The  Institute  of the  North  has been  secretariat                                                               
these  last  two   years  of  the  Alaska   Arctic  Council  host                                                               
committee,  convened by  Governor  Bill Walker,  comprised of  75                                                               
Alaska  leaders across  the state.   Future  projects within  the                                                               
Arctic Council the Institute of  the North hopes to continue stay                                                               
involved  with  would  be  the  Environmental  Impact  Assessment                                                               
project  lead   by  Finland,  and   potentially  a   workshop  on                                                               
indigenous consultation in Alaska in November.                                                                                  
11:52:59 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  ANDREASSEN  advised  that  the Institute  of  the  North  is                                                               
working with  the Arctic Economic  Council on an  Arctic Business                                                               
Directory  that  will  evaluate Arctic  competencies  within  the                                                               
state, and  also in all  eight nations.  Recently,  the Institute                                                               
of  the North  has been  involved in  the development  of a  task                                                               
force on Norway-Alaska  cooperation.  He described this  as a 20-                                                               
year history  with the  Institute of  the North  and circum-polar                                                               
relationships  that  benefit  the  state, it  is  able  to  bring                                                               
Alaskan expertise  not only  to Arctic  Council projects,  but to                                                               
Alaska's  partners across  the Arctic.   He  remarked that  it is                                                               
hoped that in the coming  years the Arctic Council host committee                                                               
transitions into an Alaska  Arctic coordinating committee public-                                                               
private  partnership which  would  include, legislative  members,                                                               
public  officials, private  sector,  and organizational  partners                                                               
from around the state to  continue to advance Alaska's priorities                                                               
within the region.                                                                                                              
11:55:04 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee On Arctic Policy, Economic Development, and                                                                   
Tourism meeting was adjourned at 11:55 p.m.                                                                                     

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Institute of the North Arctic Presentation - Nils Adreassen.pdf HAET 3/7/2017 11:30:00 AM