Legislature(2023 - 2024)BARNES 124

01/26/2023 10:15 AM House ENERGY

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10:16:22 AM Start
10:17:28 AM Presentation(s): Curtis Thayer, Executive Director, Alaska Energy Authority
10:55:26 AM Presentation(s): Pacific Northwest Economic Region
11:15:27 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation by: TELECONFERENCED
Curtis Thayer, Executive Director, Alaska Energy
                     ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                 
                 HOUSE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON ENERGY                                                                            
                         January 26, 2023                                                                                       
                            10:16 a.m.                                                                                          
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative George Rauscher, Chair                                                                                           
Representative Tom McKay                                                                                                        
Representative Josiah Patkotak                                                                                                  
Representative Calvin Schrage                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
[As of 1/26/23 there was a vacant seat on a committee of five.]                                                                 
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
Representative David Eastman                                                                                                    
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION: CURTIS THAYER~ EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR~ ALASKA ENERGY                                                                  
      - HEARD                                                                                                                   
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
CURTIS THAYER                                                                                                                   
Executive Director of Alaska Energy Authority                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Provided a presentation about the status of                                                               
the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project for the Alaska Energy                                                                  
BYRAN CAREY, Director of Owned Assets                                                                                           
Alaska Energy Authority                                                                                                         
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:    Answered   questions    in  the   capacity   of                                                      
Director  of  Owned  Assets  for  the  Alaska  Energy  Authority   about                                                        
the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project.                                                                                       
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
10:16:22 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR   GEORGE  RAUSCHER   called   the  House  Special   Committee   on                                                      
Energy  meeting   to  order  at  10:16  a.m.   Representatives    McKay,                                                        
Patkotak,   and   Rauscher   were  present   at  the   call  to   order.                                                        
Representative Schrage arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                  
^Presentation(s):    Curtis    Thayer,   Executive   Director,    Alaska                                                        
Energy Authority                                                                                                                
    PRESENTATION(S): CURTIS THAYER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALASKA                                                              
                         ENERGY AUTHORITY                                                                                   
10:17:28 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  RAUSCHER  announced   that the  first  order  of  business  would                                                        
be  the  Alaska  Energy   Authority   presentation.     Later,  we  will                                                        
hear  from   Matt  Morrison   the  leader  of   the  Pacific  Northwest                                                         
Economic Region.                                                                                                                
10:18:35 AM                                                                                                                   
}CURTIS   THAYER,   Executive   Director*   Alaska   Energy  Authority*                                                         
Anchorage,   Alaska*   Gave  a  presentation    on  the  Alaska   Energy                                                        
Authority.{    He  described  the  background  of  AEA to  the  members.                                                        
Established   in  1976   by  the  legislature    with  the  mission   to                                                        
reduce  the  cost of  energy  to all  Alaskans,  AEA  is  also the  lead                                                        
state    office    for   energy    policy    and   statewide     program                                                        
development.    One  area  in which  AEA  is  involved  is  in  Alaska's                                                        
Railbelt.    Mr.  Thayer  said,  AEA  owns  the  largest  hydroelectric                                                         
project  in  the  state,   Bradley  Lake,  outside   of  Homer;  it's  a                                                        
120-megawatt   plant  that   also  brings  power   to Fairbanks.     The                                                        
authority   also  has  the Alaska   Intertie  which  is  the  "SS"  fuel                                                        
line  from  the Kenai  Peninsula  to  Willow  and  Healy.   The  state's                                                        
ownership    of   the   intertie    saves   the   city   of   Fairbanks                                                         
approximately   $37  million  in energy  costs  from  ownership   of the                                                        
MR.  THAYER stated  that  AEA  also runs  the  power cost  equalization                                                         
(PCE)  program  for rural  Alaska,  which  provides  approximately   $40                                                        
million   a year,   and  operates   the  rural  energy   program.    The                                                        
authority   also  has  power  houses,   bulk  fuel,  and  upgrades   and                                                        
deferred  maintenance   costs.    It  continues  to  work  with  federal                                                        
partners    for   funding,    and   it   does    energy   ratings    and                                                        
"renewables".    He reminded   committee  members  that  the state  also                                                        
has  biomass,   windfarms,   and   hydro  projects.     AEA   also  does                                                        
grants,  loans,   and  energy  planning  as  well  as  being  currently                                                         
involved   in the  electric   vehicle  (EV)  planning   for  the  state.                                                        
The  authority  expects  it will  have  $200 million  with  the  help of                                                        
the legislature.                                                                                                                
10:21:14 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  THAYER  stated   that  these  projects  are  all  still  on-going,                                                         
active  projects.   He  then  gave a  PowerPoint  presentation,   titled                                                        
"Susitna-Watana   Hydroelectric    Project",  [hard   copy  included  in                                                        
the  committee   packet].     He  began  on  Slide  1,   which  read  as                                                        
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
      Created  in 1976  by  the  Alaska  Legislature,  the  Alaska                                                              
      Energy  Authority  (AEA)  is  a public  corporation   of  the                                                             
      State  of Alaska  governed  by  a board  of  directors  with                                                              
      the mission  to  "reduce  the  cost  of energy  in  Alaska."                                                              
      AEA is  the  state's  energy  office   and lead  agency   for                                                             
      statewide energy policy and program development.                                                                          
MR.  THAYER  stated  that  the  majority   of  the  work  was conducted                                                         
under   the  Governor    Parnell   Administration   and   the   Governor                                                        
Walker  Administration   for the  Susitna-Watana   Hydro  Project.   The                                                        
project   was  put  on  the  shelf  until   2019  until  Governor   Mike                                                        
Dunleavy   rescinded  Administrative    Order  271,  which  effectively                                                         
halted  the  project.   As  of 2022,  no  state funds  have  been  spent                                                        
on  the project.    The  updates  of  the  project  have  been  provided                                                        
each  year   to  the  legislature   and  to  federal   authorities   but                                                        
since  then,  no  new  work   has  taken  place  on  the  project.    In                                                        
order  for the  project  to advance,  more  updating  would  need  to be                                                        
MR.  THAYER  moved  on  to  Slide  7,  which  illustrated   the  project                                                        
history  and  the  decline   of  funding  available   to  the  AEA.   He                                                        
noted  that  Slide  9 serves  to  answer  the question,   "Why  Susitna-                                                        
Watana?"    Mr.  Thayer  narrated  the  benefits   of renewable   energy                                                        
and  the  savings   over  the  first  50  years  of  operation   to  the                                                        
State  of Alaska.    He stated  that  the  project  is a  100-plus  year                                                        
project.    Projected   estimates  made  in  2014  showed   the  savings                                                        
would  be   in  the  billions   for  the  Railbelt   communities   as  a                                                        
result   of  not   using   non-renewable   natural    gas,  and   carbon                                                        
emissions could be reduced.                                                                                                     
MR.  THAYER   noted   that  this   is  a   Federal   Energy  Regulatory                                                         
Commission  (FERC)  regulated   project.   He further  noted  that  FERC                                                        
licensing   is still   in the  process   of permitting.     The  project                                                        
still  has  investors   and  interest   from  the   public.    The  FERC                                                        
license  removes  a  lot  of the  risk  factors.     Mr.  Thayer  shared                                                        
that  there  are  58  FERC  approved   studies:   19  were  advanced  by                                                        
FERC and 39 remain to require further investigations.                                                                           
10:25:46 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  THAYER,  referring  to Slide  11,  stated  that there  weren't  any                                                        
problems  with  the  FERC  filing,   but it  is  still  on  hold  during                                                        
the  time  of  the  update  to  the  committee.    All  proposed   study                                                        
modifications   were  rejected  by FERC.    The data  was  deemed  to be                                                        
only  useful  for baseline  information.    The  earliest  studies  were                                                        
conducted   in  the   1950s,   1980s,   and  2011.     The  legislature                                                         
unanimously   granted  AEA  the  authority  to  move  forward  with  the                                                        
project  once  again.   In  2012,  the AEA  studies  began  until  2017;                                                        
no  further  funding  is  available  at  present,  and  the  project  is                                                        
in abeyance, [as shown on Slide 12].                                                                                            
10:26:36 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  THAYER  turned  to  Slide  13,  to  the  map showing   the  project                                                        
area  and  nearby  communities.    The  project  area  is shown  in  red                                                        
near  Talkeetna.   The  project  would  create  a 42-mile-long   lake or                                                        
reservoir   to the  east  of  the  dam  location.    He continued   that                                                        
there  was some  concern  about  the effects  of  a dam  on salmon.   He                                                        
stated  that  only  a dozen  Chinook  salmon  were  observed  above  the                                                        
proposed  dam  site;  fisheries   would  not be  an  issue  despite  the                                                        
FERC rejection.                                                                                                                 
MR.   THAYER  turned   to   Slide   14,  "Project   At-A-Glance,"    and                                                        
discussed   the  bulleted  items,   which  read  as  follows  [original                                                         
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
.notdefDam Height 705 feet                                                                                                    
.notdefDam Elevation 2,065 Feet                                                                                               
.notdefReservoir Length ~42 miles                                                                                             
.notdefReservoir Width~1.25 miles                                                                                             
.notdefInstalled Capacity 618 MW                                                                                              
.notdefAnnual Energy 2,800,000 MWh                                                                                            
.notdefCost~$5.6 billion (2014$)                                                                                              
MR.  THAYER  added   that  the  price  tag  has  increased   over  eight                                                        
years,   and  technology   improvements    will  affect   cost   in  the                                                        
MR.  THAYER  moved   to  Slide  15,  "Engineering,"   and   covered  the                                                        
information,    which    read   as   follows   [original    punctuation                                                         
.notdefSize and generation optimized                                                                                            
.notdefDesign reviewed by International Board of Consultants                                                                    
.notdefDesigned to withstand:                                                                                                   
-10,000-year flood                                                                                                              
-Maximum credible earthquake of a magnitude 8.0                                                                                 
.notdef2014 Engineering Feasibility Report                                                                                      
MR.  THAYER  then highlighted   Slide  16, "Economics,"   which  read as                                                        
follows   [original   punctuation   provided,   with   some  formatting                                                         
.notdefBenefit-Cost and Economic Impact Analyses completed in 2015                                                              
-Based on 2014 projection of natural gas prices:                                                                                
.notdefBenefit-cost ratio of 2.39 from energy savings alone                                                                     
.notdef$11.2 billion (2014$) in energy savings over first 50 years                                                              
.notdefEnergy savings and retirement of older generation facilities                                                             
MR.  THAYER   shared   the  information    on  Slide   17,  "Employment                                                         
Opportunities,"    regarding   pre-construction,    construction,    and                                                        
operations   employment,   all  of  which  would  provide   benefits  to                                                        
the  state.   He  concluded  his  presentation  on  Slide  18,  "Project                                                        
Timeline,"   which  illustrated   the  entirety   of  the  project  from                                                        
planning  to  power  generation.    He  noted  that  the  initial  phase                                                        
involves  preparation,   planning,  collaboration,   and  environmental                                                         
studies.    He said  FERC  will  review  and  make  a determination   on                                                        
the  feasibility   of the  project,   which  usually  takes  two  years.                                                        
The  project   execution  phase   -  the  actual  construction   -  will                                                        
last 9-11 years.                                                                                                                
10:32:17 AM                                                                                                                   
MR THAYER  said  that  the dam  won't  be operational   for about  15-20                                                        
years.   He  noted  that  it is  very important   that  the legislature                                                         
act  to green  light  the project  into  the future  and  take the  next                                                        
steps  to  advance   the  project.    He  described   the  PCE  process.                                                        
The  Railbelt   energy   cost   is  tied   to  the   cost  equalization                                                         
program, which would benefit rural Alaska.                                                                                      
CHAIR   RAUSCHER   asked  for   the  total   aggregate   cost   for  the                                                        
proposed updates on page [Slide] 19 of the presentation.                                                                        
MR.  THAYER   replied   that  the   cost  will   be  $5  million.     He                                                        
provided  estimates   of  the  costs  associated  with  green   lighting                                                        
the  project.     Studies   and  licensing   are   separate   costs,  he                                                        
10:35:41 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  RAUSCHER   asked  if  there   was  any  cooperation   from  other                                                        
state departments on the project.                                                                                               
MR.  THAYER answered   that under  Alaska  statute  the  purview  of the                                                        
project falls under AEA.                                                                                                        
10:36:27 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   MCKAY   informed  the  committee   he  has  worked  for                                                        
four   years  in   Norway  on   oil  and   gas  energy   projects   that                                                        
developed  hydroelectric   projects   concurrently.    He  asked if  the                                                        
department   had  looked  at  Norway  specifically   as  a model  as  to                                                        
how to proceed with the state's project.                                                                                        
10:37:21 AM                                                                                                                   
}BYRAN    CAREY,   Director    of    Owned   Assets*    Alaska    Energy                                                        
Authority*,   Anchorage,   Alaska*   Answered   questions   during   the                                                        
Alaska   Energy   Authority   presentation.     He   stated  no   formal                                                        
research has been undertaken with respect to Norway.                                                                            
10:37:46 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE    MCKAY  pointed   out   that  in   Norway,  a   company                                                        
called  Norsk  Hydro  has  similar  projects   that  have  combined  oil                                                        
development with hydroelectric projects.                                                                                        
MR.  BRIAN   CAREY   answered   that  no   formal   research   has  been                                                        
undertaken  with  respect  to  Norway  and  was not  familiar  with  the                                                        
company  Norsk  Hydro.   He  said  the authority   did look  at  Iceland                                                        
because,  at  the  time  of the  Susitna-Watana   project  development,                                                         
that   country   was   building   a   600-700   foot   dam   for   power                                                        
generation and possibly internet cloud servicing.                                                                               
10:38:49 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   MCKAY  asked  about  what  the  obstacles,  challenges                                                         
and oppositions are to getting the project done.                                                                                
MR.  CAREY  answered,   "About   $100  million."     He  said  the  2014                                                        
costs  need  to  be  updated  for  inflation  and  other  factors.    He                                                        
advised  that  the legislature   and the  Office  of the  Governor  need                                                        
to assess whether this project should move forward.                                                                             
10:40:30 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE    PATKOTAK   asked  what   communities   would   benefit                                                        
from the project.                                                                                                               
MR.  CAREY   answered  the  communities   connected   to  the   Railbelt                                                        
would benefit directly.                                                                                                         
10:41:56 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   PATKOTAK  asked,  about  when  the  project  obtains  a                                                        
FERC  license,   whether  there   would  be  outside   funding  for  the                                                        
project  or  the  $5.6   billion  to  complete  the   project  would  be                                                        
needed from the legislature.                                                                                                    
10:42:57 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  THAYER  answered   that  there  are  a number   of countries   that                                                        
are  interested  in renewable   projects.   Furthermore,   he said  that                                                        
there  are companies   that know  how  to contract  dams,  operate  dams                                                        
and  would  work  with   AEA  in the  regulatory   process   during  the                                                        
life  of the  project.   He informed   the committee  that  he is  aware                                                        
of  a  company  that   budgets  $5.6   billion  a  year  for  renewable                                                         
[energy]  projects   and may  be willing   to invest  in  the [Susitna-                                                         
Watana] project.                                                                                                                
MR.  THAYER  told the  committee  that  establishing  renewable   energy                                                        
is  the  purpose   of  the   project.    The   cost  per  kilowatt   has                                                        
increased  since  the  initial  studies  were  conducted.    He  pointed                                                        
out  that the  cost currently   is 6 cents/kilowatt   and  is locked  in                                                        
for  the  long   term.    He  summarized   his   presentation,   and  he                                                        
reiterated   that  there   are  companies   interested   in  seeing  the                                                        
project move forward.                                                                                                           
10:44:59 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   PATKOTAK   asked   what  the  role   of  the  state  is                                                        
after  providing   $100  million  in  funding   by the  legislature   to                                                        
10:45:36 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  THAYER  replied   that  AEA  would   see  a reduced   role  in  the                                                        
operation  of  the  dam after  construction.    He  said  that there  is                                                        
the  issue of  the $300  million  already  invested  in  the project  by                                                        
the  State  of  Alaska  and  possible   outcomes  for  recouping   those                                                        
cost.    Once  the  state   has  the  FERC  license,   the  options  for                                                        
recovering   the  costs  of  the initial   $200  million  spent  on  the                                                        
initial studies could be reassessed.                                                                                            
10:46:39 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  THAYER  responded   to a  further  question   from  Representative                                                         
Patkotak.     He  said  that  once  the  state   obtains  the   license,                                                        
there  will  be  a  value  of  potentially  $300  million   for  Alaska.                                                        
He  said  AEA   could  provide   the  funding   history   from  2009  to                                                        
present,   but   the  data   from   the  80s   or  earlier   came   from                                                        
different   sources.     He  reviewed  that   the  current   sources  of                                                        
power  to   the  Railbelt   are  natural   gas,  wind  power,   and  the                                                        
Bradley  Lake  hydroelectric   dam.    Mr. Thayer   estimated  that  the                                                        
Susitna-Watana   dam   could  provide   50  percent  of  the  necessary                                                         
power  needed  for  Railbelt   communities,   but further   studies  are                                                        
needed to quantify the actual savings.                                                                                          
10:50:37 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE   MCKAY   inquired  about   cold  temperatures   and  how                                                        
that  effects  the  reservoir.   He  said  he wondered  if  the  project                                                        
could  create  ice  dams  downstream   in  the  spring.    He expressed                                                         
interest  in  knowing  how  the  project  dealt  with  salmon,  as  well                                                        
as  the potential   effects  to the  salmon,  and  he asked,  if  salmon                                                        
could make it upstream after the dam is constructed.                                                                            
10:52:02 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  CAREY  responded  that  salmon  would  not  be  affected;  He  said                                                        
salmon   are  not   affected;   currently   99.9  percent   of   Susitna                                                        
salmon  divert  to  other streams  and  do  not go  up to  the  proposed                                                        
dam  site.    He  said   in  one  summer  there   was  sonar  equipment                                                         
monitoring   streams  above   the  proposed  dam   location.    Only  25                                                        
Chinook  salmon  were  counted   by sonar  above   Devil's  Canyon  near                                                        
the  proposed  dam  site.   He informed   the committee   that very  few                                                        
salmon make it past Devil's Canyon.                                                                                             
MR.  CAREY  stated  fish passages  are  an  option.   There  would  be a                                                        
cost  issue  to create  fish  passages,   consideration  of  them  would                                                        
require  feasibility  studies.    He said  fish  would need  to  make it                                                        
up the dam and down safely.                                                                                                     
MR.    CAREY    addressing     previous    issues    brought     up   by                                                        
Representative   McKay  regarding   winter  operations,  said  that  the                                                        
dam  would  be  operational  year-round.     He explained   that  winter                                                        
is  the most  expensive  time  of  year  for Railbelt   communities,  so                                                        
it  would  be essential   to harvest  power  year-round.    Water-flows                                                         
during the winter would be higher than they currently are.  Ice-                                                                
flows  already   exist  downriver   on  the  Susitna   River,  and  ice-                                                        
flows  would  continue  to occur  after  construction  of  the dam.   He                                                        
said  there  was  modeling   conducted  to  predict  water  flows.    He                                                        
confirmed   that  at least   part  of the  reservoir   would  freeze  up                                                        
with thick ice in the winter.                                                                                                   
10:55:01 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  RAUSCHER  announced   the final  only  order  of  business  would                                                        
be  the  Pacific  Northwest   Economic   Region  presentation.     CHAIR                                                        
RAUSCHER  thanked  the  previous  presenters  and  moved  onto the  next                                                        
presentation for the day.                                                                                                       
^PRESENTATION(S):  Pacific Northwest Economic Region                                                                            
10:55:26 AM                                                                                                                   
}MATT  MORRISON,  CEO*  of the  Pacific  NW Economic  Region*   Seattle,                                                        
Washington*{introduced     the  Pacific   NorthWest    Economic   Region                                                        
(PNWER)  organization.     He  stated  that  PNWER   is statutory,   and                                                        
that  Alaska   is  a  founding   member,   along  with  the   states  of                                                        
Washington,    Oregon,   Idaho,   and   Montana,    and   the   Canadian                                                        
provinces    and   territories     of   Alberta,    British   Columbia,                                                         
Saskatchewan,   the  Yukon,  and  Northwest   Territories.    He  stated                                                        
that  the leadership   of PNWER  is  made  up of  legislators  from  the                                                        
different   states,  provinces,   and  territories.     The  mission  of                                                        
PNWER   is   to  develop   a   framework   for   energy   security   and                                                        
sustainability in the United States and Canada.                                                                                 
11:00:04 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.   MORRISON   reiterated   the   state  of   Alaska   is  an   energy                                                        
"superpower"   in  the world,  and  the  resources   in the  region  are                                                        
astounding.     He   urged   the  committee   to  take   stock   of  the                                                        
infrastructure   and   how  to  utilize  funding   available   from  the                                                        
federal  government.     He  emphasized   the need   to attract,   train                                                        
and  sustain  talent  to  the  workforce   of Alaska.    He  related  an                                                        
example  from  a year  ago where  parents  couldn't  find  baby  formula                                                        
in  the  grocery  stores.     He said   the  pandemic  illuminated   how                                                        
supply   was   affected.       For   example,    [microchips]    weren't                                                        
available in order to purchase an automobile.                                                                                   
MR.  MORRISON  stated  the  need to  transition  from  fossil  fuels  to                                                        
electric   power,   and   he   question   supply   and   infrastructure                                                         
preparedness.     He  pointed  out   the  need  for  electric   charging                                                        
MR.  MORRISON  began   a PowerPoint   presentation,   entitled   "Global                                                        
Challenges   |  Regional   Solutions",   [hard  copy  included   in  the                                                        
committee  packet].    He  mentioned  the  success  stories  of  Alaska.                                                        
He  said  the  states   within  the  group  know   how  to  produce  and                                                        
transport   energy.    He  pointed   to  Slide   7,  "Outcomes,"   which                                                        
lists  four   issues  that  the   group  faces  [original   punctuation                                                         
      1. Develop   a repository   of  information   to share  best                                                              
      practices    between     the   states,     provinces,     and                                                             
      territories     to     achieve     success      in    energy                                                              
      sustainability    and  security    while   increasing   food                                                              
      production  and  developing  critical  mineral   production.                                                              
      We need Alaska's success stories for this.                                                                                
      2.   Work   with    the   PNWER    States   Provinces     and                                                             
      Territories    to   provide    specific    data   and   best                                                              
      practices  on  how  our  jurisdiction   are planning   for  a                                                             
      transition  toward   a  secure,  sustainable   clean  energy                                                              
      future.  What data can we bring from Alaska?                                                                              
      3.   Work   with   the   PNWER   States,    Provinces,    and                                                             
      Territories,   First   Nations   and   Tribes   to  identify                                                              
      priority   opportunities     for   environmentally    sound,                                                              
      critical   mineral    development    and   related    permit                                                              
      reform.   What are  Alaska's  issues and  challenges  here?                                                               
      4. Develop  clear  recommendations   to  both Washington,DC                                                               
      and Ottawa   to develop   a transition   plan  working  with                                                              
      states  provinces,  and  territories   on how  best  to move                                                              
      toward  the goal  of a  secure  and sustainable   energy  and                                                             
      food security future for our two great nations.                                                                           
He  emphasized  the  need  to  work  with Ottawa   and Washington   D.C.                                                        
toward   mutual  goals.     He  noted   what  Alaska   can  offer   with                                                        
respect  to  energy  development.    He  emphasized   the need  to  work                                                        
with   First  Nations    Tribes  on   what   the  challenges    are  for                                                        
critical   mineral    development.      He   warned   that   rare-earth                                                         
minerals  will  be depleted  in  roughly  10 years  unless  the  country                                                        
does  something   drastically   different  from   what  the  country  is                                                        
doing  now.    He  spoke  about  a  work  group  that  will  be  pulling                                                        
together   for  the   annual   summit   in  Boise,   Idaho  for   future                                                        
11:03:52 AM                                                                                                                   
}STEVE   MYERS,  Operations    Manager*   Pacific  NorthWest    Economic                                                        
Region  *  Seattle,  Washington*   {  Offered  information   during  the                                                        
Pacific   NorthWest  Economic   Region   presentation.     He  gave  the                                                        
second  part  of  the  PNWER  presentation.     He  told  the committee                                                         
that  PNWER   had  the   chance  to   visit  the   U.S.  Department   of                                                        
Defense  (DoD)  in Washington  D.C.  in 2022  to discuss  the program.                                                          
The  origin  of  the  program   is  from  the  Defense  Protection   Act                                                        
enacted  by  the  federal   government.    He  informed  the  committee                                                         
that  the Defense   Production  Act  provided  a fund  of  $750  million                                                        
to  a private  company   sector  that  can apply  for  funding.    These                                                        
monies   can   be   used   to   complete    various   impact    studies,                                                        
essentially    to  allow   projects   to   move   forward   that   might                                                        
otherwise  be  stalled  because  of  funding  shortfalls.   He told  the                                                        
committee   he could  provide   more  details  on  how the  application                                                         
process  works  if  they  would  like  or  answer   any questions   they                                                        
might have.                                                                                                                     
11:05:08 AM                                                                                                                   
}MATT  MORRISON*   CEO of  Pacific  NW  Economic  Region  City  &  State                                                        
took  the  opportunity   to describe   the Defense   Protection  Act  to                                                        
the committee members.                                                                                                          
11:05:59 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  MORRISON  moved  ahead to  Slide  10, Legislative   Energy  Horizon                                                        
Institute   (LEHI).   MR.   MORRISON   said   the  group   is   actively                                                        
recruiting   legislators  to  attend  next  year's  working  group.  MR.                                                        
MORRISON   then   listed   the  statistical    break   down  of   active                                                        
graduates   still   seated   in  the   respective   legislatures.    MR.                                                        
MORRISON  expressed   his  gratitude   to be  able  to  offer  the  LEHI                                                        
program.  MR.  MORRISON  said  the governor's   office will  be  sending                                                        
several staff members to the meeting in Richmond, Washington.                                                                   
11:07:18 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  MORRISON   told   the  committee   about  the   annual  graduation                                                         
ceremony   at  the  Canadian   embassy.    MR.   MORRISON  presented   a                                                        
slide that showed this year's graduating class.                                                                                 
MR.   MORRISON    discussed   an   activity    that   LEHI   does   with                                                        
legislators   where  the  draft  a 10-year  utility   plan.  At the  end                                                        
of the  exercise  all  of the  legislators  compared  their  plans  with                                                        
the  other  legislators.    The activity   provided  a real  example  of                                                        
utility costs at a hypothetical rate.                                                                                           
11:08:41 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  MORRISON  concluded   by  describing  his  experiences   in  Alaska                                                        
from  the  early  70s.  MR.  MORRISON  stated  the  Alaska   is the  new                                                        
frontier.  MR.  MORRISON   said  the world  is  watching  Alaska.    MR.                                                        
MORRISON  stated  the  pioneering   innovation  begins   here [Alaska].                                                         
Federal  assistance   is a  vailable  for  communities.    MR.  MORRISON                                                        
said  that  what  has  made America   great  has come  from  pioneering                                                         
states.    MR.  MORRISON   told  the  committee   that  Alaska  has  the                                                        
opportunity  to  be a  pioneer  in innovation   from the  village  up to                                                        
community   stability.   MR.  MORRISON   said  there  is  a  once-in-a-                                                         
generation   chance   to  gain  federal   funding   to  spark   Alaska's                                                        
energy independence.                                                                                                            
MR.  MORRISON  highlighted   a "Riv-Gen"  project   that could  work  in                                                        
Alaska.    The  project   is  the  longest   marine  project   in  North                                                        
America; it has survived two winters...                                                                                         
11:10:41 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  MORRISON   said   the  project   was  made   possible  by   SENATOR                                                        
MURKOWSKI   and  will   benefit   so  many  villages   that   are  still                                                        
dependent  on  diesel  fuel.  MR. MORRISON  finished  his  presentation                                                         
and asked  if there  were  any questions  and  thanked  the committee.                                                          
11:11:26 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  MORRISON   played   a  3-minute   video   [undiscernible].      MR.                                                        
MORRISON   said   the   Riv-Gen   project   is   a  great   example   of                                                        
sustainable energy and innovation.                                                                                              
11:12:49 AM                                                                                                                   
MR.  MORRISON  said  with  the coming  funding   for infrastructure   is                                                        
available.   MR.  MORRISON  continued   by  saying  that  there  is  $90                                                        
billion in funding from the United States Department of Energy.                                                                 
MR.  MORRISON   described   how  the   generator   is  fully  submerged                                                         
underwater  and  has  provided  consistent  power  to the  community  it                                                        
serves.    [Undiscernible   music.]  MR.  MORRISON  told  the committee                                                         
the project is a public-private partnership. MR. MORRISON said                                                                  
this [the project] is a good opportunity.                                                                                       
11:13:50 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR RAUSCHER asked if there were any questions.                                                                               
11:14:03 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE SCHRAGE offered to thank the presenters for being                                                                
there and the work that LEHI does.                                                                                              
11:14:26 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE MCKAY also thanked the presenters.                                                                               
11:15:12 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR RAUSCHER though it was a great program and that he learned                                                                
a lot and described his experience to the rest of the committee.                                                                
MR. MORRISON invited all of the members of the committee to the                                                                 
next meeting in Idaho next October.                                                                                             
11:15:27 AM                                                                                                                   
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Special Committee on Energy meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Energy Committee Schedule 23-27 Jan 2023.pdf HENE 1/26/2023 10:15:00 AM
PNWR Presentation
2023.01.25 AEA Susitna-Watana Presentation to House Energy Committee.pdf HENE 1/26/2023 10:15:00 AM
AKEA Presentation