Legislature(2019 - 2020)BARNES 124

03/13/2019 01:20 PM House RESOURCES

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Audio Topic
01:23:11 PM Start
01:23:53 PM Presentation(s): Oil and Mining Solutions at the University of Alaska
02:13:47 PM Confirmation Hearing(s)|| Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council
02:24:51 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees: TELECONFERENCED
Fishermen's Fund Advisory & Appeals Council
-- Public Testimony <Time Limit May Be Set> --
+ Presentation: Oil & Mining Solutions at the TELECONFERENCED
University of AK by William Schnabel, P.E.,
Ph.D., Dean, UAF College of Engineering & Mines
-- Testimony <Invitation Only> --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 13, 2019                                                                                         
                           1:23 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Representative John Lincoln, Co-Chair                                                                                           
Representative Geran Tarr, Co-Chair                                                                                             
Representative Grier Hopkins, Vice Chair                                                                                        
Representative Sara Hannan                                                                                                      
Representative Ivy Spohnholz                                                                                                    
Representative Chris Tuck                                                                                                       
Representative Dave Talerico                                                                                                    
Representative George Rauscher                                                                                                  
Representative Sara Rasmussen                                                                                                   
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
PRESENTATION(S):  OIL AND MINING SOLUTIONS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF                                                                 
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                         
Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council                                                                                 
     Marilyn Charles - Emmonak                                                                                                  
     Moses Toyukak Sr. - Manokotak                                                                                              
     CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED                                                                                                   
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
WILLIAM SCHABEL, PE, PhD, Dean                                                                                                  
College of Engineering and Mines                                                                                                
University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                                                                  
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Provided   a  PowerPoint   presentation                                                             
entitled,  "Oil  and  Mining  Solutions   at  the  University  of                                                               
Alaska," dated 3/13/19, and answered questions.                                                                                 
MARILYN CHARLES, Appointee                                                                                                      
Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council                                                                                   
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Workers' Compensation                                                                                               
Department of Labor & Workforce Development                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  as appointee to  the Fishermen's                                                             
Fund Advisory and Appeals Council.                                                                                              
MOSES TOYUKAK SR., Appointee                                                                                                    
Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council                                                                                   
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Workers' Compensation                                                                                               
Department of Labor & Workforce Development                                                                                     
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:   Testified  as appointee to  the Fishermen's                                                             
Fund Advisory and Appeals Council.                                                                                              
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:23:11 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  GERAN   TARR  called   the  House   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  1:23 p.m.   Representatives Tuck,                                                               
Hannan,  Talerico,  Rauscher,  Rasmussen, Hopkins,  Lincoln,  and                                                               
Tarr  were  present  at  the   call  to  order.    Representative                                                               
Spohnholz arrived as the meeting was in progress.                                                                               
^PRESENTATION(S):  Oil and Mining  Solutions at the University of                                                               
PRESENTATION(S):  Oil and Mining Solutions at the University of                                                             
1:23:53 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR  announced the first  order of business would  be a                                                               
presentation by the University of Alaska Fairbanks.                                                                             
1:24:41 PM                                                                                                                    
WILLIAM  SCHABEL,  PE,  PhD, Dean,  College  of  Engineering  and                                                               
Mines, University of Alaska (UA),  University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                               
(UAF),  provided a  PowerPoint  presentation  entitled, "Oil  and                                                               
Mining  Solutions at  the University  of Alaska."   Dr.  Schnabel                                                               
informed  the committee  UA  - on  a statewide  basis  - and  UAF                                                               
support resource  development.  Resource  development, especially                                                               
when related  to engineering and  engineering-related activities,                                                               
is critical  to economic development  in Alaska; in fact,  UA has                                                               
incorporated  engineering programs  for over  100 years  and will                                                               
continue  to  develop   an  engineering  and  engineering-related                                                               
workforce  at  bachelor,  graduate,  associate,  and  endorsement                                                               
[degree] levels  (slide 2).  In  the past 10 years,  the combined                                                               
programs at the  College of Engineering, UA  Anchorage (UAA), and                                                               
the College  of Engineering and  Mines, UAF, have  graduated over                                                               
2,700  students in  engineering and  computer sciences;  however,                                                               
the Department  of Labor & Workforce  Development (DLWD) reported                                                               
from 2016-2026 Alaska will  need approximately 500-600 engineers,                                                               
computer  scientists, or  computer-related technicians  per year,                                                               
which is twice the number of  UA graduates per year [document not                                                               
provided] (slide 3).  Although not  all graduates stay to work in                                                               
Alaska,  UA graduates  are  best  trained to  work  in the  state                                                               
because they receive an experience  in the Alaska environment and                                                               
develop  an   understanding  of  specific  conditions,   such  as                                                               
permafrost and remote logistics (slides 4 and 5).                                                                               
1:28:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE RAUSCHER  asked for the reason  industry in Alaska                                                               
hires workers from Outside.                                                                                                     
DR.  SCHNABEL was  unsure  how many  engineers  from Outside  are                                                               
hired  and pointed  out international  companies may  bring their                                                               
own employees; however,  [UA] may not produce  enough gradates to                                                               
fill vacancies.                                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR  TARR   recalled  UAF  and   UAA  have   expanded  their                                                               
facilities and questioned whether  both campuses are operating at                                                               
enrollment capacity.                                                                                                            
DR.  SCHNABEL  said UA  has  facilities  capacity for  additional                                                               
students,  although additional  students  would probably  require                                                               
additional professors.                                                                                                          
CO-CHAIR  TARR   asked  for   information  related   to  Alaska's                                                               
workforce  and  how  to  advance  educational  opportunities  for                                                               
DR.  SCHNABEL offered  to provide  additional information  to the                                                               
committee in this regard.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  gave an  example of  a highly  trained and                                                               
specialist engineer  who graduated from  UAF but is  now employed                                                               
in other parts of the world.                                                                                                    
DR. SCHNABEL returned attention  to UA's focus on Alaska-specific                                                               
challenges such as  the Sagavanirktok River flood  on North Slope                                                               
in 2015,  which closed the  Dalton Highway  for three weeks.   He                                                               
said  since the  flood, UA  students have  been working  with the                                                               
Department of  Transportation and  Public Facilities  (DOTPF) and                                                               
the Alyeska  Pipeline Service Company studying  the conditions of                                                               
the flood and how to mitigate its affects (slide 5).                                                                            
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS  asked about other  engineering department                                                               
partnerships with DOTPF.                                                                                                        
1:35:17 PM                                                                                                                    
DR. SCHNABEL  recalled there were  plans to build roads  on North                                                               
Slope east and  west that required information on  the water flow                                                               
of rivers flowing  north and south for bridge design;  as many of                                                               
the rivers in  Alaska are remote and are not  gauged, UA measured                                                               
and modeled  the rivers north  and south  of the Brooks  Range to                                                               
determine water flow.  For  another example, he said UAF produced                                                               
the design  for the best culvert  that allows for the  passage of                                                               
salmon.  Dr. Schnabel continued  the presentation and restated UA                                                               
provides workforce  development throughout the  university system                                                               
at  the community  and technical  colleges  at UAA,  UAF, and  UA                                                               
Southeast  (UAS)  (slide  6).    He  turned  to  the  Mining  and                                                               
Geological   Engineering   program    that   provides   workforce                                                               
development, trains  students on  Alaska issues,  and has  been a                                                               
mining school for  over 100 years; in fact,  UAF conduct projects                                                               
at the UAF mine and at  commercial mines.  Commercial mines bring                                                               
problems to be researched by  students at the UAF laboratory; for                                                               
example,  a project  with the  Red Dog  Mine will  study bacteria                                                               
from the mine that would  transform sulfate to sulfide, raise the                                                               
pH of the water,  and produce an ion to treat  the water prior to                                                               
its  discharge from  the  water treatment  plant.   Dr.  Schnabel                                                               
concluded  the  study  will  perform  the  preliminary  steps  to                                                               
develop  a  biological treatment  process  to  help clean  [mine]                                                               
tailings (slide 8).                                                                                                             
1:40:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR TARR questioned whether  a skimming process would remove                                                               
metals [from water].                                                                                                            
DR.  SCHNABEL advised  a sediment  collection  basin is  normally                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS asked  if  UAF and  UAA  have Careers  in                                                               
Mining classes.                                                                                                                 
DR.  SCHNABEL stated  UAF  and UAA  have  programs through  their                                                               
community and  technical colleges.   Another  study with  Red Dog                                                               
Mine is  working to increase  flotation yield after ore  is mixed                                                               
with  water, which  is dependent  on  the chemistry  of the  ore.                                                               
Experiments are  best conducted  in the UAF  lab by  students who                                                               
are working to optimize flotation yield (slide 9).                                                                              
CO-CHAIR  LINCOLN asked  whether Red  Dog Mine  funds any  of the                                                               
aforementioned research.                                                                                                        
DR. SCHNABEL advised Red Dog Mine  funds all of the research done                                                               
at its  request.  He directed  attention to slide 10  and related                                                               
about five  years ago, occupations were  identified as priorities                                                               
by the Alaska Miners Association,  so UAF submitted a proposal to                                                               
the U.S.  Department of  Labor for  a grant  to fund  a workforce                                                               
development  project  -  in  addition to  research.    The  grant                                                               
facilitated  a mill  process operators  endorsement program  with                                                               
thirty students  - who were  subsequently hired by five  mines in                                                               
the  state; some  funds  went to  underground  and surface  miner                                                               
training programs, and  some funds were used  to develop MIRLSim,                                                               
a mining mill process simulator  available at no cost through the                                                               
UAF Mineral  Industry Research  Laboratory (MIRL)  website (slide                                                               
1:46:28 PM                                                                                                                    
DR.  SCHNABEL  turned  attention  to  the  Petroleum  Engineering                                                               
program that  has about 65 students;  students go on to  work for                                                               
the  industry  in Alaska  and  elsewhere,  and some  alumni  have                                                               
worked  advising  legislators  (slide  12).    All  undergraduate                                                               
students  of   engineering  programs   at  UAF  finish   with  an                                                               
[independent  research]  Capstone  Project,  many  of  which  are                                                               
state-specific  and  are  designed  to solve  problems  in  rural                                                               
Alaska or  for industry; for  example, one  petroleum engineering                                                               
Capstone  Project  -  in  partnership  with  the  Alaska  Gasline                                                               
Development  Corporation -  developed a  virtual data  room which                                                               
has  collected all  the information  related to  North Slope  gas                                                               
resources  for  potential investors'  perusal  (slide  13).   The                                                               
university also  began a study  with Hilcorp on core  flooding to                                                               
determine the  best way to  extract oil.  After  initial positive                                                               
results, UAF  and Hilcorp  submitted a  proposal to  the National                                                               
Energy Technology  Laboratory, U.S.  Department of  Energy (DOE),                                                               
related  to the  use  of  polymer flooding  to  extract heavy  or                                                               
viscous  oil; the  response to  the proposal  was a  $9.6 million                                                               
project  that is  in the  first year  of a  four-year study  of a                                                               
process  that is  very important  to Alaska  (slides 14  and 15).                                                               
Dr. Schnabel further  explained UAF and Hilcorp  are developing a                                                               
current  proposal:   the  process  of  advanced oil  recovery  by                                                               
polymer-alternating-solvent  injection (slide  16).   He  pointed                                                               
out UAF uses state funds to  write proposals, which take a lot of                                                               
1:52:46 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE   SPOHNHOLZ   questioned   whether   the   solvent                                                               
injection technology is used elsewhere.                                                                                         
DR.  SCHNABEL  said solvent  injection  is  used, as  is  solvent                                                               
injection  alternating  with   water  flooding;  however,  adding                                                               
polymer to solvent is a new technology.                                                                                         
CO-CHAIR TARR inquired as to which  entity - Hilcorp, DOE, or UAF                                                               
- would hold the patent on the new technology.                                                                                  
DR. SCHNABEL  stressed UAF  seeks to  patent the  technologies it                                                               
develops, but he was unsure  of the specific patent situation for                                                               
the aforementioned project.                                                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  RASMUSSEN  asked  what specific  portion  of  the                                                               
university budget is used to write proposals.                                                                                   
DR. SCHNABEL offered to provide the requested information.                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE HANNAN  asked whether  Dr. Schnabel knows  how the                                                               
university's budgets [proposed within HB 39] would impact UAF.                                                                  
DR.  SCHNABEL   characterized  the   proposed  budgets   for  the                                                               
university as  devasting; however,  he was  unsure of  how budget                                                               
"cuts" to  the university system  would be distributed,  and thus                                                               
declined to speculate on the impacts to specific programs.                                                                      
1:56:13 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HANNAN questioned  the cost  analysis of  certain                                                               
state  monies.    She  observed  state money  is  used  to  write                                                               
proposals for  a company,  in partnership with  UAF, that  may be                                                               
interested in  a specific project;  however, UAF  seeks long-term                                                               
projects  and  development  for   industry-wide  benefits.    She                                                               
     ... much  of the work I  hear you talking about  is ...                                                                    
     we gave  you ten  dollars and  we were  able to  make a                                                                    
     thousand now, but  it might make us a  million over its                                                                    
     lifespan. ...  What could you  do and where do  you see                                                                    
     the programs growing?                                                                                                      
DR. SCHNABEL  advised in  2018, the  research unit  received $1.5                                                               
million in  state funds, $1.5  million in indirect  cost recovery                                                               
(ICR) overhead costs based on  external grants, and approximately                                                               
$11 million in  external grants.  He  surmised university funding                                                               
is  beneficial  to  the  state;   however,  he  was  unsure  what                                                               
proportion of  those funds supported  proposals because  of their                                                               
grant  management costs.    Turning attention  to  slide 17,  Dr.                                                               
Schnabel  said  the university  has  formed  the Energy  Research                                                               
Consortium  of  Alaska  (ERCA),  to  provide  answers  to  common                                                               
problems  faced by  the  energy industry.    During ERCA's  first                                                               
three meetings,  participants identified the following  scopes of                                                               
work:  coastal  and offshore issues, changing  permafrost and oil                                                               
production, and  subsurface imaging;  currently, ERCA,  on behalf                                                               
of  industry,  is  studying permafrost  science  and  engineering                                                               
related  to gravel  pads and  gravel roads  on permafrost  (slide                                                               
18).  Dr. Schnabel described  another study underway that relates                                                               
to  synthetic   gas  (syngas),  made   from  coal,  to   power  a                                                               
reciprocating  generator  when  energy   from  wind  turbines  is                                                               
unavailable.  He noted the study  is in the front end engineering                                                               
design (FEED)  phase and is an  example of how UAF  is looking to                                                               
the future (slide 19).                                                                                                          
2:03:31 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR LINCOLN asked for the generator's fuel source.                                                                         
DR.  SCHNABEL  further explained  the  generator  is an  existing                                                               
diesel  generator on  campus that  would  be converted  to a  gas                                                               
generator;  the  study  will  determine  the  efficiency  of  the                                                               
generator after scaling down to "a megawatt scale."                                                                             
DR. SCHNABEL  informed the committee UA  statewide administration                                                               
manages the Mining and Petroleum  Training Service which provides                                                               
workforce development statewide;  he described an industry-funded                                                               
program  called herder  burner that  would spray  a herder  agent                                                               
around an  oil spill to contain  the oil, and then  the oil would                                                               
be  ignited,  both  by  aerial  application.    The  program  was                                                               
developed only at  UAF, because of its value to  the offshore oil                                                               
industry in  the Arctic, and  demonstrates the importance  of the                                                               
university to Alaska (slides 20 and 21).                                                                                        
2:07:57 PM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS recalled  a recent  news report  credited                                                               
advances  in  technology for  the  increased  oil production  and                                                               
development on North Slope and elsewhere.                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE RASMUSSEN  expressed her support for  the Resource                                                               
Industry  Training Programs  and inquired  as to  amount budgeted                                                               
for the programs.                                                                                                               
DR.  SCHNABEL offered  to provide  the [budget]  figures for  the                                                               
workforce development programs.                                                                                                 
REPRESENTATIVE  TALERICO noted  the  development  of energy  from                                                               
coal  resources   could  be  beneficial  throughout   the  state,                                                               
including rural areas.                                                                                                          
DR. SCHNABEL agreed.                                                                                                            
^CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                        
^Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council                                                                                  
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                 
         FISHERMEN'S FUND ADVISORY AND APPEALS COUNCIL                                                                        
2:13:47 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR announced  the final  order of  business would  be                                                               
confirmation  hearings for  appointees  to  the Fishermen's  Fund                                                               
Advisory  and Appeals  Council and  read the  following statement                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
     The board  consists of six  members, five  appointed by                                                                    
     the  governor from  five specific  districts listed  in                                                                    
     statute  and  the  commissioner of  the  Department  of                                                                    
     Labor  or the  commissioner's designee,  who serves  as                                                                    
     chair.  The council  consults with the commissioner (or                                                                    
     designee)  regarding  negative   decisions  on  appeals                                                                    
     filed  in  relation  to  care   of  sick  and  disabled                                                                    
     fisherman; Advises the  department on administration of                                                                    
     the  fund.   They meet  2 times  per year  for 10  days                                                                    
2:15:10 PM                                                                                                                    
MARILYN  CHARLES,   Appointee,  Fishermen's  Fund   Advisory  and                                                               
Appeals   Council,   Central   Office,   Division   of   Workers'                                                               
Compensation,  Department  of  Labor  and  Workforce  Development                                                               
(DLWD),  informed the  committee she  is a  lifelong resident  of                                                               
Emmonak  and   gave  a  short  description   of  her  educational                                                               
background and experience  working in the fishery  industry.  She                                                               
said her  service as a  compliance officer for  Kwikpak Fisheries                                                               
provided   experience  related   to  workers'   compensation  and                                                               
protection  and indemnity  (P&I)  insurance, and  with the  local                                                               
insurance carriers.   Her interest in the council  stems from her                                                               
desire to help  her community and all of the  fishermen living in                                                               
Emmonak.   Ms. Charles  pointed out at  her current  employer she                                                               
processes workers' compensation and P&I  claims, and thus she can                                                               
assist  and  teach  fisherman about  the  [Workers'  Compensation                                                               
Fishermen's Fund] program.                                                                                                      
2:18:27 PM                                                                                                                    
MOSES  TOYUKAK  SR.,  Appointee, Fishermen's  Fund  Advisory  and                                                               
Appeals   Council,   Central   Office,   Division   of   Workers'                                                               
Compensation,  DLWD,  informed the  committee  he  is a  lifelong                                                               
resident of  Manokotak and speaks  his Native  language fluently.                                                               
He provided  a history of  his education through college  and his                                                               
work experience beginning in Valdez  on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline                                                               
System.   In 1971, he  began fishing  in Manokotak, and  has also                                                               
worked at  the power plant as  an electrician for 42  years.  Mr.                                                               
Toyukak  is  also a  commercial  pilot  and  serves on  the  city                                                               
council,   the  village   council,  the   Bristol  Bay   Economic                                                               
Development Corporation, and  other fisheries-related committees,                                                               
and attends  meetings of  the Board of  Game and  the fisherman's                                                               
association.   He  is interested  because he  is a  fisherman, is                                                               
willing  to learn,  and wants  to help  his community  and fellow                                                               
fishermen as his relatives have done.                                                                                           
2:23:15 PM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR  TARR  opened  public   testimony  on  the  confirmation                                                               
hearings  of  Marilyn  Charles  and  Moses  Toyukak  Sr.  to  the                                                               
Fishermen's   Fund   Advisory    and   Appeals   Council.   After                                                               
ascertaining  no  one wished  to  testify,  Co-Chair Tarr  closed                                                               
public testimony.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE HOPKINS paraphrased from the following statement:                                                                
      The House Resources Standing Committee has reviewed                                                                       
      the qualifications for the governor's appointees to                                                                       
     the  Fishermen's  Fund  Advisory and  Appeals  Council,                                                                    
     Marilyn Charles  and Moses Toyukak Sr.,  and recommends                                                                    
     that  the names  be forwarded  to a  joint session  for                                                                    
     consideration.   This  does not  reflect the  intent by                                                                    
     any  member to  vote for  or against  these individuals                                                                    
     during  any   further  sessions  for  the   purpose  of                                                                    
2:24:51 PM                                                                                                                    
There being no further business before the committee, the House                                                                 
Resources Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 2:24 p.m.                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Marilyn Charles Resume Fisheries Fund.pdf HRES 3/13/2019 1:20:00 PM
Marilyn Charles Resume Fisheries Fund
Moses Toyukak Sr Resume Fisheries Fund.pdf HRES 3/13/2019 1:20:00 PM
Moses Toyukak Resume Fisheries Fund
Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council Fact Sheet and Roster.pdf HRES 3/13/2019 1:20:00 PM
Fishermen's Fund Advisory and Appeals Council
House Resources Committee UA Oil Mining Presentation 3.13.19.pdf HRES 3/13/2019 1:20:00 PM