Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/01/2016 01:00 PM TRANSPORTATION

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

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

Audio Topic
01:11:25 PM Start
01:12:38 PM Confirmation Hearings: Board of Marine Pilots
01:54:36 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Public Testimony on Appointees --
+ Confirmation Hearings TELECONFERENCED
Board of Marine Pilots:
Andrew Mack - Anchorage
Tom Rueter - Anchorage
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            SENATE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                          
                         March 1, 2016                                                                                          
                           1:11 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Peter Micciche, Chair                                                                                                   
Senator Click Bishop, Vice Chair                                                                                                
Senator Mike Dunleavy                                                                                                           
Senator Dennis Egan                                                                                                             
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARINGS                                                                                                           
     Board of Marine Pilots                                                                                                   
          Andrew Mack - Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                       
          Tom Rueter - Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                        
     - CONFIRMATIONS ADVANCED                                                                                                   
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
ANDREW MACK                                                                                                                     
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Board of Marine Pilots appointee.                                                                        
TOM RUETER                                                                                                                      
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT: Board of Marine Pilots re-appointee.                                                                      
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
1:11:25 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE  CHAIR   CLICK  BISHOP  called  the   Senate  Transportation                                                             
Standing Committee meeting  to order at 1:11 p.m.  Present at the                                                               
call  to  order were  Senators  Egan,  Dunleavy, and  Vice  Chair                                                               
^Confirmation Hearings: Board of Marine Pilots                                                                                  
         Confirmation Hearings: Board of Marine Pilots                                                                      
1:12:38 PM                                                                                                                    
VICE CHAIR  BISHOP announced the confirmation  hearing for Andrew                                                               
Mack, appointee  to the  Board of Marine  Pilots, and  noted that                                                               
his term would expire on March 1, 2020.                                                                                         
1:12:55 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MICCICHE joined the committee.                                                                                            
1:13:11 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
1:13:39 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MICCICHE asked Mr. Mack to  tell them about himself and why                                                               
he would be a good candidate for the Board of Marine Pilots.                                                                    
1:14:07 PM                                                                                                                    
ANDREW  MACK,  Board  of   Marine  Pilots  appointee,  Anchorage,                                                               
Alaska,  said he  was  born  and raised  in  Soldotna.  He is  an                                                               
attorney  and his  work  for the  last  10 years  has  been on  a                                                               
variety  of  resource  issues.  Most  recently  he  worked  as  a                                                               
consultant   to   several    organizations,   including   village                                                               
corporations  that  are  involved  in development  on  the  North                                                               
Slope. He is also a managing director at Pt Capital.                                                                            
MR. MACK  said he was  introduced to the  water front as  a young                                                               
person and  became a commercial fisherman  in different fisheries                                                               
for 14 years. He said that  mariners have a "pretty solid record"                                                               
of trafficking the waters safely in  the state except for the one                                                               
notable exception.  A great deal  of marine  traffic successfully                                                               
happens in  Cook Inlet  and Prince William  Sound and  all across                                                               
the Alaska coastline, and the  pilots are an important ingredient                                                               
in that mixture.  They bring a perspective which  allows folks to                                                               
maintain their focus  on good business practices that  leads to a                                                               
safe practice. He  felt that his experience-base and  some of the                                                               
things he had  done through his life to benefit  the Marine Pilot                                                               
CHAIR MICCICHE disclosed that he had  known Mr. Mack for 35 years                                                               
just being from the same small town.                                                                                            
1:17:02 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY  said on  his  application  under "conflict  of                                                               
interest" Mr. Mack  answered "yes" to the question of  him or his                                                               
family  being  affected  financially  by decisions  made  by  the                                                               
board,  but answered  "no" to  explain  "the potential  financial                                                               
benefit," and asked him to explain that answer.                                                                                 
MR.  MACK  replied  that  he   should  have  said  "no"  to  both                                                               
questions, but  at the  time he couldn't  think of  any financial                                                               
decisions  the board  might make  that  would affect  him or  his                                                               
family  financially. He  honestly realized  that he  had answered                                                               
that wrong and said it was an error.                                                                                            
SENATOR DUNLEAVY asked why he wanted to be on the board.                                                                        
MR.  MACK  answered that  the  board  is  built  so that  it  has                                                               
representatives of various interests  - industry, pilots, and the                                                               
public -  and all of  them want  marine business to  be conducted                                                               
safely, because it is good business in Alaska.                                                                                  
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY asked  why he  wants to  be on  this particular                                                               
MR.  MACK  answered because  he  is  fascinated with  the  marine                                                               
industries  and how  they  are  so important  to  the economy  of                                                               
Alaska,  most of  which happens  almost invisibly.  Alaska has  a                                                               
"pretty unique  system," he said, especially  considering all the                                                               
variations  of  harbors,  weather  and  distances.  Part  of  his                                                               
fascination is curiosity,  but he also thinks he  has some unique                                                               
experiences in  understanding marine transportation  systems, how                                                               
they can benefit Alaska, and how they can be done safely.                                                                       
SENATOR DUNLEAVY said a number of  pilots and agents on the board                                                               
have  years  of  experience  and  asked,  other  than  commercial                                                               
fishing, what  experience Mr. Mack  has that would  be applicable                                                               
to this position.                                                                                                               
MR.  MACK  answered   that  his  current  work   is  in  business                                                               
development.  His  clients have  an  interest  in the  long  term                                                               
success  of  Alaska. Whether  it's  a  village corporation  or  a                                                               
company  doing business  in Dead  Horse, they  all have  a common                                                               
purpose, which  to successfully keep  their businesses  away from                                                               
scenarios  where  bad  things  happen. He  has  experience  as  a                                                               
commercial fisherman, but he also  spends most of his days trying                                                               
to solve knotty  problems in the business community.  He hoped to                                                               
bring some  of those  experiences to  the board,  a lot  of whose                                                               
activities are not solely focused on  the water. In fact, most of                                                               
their focus in on land activities.                                                                                              
SENATOR DUNLEAVY asked who some of his clients are.                                                                             
MR.  MACK  answered  that  he  works  for  a  couple  of  village                                                               
corporations  on the  North  Slope. Some  of  them have  multiple                                                               
issues and are  well-known clients. One of the  companies he does                                                               
a lot of business with is  Kuukpik Corporation on the North Slope                                                               
and another is the Inuit Corporation based in Wainwright.                                                                       
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY said  he was  trying to  understand Mr.  Mack's                                                               
motivation and asked him to  detail any other associations he has                                                               
with the government and administration.                                                                                         
MR.  MACK answered  that  he  recently got  a  contract with  the                                                               
governor  and  the  administration  to help  think  through  some                                                               
knotty  issues centered  on access  to ANWR  and other  federally                                                               
controlled areas. He  said the contract terms  had been discussed                                                               
1:26:31 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DUNLEAVY asked his role with Pt Capital.                                                                                
MR. MACK replied that Pt Capital  is a private equity fund, a way                                                               
for investors to  directly invest in business.  He explained that                                                               
Alaska has historically exported its  resources and in some cases                                                               
its capital,  and Pt Capital is  designed to do the  opposite: to                                                               
attract  capital  from  outside  of  Alaska  and  place  it  into                                                               
investments here.  His role  is to  look for  opportunities where                                                               
the capital may be placed.                                                                                                      
SENATOR DUNLEAVY  asked if Pt  Capital is just focused  on Alaska                                                               
or the Arctic.                                                                                                                  
MR. MACK answered that it is focused on Alaska.                                                                                 
SENATOR DUNLEAVY  asked if this is  the same Pt Capital  that the                                                               
owner of the Dispatch, Alice Rogoff, is part of.                                                                                
CHAIR  MICCICHE interrupted  to say  that Senator  Bishop has  to                                                               
leave for another meeting and had a question.                                                                                   
SENATOR BISHOP  said it appears  that Mr. Mack has  experience in                                                               
Arctic issues  including maritime activities and  it appears that                                                               
he  is also  the  principal  author of  the  North Slope  Borough                                                               
Offshore  Arctic oil  and gas  development  policy positions.  He                                                               
asked him to expand on what those positions entailed.                                                                           
MR. MACK  answered that he  was an  employee for the  North Slope                                                               
Borough and head  of Government External Affairs for  a number of                                                               
years. In  that capacity, he  looked at  a range of  options that                                                               
the  communities thought  made  sense for  them.  They looked  at                                                               
other  business  systems  that  were  being  employed,  sometimes                                                               
globally, but certainly around Alaska.                                                                                          
One  of  the things  he  did  with  them  was put  together  some                                                               
important  issues for  conducting safe  business. The  Assembly -                                                               
including former Mayor Itta -  unanimously passed a resolution on                                                               
how  marine pilots  might  be  used to  make  sure  that all  the                                                               
proposed activity was conducted safely.                                                                                         
1:32:12 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DUNLEAVY asked if the owner  of the Dispatch is linked to                                                               
Pt Capital.                                                                                                                     
MR. MACK  replied that  he was  almost certain  that her  role is                                                               
senior advisor there.                                                                                                           
1:32:39 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY  asked  if his  contract  with  the  governor's                                                               
office will be extended at the end of the month.                                                                                
MR.  MACK  said he  didn't  know,  but  he is  currently  working                                                               
diligently on it.                                                                                                               
SENATOR DUNLEAVY asked if that is the plan.                                                                                     
MR. MACK  answered that they have  to get through the  first part                                                               
of  the  contract, and  then  the  administration will  tell  him                                                               
whether they want more help or that it will be closed out.                                                                      
1:33:18 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY  asked  with   the  governor  defunding  Arctic                                                               
Power's lobbying efforts  on behalf of Alaska  and Washington, if                                                               
he would be taking over some of that work                                                                                       
MR. MACK answered that the subject had never come up.                                                                           
SENATOR DUNLEAVY  asked if there  are any potential  conflicts or                                                               
associations  he  should  be  noting   beyond  what  was  in  his                                                               
MR. MACK answered that he couldn't  think of anything off the top                                                               
of  his head.  If there  was an  interface or  connection between                                                               
opportunities  that  Pt Capital  might  be  pursuing -  something                                                               
involving pilots  - he  would be obligated  to come  forward, but                                                               
there aren't any of those right now.                                                                                            
SENATOR DUNLEAVY  asked if  he had  to disassociate  himself from                                                               
any  other  business arrangements  or  contracts  to sit  on  the                                                               
board. He assumed he didn't have to  do that with any of the ones                                                               
he mentioned.                                                                                                                   
MR. MACK answered that he assumed  the same thing and promised to                                                               
look into it.  He stated that as an attorney  he has always lived                                                               
under the  code of professional  conduct, which  is if you  see a                                                               
conflict you raise it and try to resolve it.                                                                                    
1:36:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MICCICHE  said he  thought the  struggle the  committee was                                                               
having  is  that  they  know  a  lot  of  people  with  years  of                                                               
applicable  marine  pilot  experience,  and while  he  knows  and                                                               
trusts Mr. Mack - no question  - sometimes people in the building                                                               
sort of wonder how these things  come together. He asked Mr. Mack                                                               
to tell them more about his contract with the governor.                                                                         
MR. MACK replied  that the contract is with the  governor and the                                                               
administration  to help  them plan  for and  address some  of the                                                               
large issues that  always challenge the State  of Alaska, notably                                                               
federal  activity  and decision  making  in  the Arctic  National                                                               
Wildlife  Refuge (ANWR),  the Outer  Continental Shelf  (OCS) and                                                               
the National Petroleum  Reserve Alaska (NPRA). He  is well versed                                                               
in these issues and already does  some of the same work for other                                                               
clients.  The contract  dates  are pretty  narrow  and its  total                                                               
value is  $50,000; it is  scheduled to  end in another  month. He                                                               
doesn't know if it will be continued.                                                                                           
1:39:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  DUNLEAVY asked  what the  deliverables  of the  contract                                                               
MR. MACK answered that some of  it is limited to reporting, along                                                               
with  consulting and  advisory  services, and  there  would be  a                                                               
written  product at  some point.  He  explained that  one of  the                                                               
reasons  he  has  good  relations  with  many  of  the  corporate                                                               
entities and  leadership on the  North Slope is because  he lived                                                               
in Barrow for three years (2003-2006).                                                                                          
CHAIR MICCICHE thanked him for being with the committee today.                                                                  
1:41:03 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MICCICHE  announced the  hearing for  Tom Rueter  and asked                                                               
him to  tell them  about himself  and why  he wanted  to continue                                                               
serving on the Board of Marine Pilots.                                                                                          
1:41:13 PM                                                                                                                    
TOM RUETER, Anchorage, Alaska, Board  of Marine Pilots appointee,                                                               
Anchorage, Alaska, said he had been  in Alaska since 1973 and had                                                               
been  involved in  the  maritime  industry for  30  years. He  is                                                               
currently  general  manager  for Alaska  Maritime  Agencies  that                                                               
represents a  variety of vessels  that utilize  pilotage services                                                               
under the Marine  Pilotage Act. A good portion  of those services                                                               
include  making arrangements  and  requests, advising  interested                                                               
vessel operators what the regulatory  regime is regarding the use                                                               
of pilotage, advising  on advance notices and where  they can and                                                               
can't go without  pilots, and explaining the nature  of the pilot                                                               
services  and  their charges.  He  explained  that larger  vessel                                                               
operators that have an ongoing  service - barge and tug services,                                                               
for instance  - have  offices and  staff in  Alaska who  meet the                                                               
needs of their vessels, because they have scheduled services.                                                                   
He explained  that agents frequently  represent vessels  that may                                                               
show up in Alaska with the owners  one time in a year or one time                                                               
ever, but do  not have a regular presence and  so they need local                                                               
knowledge  and understanding  of the  regulatory regime.  Whether                                                               
the owner is in Hong Kong or London,  they ask an agent to set up                                                               
arrangements for  their vessel that  is coming into  Anchorage or                                                               
Seward or  locations of that nature.  He and people like  him are                                                               
out there  talking with the  pilots and making  arrangements. Mr.                                                               
Rueter said he has been involved  with the Board of Marine Pilots                                                               
as a participant in the meetings since 1990 or 1989 or so.                                                                      
MR. RUETER  said he has  also been  an active participant  in the                                                               
Alaska  Steamship  Association,  a   group  of  industry  members                                                               
seeking  to make  sure  that  the services  and  the training  of                                                               
pilots through  the board are meeting  with industry expectations                                                               
and  concerns  over safety  as  navigational  aids and  processes                                                               
He explained  that the pilot  works with the bridge  crew, taking                                                               
command of the vessel as  provided, so that their local knowledge                                                               
is utilized  when coming  into pilotage  waters. Because  many of                                                               
the  principals do  not have  an active  presence, the  Steamship                                                               
Association  also engages  the  pilots to  make  sure that  their                                                               
services are  cost effective, because  they are a  recognized and                                                               
approved monopoly of the state  and obligated to provide services                                                               
to ensure the safety of the  marine environment in and around the                                                               
state's waters. His interest in  participating on the board is to                                                               
help offer  insight to vessel  owners that are absent  from their                                                               
1:47:08 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR MICCICHE  said his experience is  clearly long-standing and                                                               
applicable.  He asked  Mr. Mack  if he  had much  to do  with the                                                               
terminal compatibility  and simulation studies in  the facilities                                                               
that have become somewhat highly developed toward those efforts.                                                                
MR.  RUETER answered  that  he had  limited  participated in  the                                                               
simulation facilities at AVTEC in  Seward and a simulation review                                                               
in  Juneau. He  said  that  new terminals  are  rare, but  vessel                                                               
operator  insights and  expectations  have been  solicited as  to                                                               
what conditions might be necessary  at a new terminal for mooring                                                               
and line handling arrangements.                                                                                                 
CHAIR  MICCICHE said  there is  no question  that when  an entity                                                               
brings a  new vessel  into Alaskan waters,  the pilots  are there                                                               
every  step of  the way,  and the  simulations and  compatibility                                                               
studies couldn't be done without them.                                                                                          
1:48:41 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR DUNLEAVY asked  Mr. Rueter if his  experience is critical                                                               
in doing this job well.                                                                                                         
MR. RUETER answered that the  board has two industry members, two                                                               
pilot  members,  and two  public  members  who are  charged  with                                                               
understanding  the  regulations,  and   a  disposition  could  be                                                               
accomplished by any  number of people. Expertise  comes into play                                                               
when pilots are questioned as to  how to safely bring a vessel of                                                               
a certain  size in or  what guidelines or concerns  someone might                                                               
have about vessel  operations. He explained that  the board leans                                                               
quite strongly on a strong  pilotage association and its training                                                               
guidelines  while  indoctrinating  new  personnel  that  will  be                                                               
licensed by  the board.  However, the  board is  not specifically                                                               
involved in  saying a person  is guiding the  ship appropriately.                                                               
They  rely almost  entirely  on the  association  to say  trained                                                               
pilots had  accompanied this individual,  observed them  in their                                                               
practices  and  find  them  to  be fully  fit  to  provide  these                                                               
services, and then recommend to the  board that they be granted a                                                               
license. He  said that  the job  involves listening  carefully to                                                               
the  facts  and expertise  put  forward  by the  licensed  pilots                                                               
relative to  new pilots coming  on and the ability  to understand                                                               
different  positions,  whether  it  has  to  do  with  pilots  or                                                               
industry  and  that,  "It  could  be addressed  by  any  of  many                                                               
1:52:08 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR BISHOP  said his resume'  speaks for itself and  asked if                                                               
Mr. Rueter  thinks AVTEC  brings value  to the  maritime industry                                                               
with its compliments of training cohorts in Seward.                                                                             
MR. RUETER  answered that  he participated  when they  brought in                                                               
the  original simulator  from  Kongsberg in  the  early 90s,  and                                                               
their efforts  to expand  that with  the participation  of pilots                                                               
has been very beneficial. Until  that time, they labored long and                                                               
hard  to convince  pilots  and other  industry  to utilize  their                                                               
services and  equipment. Otherwise, frequently pilots  would have                                                               
to go off to Florida and  Switzerland and other places around the                                                               
world to accomplish various trainings.                                                                                          
CHAIR MICCICHE asked if he is fluent in the Japanese language.                                                                  
MR. RUETER answered yes.                                                                                                        
CHAIR  MICCICHE  thanked  both   gentlemen  for  being  with  the                                                               
committee  today.  He  said  the  members  would  sign  a  report                                                               
recommending  that  the  appointments  be forwarded  to  a  joint                                                               
session for  consideration. This  does not  reflect an  intent by                                                               
any of  the members to  vote for  or against confirmation  of the                                                               
individuals during any further sessions.                                                                                        
1:54:36 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  MICCICHE  adjourned  the  Senate  Transportation  Standing                                                               
Committee meeting at 1:53 p.m.                                                                                                  

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
Andrew Mack.pdf STRA 3/1/2016 1:00:00 PM
Tom Rueter.pdf STRA 3/1/2016 1:00:00 PM
Board of Marine Pilots Fact Sheet.pdf STRA 3/1/2016 1:00:00 PM
Board of Marine Pilots Roster.pdf STRA 3/1/2016 1:00:00 PM
Confirmation Memo.pdf STRA 3/1/2016 1:00:00 PM