HJR 13: Endorsing, in principle, legislation authorizing oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development on the coastal plain within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, provided the legislation does not contain a provision decreasing this state's royalty.
00HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 13 01 Endorsing, in principle, legislation authorizing oil and gas leasing, exploration, and 02 development on the coastal plain within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 03 provided the legislation does not contain a provision decreasing this state's royalty. 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature has previously recognized the importance 06 of reasonable exploration and development of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife 07 Refuge (ANWR) and has adopted resolutions supporting federal legislation to authorize oil and 08 gas leasing, exploration, and development on the coastal plain; and 09 WHEREAS the Alaska Statehood Act contains a binding contract with Alaska that the 10 state will receive 90 percent of all oil, gas, and mineral royalties from federal land in Alaska; 11 and 12 WHEREAS the federal government has both a moral and a legal duty to honor all 13 obligations set out in the several acts admitting new states; and 14 WHEREAS the people of the State of Alaska relied on that royalty sharing provision
01 in ratifying the Alaska Statehood Act; and 02 WHEREAS the United States Congress included that royalty sharing provision in the 03 compact because Alaska, unlike all other public land states, was not covered by the federal 04 Reclamation Act and derived no benefits from that Act; and 05 WHEREAS the Congress also intended in the Alaska Statehood Act to compensate 06 Alaska for the large federal land reservations that had the effect of stifling beneficial economic 07 development; and 08 WHEREAS the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge comprises a core 09 calving ground of the Porcupine Caribou herd; and 10 WHEREAS the Gwich'in Athabascan Indians of northeastern Alaska and northwestern 11 Canada have relied on caribou for subsistence for thousands of years, and continue to subsist 12 on the Porcupine Caribou herd, a herd that is essential to meet the nutritional, cultural, and 13 spiritual needs of the Gwich'in people; and 14 WHEREAS 65 percent of the remote communities in Alaska still lack piped water and 15 other essential services and the people of Alaska rely on that royalty sharing provision to 16 address this and other grave health, social, and economic problems; and 17 WHEREAS the Congress considered other legislation that authorized oil and gas 18 leasing in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that 19 (1) provided that only 50 percent of royalty revenue from the wildlife refuge 20 would be shared with Alaska, and 21 (2) contained so called "blackmail clauses" that would void any lease sale 22 should the revenue division and sharing provisions be successfully challenged in court; and 23 WHEREAS the "blackmail clauses" infringe on this state's constitutional rights 24 because they penalize Alaska if it tries to protect its rights under the Statehood Act; 25 BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Legislature that the Legislature supports in 26 principle federal legislation authorizing oil and gas leasing, exploration, and development on 27 the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but opposes any unilateral reductions 28 in royalty revenue from that exploration and development and any attempts by the Congress 29 or the President to coerce the State of Alaska into accepting less than was promised at 30 statehood; and be it 31 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Congress join with the state in providing strict
01 standards for the protection of land, water, and wildlife resources, including the habitat of the 02 Porcupine Caribou herd, during the exploration and development of the coastal plain of the 03 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 04 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the 05 United States; the Honorable Al Gore, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and president 06 of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the U.S. House of 07 Representatives; the Honorable Bob Dole, U.S. Senate Majority Leader; the Honorable Frank 08 Murkowski, Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; the Honorable 09 Don Young, Chair of the House Committee on Public Lands and Resources; the Honorable 10 Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens, U.S. Senator, the 11 remaining member of the Alaska delegation in Congress; and to the governors and the 12 presiding officers of the houses of the state legislatures.