SCS HJR 42(RLS): Relating to regulation of water carriers serving Alaska.
00SENATE CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 42(RLS) 01 Relating to regulation of water carriers serving Alaska. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS the federal government is considering legislation that would repeal the 04 existing authority of the Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate water carriers 05 transporting property between the 48 contiguous states and Alaska; and 06 WHEREAS Alaska is uniquely dependent on water transportation in that virtually 07 everything that Alaskans eat, drink, wear, or use comes into the state by ship or barge; and 08 WHEREAS the deep water transport market serving the Alaska Railbelt is a classic 09 duopoly situation in that two water carriers provide the vital service of transporting at least 10 75 percent of all goods shipped for 80 percent of the state's residents; and 11 WHEREAS, in a duopoly situation, the service providers have an obligation to their 12 customers to operate with the highest degree of fairness and disclosure; and 13 WHEREAS the freight system by which Alaskans receive vital cargo should treat all 14 customers fairly by guaranteeing equal access to competitive rates; and
01 WHEREAS the citizens of Alaska, recognizing that their interests may best be served 02 by allowing market forces to determine the cost of bringing vital goods to the state so far as 03 possible, continue to have concerns about the cost of shipping goods to Alaska; and 04 WHEREAS the citizens of Alaska have also expressed their desire to preserve the 05 essential elements of the current system of regulating water carriers serving Alaska; and 06 WHEREAS, if the Interstate Commerce Commission is abolished and if there is no 07 other forum for shipper complaints, the citizens of the state may have no place to present and 08 resolve complaints about water carriers serving Alaska other than in court; and 09 WHEREAS the federal government has historically had a role in water transportation 10 to Alaska through the Interstate Commerce Commission; and 11 WHEREAS the federal government is considering whether to transfer some functions 12 of the Interstate Commerce Commission to the United States Department of Transportation; 13 and 14 WHEREAS the Interstate Commerce Commission has recommended that the 15 regulation of all domestic offshore water carriage be handled by the Federal Maritime 16 Commission, which may also be abolished; and 17 WHEREAS regulatory functions of the Interstate Commerce Commission relating to 18 domestic offshore water carriage could be performed by other existing federal entities if the 19 Interstate Commerce Commission is abolished in order to save federal taxpayer money; and 20 WHEREAS three primary interests of Alaskans if such abolishment occurs are to 21 ensure that rates for carriage to Alaska are fair and competitive, to ensure that carriage service 22 to Alaska is dependable, and to ensure that an accessible forum exists in which Alaskans can 23 present and resolve complaints; 24 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests that the 25 Governor and members of the Alaska delegation in the United States Congress support the 26 preservation of the essential regulatory functions of the Interstate Commerce Commission 27 pertaining to domestic offshore water carriage that serve the best interests of Alaska's 28 consumers while providing an acceptable rate of return to the carriers which serve the Alaska 29 market by transferring such regulatory functions to the United States Department of 30 Transportation, if and when necessary. 31 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Bill Clinton, President of the
01 United States; the Honorable Al Gore, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and President 02 of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Strom Thurmond, President Pro Tempore of the U.S. 03 Senate; the Honorable Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; to the 04 Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the 05 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.