SJR 4: Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, to oil and gas exploration, development, and production.
00 SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 4 01 Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the 02 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, to oil and gas exploration, development, and 03 production. 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS, in sec. 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act 06 (ANILCA), the United States Congress reserved the right to permit further oil and gas 07 exploration, development, and production within the coastal plain of the Arctic National 08 Wildlife Refuge, Alaska; and 09 WHEREAS the oil industry, the state, and the United States Department of the 10 Interior consider the coastal plain to have the highest potential for discovery of very large oil 11 and gas accumulations on the continent of North America, estimated to be as much as 12 10,000,000,000 barrels of recoverable oil; and 13 WHEREAS the "1002 study area" is part of the coastal plain located within the North 14 Slope Borough, and residents of the North Slope Borough, who are predominantly Inupiat 15 Eskimo, are supportive of development in the "1002 study area"; and
01 WHEREAS oil and gas exploration and development of the coastal plain of the refuge 02 and adjacent land could result in major discoveries that would reduce our nation's future need 03 for imported oil, help balance the nation's trade deficit, and significantly increase the nation's 04 security; and 05 WHEREAS domestic demand for oil continues to rise while domestic crude 06 production continues to fall with the result that the United States imports additional oil from 07 foreign sources; and 08 WHEREAS development of oil at Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk, Endicott, Lisburne, and 09 Milne Point has resulted in thousands of jobs throughout the United States, and projected job 10 creation as a result of coastal plain oil development will have a positive effect in all 50 states; 11 and 12 WHEREAS Prudhoe Bay production is declining by approximately 10 percent a year; 13 and 14 WHEREAS, while new oil field developments on the North Slope of Alaska, such as 15 Alpine, Badami, and West Sak, may slow or temporarily stop the decline in production, only 16 giant coastal plain fields have the theoretical capability of increasing the production volume 17 of Alaska oil to a significant degree; and 18 WHEREAS opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge now 19 allows sufficient time for planning environmental safeguards, development, and national 20 security review; and 21 WHEREAS the 1,500,000-acre coastal plain of the refuge makes up only eight 22 percent of the 19,000,000-acre refuge, and the development of the oil and gas reserves in the 23 refuge's coastal plain would affect an area of only 2,000 to 7,000 acres, which is less than 24 one-half of one percent of the area of the coastal plain; and 25 WHEREAS 8,000,000 of the 19,000,000 acres of the refuge have already been set 26 aside as wilderness; and 27 WHEREAS the oil industry has shown at Prudhoe Bay, as well as at other locations 28 along the Arctic coastal plain, that it can safely conduct oil and gas activity without adversely 29 affecting the environment or wildlife populations; and 30 WHEREAS the state will ensure the continued health and productivity of the 31 Porcupine Caribou herd and the protection of land, water, and wildlife resources during the
01 exploration and development of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, 02 Alaska; and 03 WHEREAS the oil industry is using innovative technology and environmental 04 practices in the new field developments at Alpine and Northstar, and those techniques are 05 directly applicable to operating on the coastal plain and would enhance environmental 06 protection beyond traditionally high standards; 07 BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Legislature that the Congress of the United 08 States is urged to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife 09 Refuge, Alaska, to oil and gas exploration, development, and production, and that the Alaska 10 State Legislature is adamantly opposed to further wilderness or other restrictive designation in 11 the area of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska; and be it 12 FURTHER RESOLVED that that activity be conducted in a manner that protects the 13 environment, the naturally occurring population levels of the Porcupine Caribou herd, and 14 that uses the state's work force to the maximum extent possible; and be it 15 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature opposes any unilateral 16 reduction in royalty revenue from exploration and development of the coastal plain of the 17 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, and any attempt to coerce the State of Alaska into 18 accepting less than the 90 percent of the oil, gas, and mineral royalties from the federal land in 19 Alaska that was promised to the state at statehood. 20 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President 21 of the United States; the Honorable Richard B. Cheney, Vice-President of the United States 22 and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Gale Norton, United States Secretary of the 23 Interior; the Honorable J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the 24 Honorable Bill Frist, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Ted Stevens and the 25 Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. 26 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress; and to all other members of 27 U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives serving in the 108th United States 28 Congress.