SCS CSHJR 7(RES): Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, development, and production.
00 SENATE CS FOR CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 7(RES) 01 Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the 02 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, development, and 03 production. 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS, in 16 U.S.C. 3142 (sec. 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands 06 Conservation Act (ANILCA)), the United States Congress reserved the right to permit further 07 oil and gas exploration, development, and production within the coastal plain of the Arctic 08 National Wildlife Refuge; 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 10,400,000,000 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 many of the residents of the North Slope Borough, who are 15 predominantly Inupiat 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 the state's future energy independence would be enhanced with 06 additional natural gas production from the North Slope of Alaska including what are expected 07 to be significant gas reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the development of 08 those reserves would enhance the economic viability of the proposed Alaska Natural Gas 09 Pipeline; and 10 WHEREAS domestic demand for oil continues to rise while domestic crude 11 production continues to fall, with the result that the United States imports additional oil from 12 foreign sources; and 13 WHEREAS development of oil at Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk, Endicott, Lisburne, 14 Ooguruk, and Milne Point has resulted in thousands of jobs throughout the United States, and 15 projected job creation as a result of coastal plain oil development will have a positive effect in 16 all 50 states; and 17 WHEREAS Prudhoe Bay production is declining; and 18 WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, a transportation facility that is a 19 national asset and that would cost billions of dollars to replace, would have its useful physical 20 life extended for a substantial period if the additional reserves of recoverable oil from the 21 coastal plain were produced; and 22 WHEREAS, while new oil field developments on the North Slope of Alaska, such as 23 Alpine, Northstar, Lisburne, Ooguruk, and West Sak, may temporarily slow the decline in 24 production, only giant coastal plain fields have the theoretical capability of increasing the 25 production volume of Alaska oil to a significant degree; and 26 WHEREAS opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge now 27 allows sufficient time for planning environmental safeguards, development, and national 28 security review; and 29 WHEREAS the 1,500,000-acre coastal plain of the refuge makes up only eight 30 percent of the 19,000,000-acre refuge, and the development of the oil and gas reserves in the 31 refuge's coastal plain would affect an area of 2,000 acres or less, which is less than one-half of
01 one percent of the area of the coastal plain; and 02 WHEREAS 8,900,000 of the 19,000,000 acres of the refuge have already been set 03 aside as wilderness; and 04 WHEREAS the oil industry has shown at Prudhoe Bay, as well as at other locations 05 along the Arctic coastal plain, that it is capable of conducting oil and gas activity without 06 adversely affecting the environment or wildlife populations; and 07 WHEREAS the state will strive to ensure the continued health and productivity of the 08 Porcupine Caribou herd and the protection of land, water, and wildlife resources during the 09 exploration and development of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and 10 WHEREAS the oil and gas industry is developing directional drilling technology that 11 will allow horizontal drilling in a responsible manner by minimizing the development 12 footprint within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and this directional drilling technology 13 may be capable of drilling from outside of the boundaries of the 1002 study area; and 14 WHEREAS the oil industry is using innovative technology and environmental 15 practices in the new field developments at Alpine and Northstar, and those techniques are 16 directly applicable to operating on the coastal plain and would enhance environmental 17 protection beyond traditionally high standards; and 18 WHEREAS the continued competitiveness and stability of the state and its economy 19 require that the Alaska State Legislature consider national trends toward renewable energy 20 development; and 21 WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature encourages the use of revenue from any 22 development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the development of renewable energy 23 resources in the state; 24 BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Legislature that the United States Congress 25 is urged to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to 26 oil and gas exploration, development, and production, and that the Alaska State Legislature is 27 adamantly opposed to further wilderness or other restrictive designation in the area of the 28 coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and be it 29 FURTHER RESOLVED that that activity be conducted in a manner that protects the 30 environment and the naturally occurring population levels of the Porcupine Caribou herd on 31 which the Gwich'in and other local residents depend, that uses directional drilling and other
01 advances in technology to minimize the development footprint in the 1002 study area, and 02 that uses the state's work force to the maximum extent possible; and be it 03 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States 04 Congress to pass legislation opening the 1002 study area for oil and gas development while 05 continuing to work on measures for increasing the development and use of renewable energy 06 technologies; and be it 07 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature opposes any unilateral 08 reduction in royalty revenue from exploration and development of the coastal plain of the 09 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and any attempt to coerce the State of Alaska into accepting 10 less than the 90 percent of the oil, gas, and mineral royalties from the federal land in Alaska 11 that was promised to the state at statehood. 12 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of 13 the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and 14 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Ken Salazar, United States Secretary of the 15 Interior; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the 16 Honorable John Boehner, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the 17 Honorable Harry Reid, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Mitch McConnell, 18 Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Jeff Bingaman, Chair of the Energy and 19 Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the 20 Honorable Mark Begich, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, 21 members of the Alaska delegation in Congress; and all other members of the 111th United 22 States Congress.