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SJR 13: Supporting oil and gas exploration and development on the outer continental shelf offshore of the state; opposing attempts to prohibit oil and gas development in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area and the Beaufort Sea Planning Area; and requesting that the federal Administration cease and desist from all future restrictions in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

00                       SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 13                                                                    
01 Supporting oil and gas exploration and development on the outer continental shelf                                       
02 offshore of the state; opposing attempts to prohibit oil and gas development in the                                     
03 Chukchi Sea Planning Area and the Beaufort Sea Planning Area; and requesting that                                       
04 the federal Administration cease and desist from all future restrictions in the Chukchi                                 
05 and Beaufort Seas.                                                                                                      
06 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
07       WHEREAS residents of the state, concerned with the economy of the state for this                                
08 generation and generations to come, vehemently oppose the action taken by President Barack                              
09 Obama on January 27, 2015, under the alleged authority of 43 U.S.C. 1341(a) (sec. 12(a) of                              
10 the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act), to withdraw significant oil-rich portions of the                                
11 Chukchi Sea Planning Area and the Beaufort Sea Planning Area from consideration for any                                 
12 future oil or gas leasing for purposes of exploration, development, or production; and                                  
13       WHEREAS, while portions of the Chukchi Sea Planning Area and the Beaufort Sea                                   
14 Planning Area were deferred in previous lease sales, the new plan would block development                               
15 forever; and                                                                                                            
01       WHEREAS the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, created on August 7, 1953,                                       
02 defined the outer continental shelf as the submerged land lying seaward of state coastal                                
03 waters, which is three miles offshore, that is under United States jurisdiction; and                                    
04       WHEREAS, under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the United States                                         
05 Secretary of the Interior is responsible for the administration of mineral exploration and                              
06 development of the outer continental shelf; and                                                                         
07       WHEREAS, under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, the United States                                         
08 Secretary of the Interior may grant leases to the highest qualified responsible bidder based on                         
09 sealed competitive bids and adopt regulations as necessary to carry out the provisions of the                           
10 Act; and                                                                                                                
11       WHEREAS meeting national energy needs was a primary purpose of the Outer                                        
12 Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978 (P.L. 95-372); and                                                       
13       WHEREAS the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978 established                                    
14 criteria for the outer continental shelf leasing program and required the United States                                 
15 Secretary of the Interior to formulate an outer continental shelf leasing program that would                            
16 "best meet national energy needs for the five-year period following its approval or                                     
17 reapproval"; and                                                                                                        
18       WHEREAS the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, United States Department of                                      
19 the Interior, is responsible for managing oil and gas resources on the outer continental shelf                          
20 and developing a five-year schedule of lease sales; and                                                                 
21       WHEREAS the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft                                         
22 Proposed Program issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is the first in a series                               
23 of three proposals in the staged development process of the program; and                                                
24       WHEREAS the Alaska Region is the largest region of the outer continental shelf and                              
25 covers over 1,035,000,000 acres, including offshore areas such as the Chukchi Sea, the                                  
26 Beaufort Sea, Cook Inlet, and the Gulf of Alaska; and                                                                   
27       WHEREAS the Alaska Region of the outer continental shelf consists of 15 planning                                
28 areas; and                                                                                                              
29       WHEREAS sales have been held in eight of the planning areas over the years, the                                 
30 most recent of which was held in 2008; and                                                                              
31       WHEREAS there are existing federal leases in two planning areas, the Beaufort Sea                               
01 and the Chukchi Sea, and both planning areas can be developed in an environmentally                                     
02 responsible manner; and                                                                                                 
03       WHEREAS the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas are two outer continental shelf areas that                                
04 have the potential to provide oil to extend the operation of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System                           
05 for the benefit of all resident workers; and                                                                            
06       WHEREAS, in public comments on the 2012-2017 program, the state and others                                      
07 stated that extending operations of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System is a priority; and                                 
08       WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System is currently operating at approximately                                
09 one-quarter of its capacity, and the continued operations of the system depend on new                                   
10 discoveries; and                                                                                                        
11       WHEREAS, in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area, Sale 193, the most recent sale in this                               
12 area, was held in February 2008 and generated more than $2,600,000,000 in revenue; and                                  
13       WHEREAS there are 460 existing leases in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area, all issued                              
14 in Sale 193; and                                                                                                        
15       WHEREAS the 2012-2017 program scheduled one sale in the Chukchi Sea Planning                                    
16 Area for 2016; and                                                                                                      
17       WHEREAS the Chukchi Sea Planning Area has the greatest potential to provide the                                 
18 hydrocarbons necessary to extend the operations of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System and                                 
19 provide the volumes of gas needed to make construction of a North Slope natural gas pipeline                            
20 economically viable; and                                                                                                
21       WHEREAS the state continues to express its support of oil and gas activity on the                               
22 outer continental shelf offshore of the state; and                                                                      
23       WHEREAS the state has expressed a preference for more lease sales on an area-wide                               
24 basis, rather than by targeted leasing;                                                                                 
25       BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature continues to support oil and gas                               
26 exploration and development on the outer continental shelf offshore of the state; and be it                             
27       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature vehemently opposes any                                       
28 attempt by the federal Administration to prohibit the future option for oil and gas                                     
29 development in oil-rich portions of the Chukchi Sea Planning Area and the Beaufort Sea                                  
30 Planning Area; and be it                                                                                                
31       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature requests that the federal                                    
01 government cease and desist from all future restrictions in oil-rich portions of the Chukchi                            
02 and Beaufort Seas.                                                                                                      
03       COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of                             
04 the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and                          
05 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable John Boehner, Speaker of the U.S. House of                                  
06 Representatives; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of                                       
07 Representatives; the Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the                                 
08 Honorable Harry Reid, Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr.,                            
09 Attorney General of the United States; the Honorable Sally Jewell, United States Secretary of                           
10 the Interior; the Honorable Hilary Tompkins, Solicitor, U.S. Department of the Interior; the                            
11 Honorable Daniel M. Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Robert Dreher,                                
12 Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division; and                               
13 the Honorable Lisa Murkowski and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the                                     
14 Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.