Legislature(2015 - 2016)BARNES 124

03/10/2015 11:15 AM House ECON. DEV., TOURISM, & ARCTIC POLICY

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Audio Topic
11:22:40 AM Start
11:22:52 AM HCR5|| HB1
11:47:41 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Please Note Time Change --
Moved CSHCR 5(EDA) Out of Committee
        HCR  5-DECLARE 2015-2017 AS YEARS OF THE ARCTIC                                                                     
                    [Contains discussion of HB 1]                                                                               
11:22:52 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON announced  that the only order of  business would be                                                               
HOUSE  CONCURRENT RESOLUTION  NO.  5, Declaring  2015, 2016,  and                                                               
2017 to  be the Years  of the  Arctic; encouraging the  state and                                                               
its partners to join the  Institute of the North; and encouraging                                                               
the state  to promote its Arctic  policy during the Years  of the                                                               
Arctic   and   to   take  action   to   address   the   strategic                                                               
recommendations in  the Arctic Policy and  Implementation Plan of                                                               
the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission.                                                                                            
11:24:00 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TILTON  moved  to adopt  the  proposed  committee                                                               
substitute (CS) for HCR 5,  labeled 29-LS0562\W, Nauman, 2/23/15,                                                               
as the working draft.                                                                                                           
CHAIR HERRON objected for discussion purposes.                                                                                  
11:24:27 AM                                                                                                                   
ROB  EARL,   Staff,  Representative  Bob  Herron,   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, explained  the changes to  HCR 5 made in  Version W.                                                               
Mr.  Earl said  the  original bill  directed  the legislature  to                                                               
"join" Institute  of the North,  which would have  incurred cost;                                                               
however,  Version  W  directs  the  legislature  to  "join  with"                                                               
Institute  of the  North, and  attached to  the bill  was a  zero                                                               
fiscal note, Identifier:  HCR5-LEG-SESS-03-09-15.                                                                               
11:25:11 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON clarified that there  are no fees related to joining                                                               
with Institute of the North.                                                                                                    
MR. EARL said no.                                                                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TILTON  surmised the legislature would  not become                                                               
a member of Institute of the  North.  She noted that Institute of                                                               
the North  was very involved in  the issues brought forth  by the                                                               
[Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Implementation Plan].                                                                          
MR. EARL said correct.                                                                                                          
CHAIR HERRON removed his objection.                                                                                             
There  being  no further  objection,  Version  W was  before  the                                                               
11:27:01 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE TILTON moved to adopt Amendment 1 which read:                                                                    
     Page 2, lines 20-21, after "state"                                                                                         
          Delete:  "to promote its Arctic policy"                                                                               
     Page 2, line 21, after "Arctic"                                                                                            
          Delete:  "and"                                                                                                        
MR. EARL  explained that Amendment  1 simply  removes duplicative                                                               
There being no objection, Amendment 1 was adopted.                                                                              
CHAIR HERRON opened public testimony on HCR 5.                                                                                  
11:28:03 AM                                                                                                                   
DRUE  PEARCE,  Chairman, Board  of  Directors,  Institute of  the                                                               
North,  informed the  committee she  is  a former  member of  the                                                               
Alaska State Legislature and is  providing testimony on behalf of                                                               
Institute of the North ("Institute").   Ms. Pearce said the board                                                               
of  directors  of  the  Institute believe  that  the  years  2015                                                               
through  2017  should  be  "Years   of  the  Arctic."    This  is                                                               
especially appropriate  in the  U.S. because of  the work  of the                                                               
Alaska  Arctic  Policy  Commission (AAPC)  and  related  proposed                                                               
legislation,  the U.S.  chairmanship of  the Arctic  Council, and                                                               
Governor Bill Walker's interest  in rejoining the Northern Forum,                                                               
which is  an organization of the  northernmost states, provinces,                                                               
and territories.  She advised  that over the years 2015-2017, the                                                               
Institute will  hold monthly Arctic-related business  forums, and                                                               
during  the  upcoming Arctic  Council  events,  the Institute  is                                                               
planning policy tours in hub  communities such as Unalaska, Nome,                                                               
and Kotzebue in order to  update Alaskans on circumpolar affairs,                                                               
and  also to  allow Alaskans  to meet  Arctic Council  attendees.                                                               
Ms. Pearce  mentioned the  upcoming Arctic  Energy Summit,  to be                                                               
held  in  Fairbanks, which  is  associated  with the  Sustainable                                                               
Development Working  Group of the  Arctic Council.   She directed                                                               
attention to the  2015-2017 "Years of the  Arctic" calendar found                                                               
in  the  committee  packet,  which included  a  partial  list  of                                                               
upcoming Arctic events.                                                                                                         
11:32:11 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON  searched the calendar  for the date of  the October                                                               
Arctic   Council  Senior   Arctic  Official   (SAO)  meeting   in                                                               
MS. PEARCE said she  did not know the date.   She added that also                                                               
missing  from  the calendar  is  a  three-day Smithsonian  Arctic                                                               
Spring  event  scheduled  for   5/8/15-5/10/15,  at  the  Natural                                                               
History Museum.   Also, the U.S. Department of  State is planning                                                               
an event  in May,  and events  are planned in  Alaska as  well to                                                               
herald the U.S. chairmanship of the Arctic Council.                                                                             
CHAIR  HERRON   asked  Ms.   Pearce  to   reflect  on   how  some                                                               
Congressional legislators view Alaska in  a different way than do                                                               
11:34:19 AM                                                                                                                   
MS. PEARCE said  her experience at U.S.  Senator Lisa Murkowski's                                                               
recent Senate Energy hearing about  the Arctic revealed different                                                               
attitudes  toward development  in  the Arctic,  and the  economic                                                               
survival  of  Alaskans.   Two  Congressional  legislators  stated                                                               
there  was  irony  in  that  leaders  from  Alaska  stressed  the                                                               
importance  of   economic  development  for  jobs   in  villages,                                                               
regional hubs, and  cities; in fact, two members  of the minority                                                               
questioned  why  Alaskans would  be  advocating  for onshore  and                                                               
offshore  development in  Alaska, at  the same  time some  Alaska                                                               
communities are seeing  the impacts from climate  change, or from                                                               
storms, resulting in erosion.   She recalled that at the hearing,                                                               
Chair  Herron made  a strong  statement that  indigenous Alaskans                                                               
have been dealing with change for  10,000 years or more, and will                                                               
continue to  adapt to change;  however, for a strong  economy and                                                               
food  security,   the  economic   development  of   resources  is                                                               
necessary.   Ms. Pearce said  Senator Lisa Murkowski  pointed out                                                               
that  members  of  the  Senate from  other  states  discount  the                                                               
development  in their  states, and  wish "to  turn Alaska  into a                                                               
pristine  wilderness  where  we  are  not  able  to  develop  our                                                               
resources."   She cautioned that  the focus on climate  change in                                                               
the  Arctic  could  be  difficult   for  Alaska  because  of  the                                                               
presumption  that development  in the  Arctic will  lead to  more                                                               
climate  change.     Ms.  Pearce   stressed  the   importance  to                                                               
articulate  the   foresight  the   legislature  had   in  setting                                                               
statutory goals for renewable energy  in Alaska, although the use                                                               
of  renewables   will  not  negate  the   need  for  hydrocarbons                                                               
11:39:42 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR HERRON  after ascertaining  no one  else further  wished to                                                               
testify, closed public testimony on HCR 5.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE TILTON  acknowledged that  HCR 5 does  not address                                                               
the United  Nations Convention  on the Law  of the  Sea (UNCLOS);                                                               
however, language in  support of UNCLOS is contained  in the AAPC                                                               
Implementation Plan which  is promoted in HCR 5.   On pages 4 and                                                               
5 of the draft AAPC Implementation  Plan, there is a reference to                                                               
legislation  under   consideration  in  the  29th   Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  and  she expressed  her  strong  opposition to  the                                                               
inclusion  of the  language regarding  UNCLOS; in  fact, this  is                                                               
relevant to  the bill title and  to language in the  bill on page                                                               
2, lines 20-23, which read:                                                                                                     
     FURTHER  RESOLVED  that  the Alaska  State  Legislature                                                                    
     encourages  the  state  to promote  its  Arctic  policy                                                                    
     during the  Years of the  Arctic and to take  action to                                                                    
     address  the strategic  recommendations  in the  Arctic                                                                    
     Policy  and Implementation  Plan of  the Alaska  Arctic                                                                    
     Policy Commission.                                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE   TILTON  relayed   that  her   constituents  have                                                               
contacted her and she finds this "troubling language."                                                                          
CHAIR HERRON read from the AAPC  Implementation Plan on page 5 as                                                               
     The  Alaska Arctic  Policy  Commission  submits to  the                                                                    
     Legislature  for  consideration  this language  for  an                                                                    
     Alaska  Arctic  Policy  bill.    It  is  possible  that                                                                    
     through the legislative process changes will be made.                                                                      
CHAIR HERRON  pointed out that  the foregoing was  draft language                                                               
and the reference to UNCLOS in HB 1 has been removed.                                                                           
REPRESENTATIVE  TILTON stated  she wanted  her opposition  on the                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE ORTIZ  asked for  verification that  the reference                                                               
to UNCLOS has been withdrawn.                                                                                                   
CHAIR  HERRON pointed  out  that  the language  is  in the  draft                                                               
implementation plan document delivered  on 1/30/15; however, HB 1                                                               
was  amended  by the  Senate  and  the  reference to  UNCLOS  was                                                               
11:42:47 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  recalled  hearing  from  another  Institute                                                               
board member, Dr.  Mike Sfraga, that the reference  to UNCLOS was                                                               
very important.  This view was  also heard from a constituent who                                                               
is an  Arctic researcher.   Representative Wool related  that the                                                               
researcher   said  other   countries  are   "staking  out   their                                                               
territory," Japan  specifically, and  advised it is  important to                                                               
be part of UNCLOS.                                                                                                              
CHAIR HERRON observed that UNCLOS  is before the U.S. Senate, and                                                               
regardless of  UNCLOS, HCR  5 advocates that  the Arctic  is very                                                               
important to  Alaska.  Therefore,  the intent  of the bill  is to                                                               
join with  the Institute  to ensure that  the Arctic  is promoted                                                               
during the  term of the  Arctic Council chairmanship,  when those                                                               
who  affect  circumpolar  Arctic  policies will  be  visitors  to                                                               
Alaska.  Chair Herron stressed  that the legislature makes policy                                                               
and the  executive branch executes  policy, thus  the legislature                                                               
should have as much effect on Arctic decisions as possible.                                                                     
REPRESENTATIVE  WOOL  asked  Chair  Herron  for  his  opinion  on                                                               
whether not  being a party to  UNCLOS hinders the ability  of the                                                               
U.S. to advocate for its interests in the Arctic region.                                                                        
CHAIR HERRON opined no, because  nearly all of the provisions are                                                               
in place, except for the  United Nations mining law provision; in                                                               
fact, former  President Ronald Reagan endorsed  UNCLOS after some                                                               
changes  were  made.    He  said  UNCLOS  is  important,  and  he                                                               
expressed his belief that there will  be a change in opinion at a                                                               
future time.                                                                                                                    
11:47:07 AM                                                                                                                   
REPRESENTATIVE  TILTON  moved  to  report CSHCR  5,  Version  29-                                                               
LS0562\W,  Nauman, 2/23/15,  as  amended, out  of committee  with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  zero  fiscal                                                               
note.   There being no  objection, CSHCR 5(EDA) was  reported out                                                               
of the House Special Committee  on Economic Development, Tourism,                                                               
and Arctic Policy.                                                                                                              

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HCR5 - Legislation - CS version W.pdf HEDA 3/10/2015 11:15:00 AM
HCR5 - Summary of Changes (For EDA).pdf HEDA 3/10/2015 11:15:00 AM
HCR5 - Sponsor Statement.pdf HEDA 3/10/2015 11:15:00 AM
CSHCR 5(W) - Amendment 1.pdf HEDA 3/10/2015 11:15:00 AM
HCR 5 - Supporting Document - Arctic Calendar.pdf HEDA 3/10/2015 11:15:00 AM
HCR5 - Fiscal Note - LEG-SESS-03-09-15.pdf HEDA 3/10/2015 11:15:00 AM