Legislature(2009 - 2010)BARNES 124
03/08/2010 01:00 PM House RESOURCES
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* first hearing in first committee of referral
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HB 306-STATE ENERGY POLICY 6:08:45 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN announced that the last order of business is HOUSE BILL NO. 306, "An Act declaring a state energy policy." [Before the committee was CSHB 306(ENE).] 6:09:27 PM REPRESENTATIVE CHARISSE MILLETT, Alaska State Legislature, explained that during the House Special Committee on Energy's travels across the state it was brought to the committee's attention that the state of Alaska is one of the very few states that does not have policy for energy in statute. Not only is Alaska energy anemic, it is deficient in its energy needs as far as a policy statement. A comprehensive energy policy in statute would serve as a first blueprint for future generations for energy legislation and would be the first step in codifying what the goals are for the state of Alaska. 6:10:52 PM REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON added that everywhere the committee travelled it was heard that an energy policy was a top priority for local communities, organizations, and other entities. The committee also discovered that a number of regions are putting together energy plans without the benefit of an overarching statewide energy policy. The bill is the product of The House Energy Stakeholders Group, he pointed out. Since the 1970s, energy policies have come and gone in the state, with most of these policies focused on electricity. Now, with the convergence of a number of energy-related concerns, he thinks the state has the political will and determination statewide to come forth with an overarching policy to be put into statute for use as a roadmap going forward. 6:12:38 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN, in response to Representative Millett, said he would like to postpone the actual presentation of the bill to a another time when the full committee is present. 6:15:16 PM REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT noted that the House Majority Caucus has taken on this bill and its Senate companion bill as a priority. Unique about this bill is that it was not written by her or Representative Edgmon; it was written by stakeholders from throughout the state. These stakeholders, experts on every aspect of energy development in the state, participated in approximately 9 meetings. The bill represents much cooperation and give and take from all sectors of the energy realm. Thus, while she and Representative Edgmon are carrying the legislation, it is truly a bill from the citizens. REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG thanked Representatives Millett and Edgmon for the bill and noted that it is a long-time coming and will be the foundation for many things to come for many years. 6:17:43 PM REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON said this policy wraps its arms around the fact that Alaska is a resource development state. He provided an overview of the bill: page 1 states the legislative intent; page 2 provides the declaration of state energy policy which recognizes that everything the state does economically is built around having affordable energy; and page 3 talks about training and education programs, applied energy research, establishment of an oversight agency, and collaboration with federal agencies. He said he and Representative Millett are proud of the work product that has come out of the stakeholders group. 6:20:14 PM REPRESENTATIVE EDGMON, in response to Co-Chair Neuman, noted that the stakeholders will be providing specifics of the bill to the committee members. CO-CHAIR JOHNSON stated that moving HB 306 is important to him personally. 6:22:05 PM REPRESENTATIVE GUTTENBERG allowed that the concept of energy codes [page 2, line 13] is a hot-button issue. However, he continued, it is important to note that the specifics of energy codes are left out of the bill; therefore it could be state, federal, or lending agency energy codes. The bill's broad nature is what he likes. REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT pointed out that building codes for Alaska will look much different than those for New York City. It is much better for people in Alaska to be the writers of those energy codes and for Alaska to take the lead in this rather than the federal government. 6:23:49 PM CO-CHAIR NEUMAN held over HB 306.