Legislature(2015 - 2016)BUTROVICH 205

03/19/2015 11:15 AM Senate SPECIAL CMTE ON THE ARCTIC

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11:20:38 AM Start
11:21:18 AM SJR16
11:54:43 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSSJR 16(ARC) Out of Committee
-- Testimony <Invited and Public> --
                 SJR 16-ARCTIC ECONOMIC COUNCIL                                                                             
11:21:18 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR MCGUIRE announced the consideration of SJR 16.                                                                            
CHAIR MCGUIRE explained SJR 16 as sponsor of the resolution.                                                                    
11:22:43 AM                                                                                                                   
TREVOR  GUTIERREZ, Staff,  Senator  Lesil  McGuire, Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature, presented  an overview  of SJR 16  on behalf  of the                                                               
sponsor. He read the following sponsor statement:                                                                               
     SJR  16 "Expressing  support  for  the Arctic  Economic                                                                    
     Council;   and  requesting   that  the   United  States                                                                    
     Congress  express  support   for  the  Arctic  economic                                                                    
     Council, for  the chair of the  Arctic Economic Council                                                                    
     to be a  resident of this state, and  for the structure                                                                    
     of  the Arctic  Economic Council  Leadership to  mirror                                                                    
     the rotation of the chair of the Arctic Council."                                                                          
     The  Arctic  Council  was  established  by  the  Ottawa                                                                    
     Declaration  of  1996  to   function  as  a  high-level                                                                    
     intergovernmental   forum   to   promote   cooperation,                                                                    
     coordination,  and interaction  across the  Arctic. The                                                                    
     Arctic Economic Council was established  in 2012 by the                                                                    
     Arctic  Council.  The  Arctic Economic  Council  is  in                                                                    
     charge  of   fostering  business  development   in  the                                                                    
     Arctic,  engaging  in deeper  circumpolar  cooperation,                                                                    
     and  providing a  business perspective  to the  work of                                                                    
     the Arctic Council.                                                                                                        
     SJR 16 urges the federal  government to work to empower                                                                    
     residents of  Alaska, especially  indigenous residents,                                                                    
     as  partners in  the Arctic  Economic Council.  It asks                                                                    
     the   Alaskan   State   Legislature  to   express   its                                                                    
     confidence  in, and  support for,  the Arctic  Economic                                                                    
     Council.  The United  States will  become chair  of the                                                                    
     Arctic Council in 2015. This  resolution states that it                                                                    
     is  the   intent  of  this  legislature   to  have  the                                                                    
     chairmanship  to the  Arctic Economic  Council parallel                                                                    
     the chairmanship of the Arctic Council.                                                                                    
     I urge  you to support this  resolution emphasizing the                                                                    
     importance of  the Arctic, and  the role  that Alaskans                                                                    
     will play in shaping its future.                                                                                           
11:24:07 AM                                                                                                                   
CHAIR  SENATOR  MCGUIRE  requested  a motion  to  adopt  the  new                                                               
committee substitute.                                                                                                           
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL  moved to adopt the  CS for SJR 16,  labeled 29-                                                               
LS060\H, as  the working document.  There being no  objection, it                                                               
was so ordered.                                                                                                                 
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE opened public testimony.                                                                                       
11:25:11 AM                                                                                                                   
TARA  SWEENEY, Vice  Chair,  Arctic  Economic Council,  presented                                                               
information on  the origin  of the  Arctic Economic  Council. She                                                               
related that  the Arctic  Economic Council  (AEC) was  created by                                                               
the  Arctic  Council  (AC)  under   the  leadership  of  Canadian                                                               
Minister and  Arctic Council Chair  Leona Aglukkaq. There  are 42                                                               
members  of   AEC  from  the  United   States,  Canada,  Denmark,                                                               
Greenland,  Iceland, Norway,  Finland, and  Russia. In  addition,                                                               
there  are six  permanent  participant  organizations; the  Inuit                                                               
Circumpolar Council,  Artic Athabaskan Council,  Gwich'in Council                                                               
International,  Aleut International  Association, Saami  Council,                                                               
and the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North.                                                                 
MS. SWEENEY related  that the U.S. is an Arctic  state due to the                                                               
strategic  location   of  Alaska.   Alaska  has   three  business                                                               
representatives,  Crowley   Maritime,  Fairweather,   and  Bering                                                               
Straits Native  Corporation. The U.S. also  has representation in                                                               
four of the  six permanent participants. All U.S.  members of AEC                                                               
are Alaskans,  which is important  because Alaskans are  about to                                                               
embark on  a strategic journey  to help shape  guiding principles                                                               
for  doing  business  in  the Arctic.  The  U.S.  delegation  has                                                               
proposed  to  have  the  chairmanship  of  AEC  mirror  the  same                                                               
rotation structure  of the Arctic  Council, which means  in April                                                               
the chair  would transfer to  the U.S. for  both AEC and  AC, and                                                               
would  demonstrate to  other circumpolar  nations  that there  is                                                               
support  within  the  U.S.  for  AEC.  Support  from  the  Alaska                                                               
Legislature   strengthens   the    position   of   the   Alaskans                                                               
representing the U.S. on AEC.                                                                                                   
11:28:45 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE thanked Ms. Sweeney  for her work. She commented                                                               
on the process  of choosing Alaskan leadership on the  AC and the                                                               
representative to  AEC. She related  that the  federal government                                                               
requested that Senators Herron and  McGuire participate, who then                                                               
invited others to  help lead AEC. SJR 16 requests  that the chair                                                               
of AEC be from Alaska.                                                                                                          
She listed the main tasks  of AEC; to foster business development                                                               
in  the Arctic,  engage  in deeper  circumpolar cooperation,  and                                                               
provide a business perspective to the work of the AC.                                                                           
11:32:10 AM                                                                                                                   
CO-CHAIR GIESSEL commented that  economic strength helps cultures                                                               
grow and thrive  and that is what  AEC is about. The  Arctic is a                                                               
place  where  people  live  and   wish  to  prosper  and  develop                                                               
technology, resources, and economic strength.                                                                                   
SENATOR  COGHILL  asked  Ms.  Sweeney what  to  consider  in  the                                                               
business climate in the Arctic.                                                                                                 
MS.   SWEENEY  said   AEC   adopted   five  overarching   themes:                                                               
establishing  strong market  connections  between Arctic  states,                                                               
encouraging   public/private   partnerships  for   infrastructure                                                               
investment,   creating   stable    and   predictable   regulatory                                                               
framework, facilitating  the knowledge and data  exchange between                                                               
industry  and  academia,  and traditional  indigenous  knowledge,                                                               
stewardship and focus on small business in the Arctic.                                                                          
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE requested a copy of those principles.                                                                          
MS. SWEENEY said she would send a Power Point to that effect.                                                                   
11:34:47 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR   COGHILL  noted   a  focus   on  working   with  Russian                                                               
counterparts. He asked for an update.                                                                                           
MS.  SWEENEY  said AEC  is  establishing  relationships with  all                                                               
Arctic states, including Russia. She  related that there are good                                                               
contacts  with  Russia.  She  said  she  sits  on  the  executive                                                               
committee and meets  every three weeks with  Canada, Finland, and                                                               
SENATOR  COGHILL  was  interested   in  the  methods  of  working                                                               
together. He wished to know how to work best with Russia.                                                                       
MS. SWEENEY said that AEC shares  that interest. She spoke to the                                                               
Bering Strait Native Corporation's involvement.                                                                                 
SENATOR COGHILL asked how the  legislature could make connections                                                               
with local dumas.                                                                                                               
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE noted the arrival of Senator Olson.                                                                            
She  said there  have  been conversations  about connecting  with                                                               
Russia via a  duma exchange. The Governor has  stated that Alaska                                                               
is re-joining the Northern Forum.  She stressed the importance of                                                               
Alaska's   connections  with   Russia.   She  suggested   working                                                               
MS.  SWEENEY concluded  that AEC  is interested  in serving  as a                                                               
resource to the legislature in that capacity.                                                                                   
11:39:04 AM                                                                                                                   
NILS  ANDREASSEN, Executive  Director,  Institute  of the  North,                                                               
provided information  on the  Institute of  the North.  He stated                                                               
that  AEC  is  one  of Canada's  more  important  accomplishments                                                               
during  the last  two  years.  He said  AEC's  theme is  economic                                                               
development by  the people of  the North. He  voiced appreciation                                                               
for Alaska's delegation to AEC.                                                                                                 
He  spoke of  the  challenge  regarding how  AEC  relates to  the                                                               
Arctic Council. Many  of the Arctic nations  have been supportive                                                               
of that  linkage. He spoke in  support of SJR 16,  which suggests                                                               
that the U.S.  supports AEC and its relationship  with the Arctic                                                               
Council.  He  maintained  that  AC needs  a  business  voice.  He                                                               
reminded  the  committee  of the  responsibility  to  talk  about                                                               
economic development in the North.  He stressed the importance of                                                               
promoting Alaska  as an Arctic  state and  the U.S. as  an Arctic                                                               
11:44:03 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  COGHILL   thanked  Mr.  Andreassen  for   his  work.  He                                                               
commented that  "a sustainable and  healthy ecosystem  only works                                                               
if you  have a  healthy, vibrant  economic system."  He concluded                                                               
that they have to work hand in hand.                                                                                            
MR. ANDREASSEN  agreed and said it  is an obligation of  the U.S.                                                               
chairmanship to remind others of this.                                                                                          
SENATOR STEVENS noted  that the frantic mood of  dealing with the                                                               
Arctic has  changed and now the  process is more logical.  We are                                                               
taking the time  to move ahead properly. He asked  if that is Mr.                                                               
Andreassen's reading of the situation.                                                                                          
MR. ANDREASSEN opined  that the pace is  just right. Governments,                                                               
industries, and communities around  the Arctic are responding and                                                               
are developing policy.                                                                                                          
11:47:09 AM                                                                                                                   
LORI DAVEY,  General Manager,  Fairweather, testified  in support                                                               
of SJR 16. She said she is also a member of AEC.                                                                                
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE thanked Ms. Davey for her service.                                                                             
MR. GUTIERREZ presented information  about why Alaska should care                                                               
about the Arctic  and why the Arctic is  important. He contrasted                                                               
the purposes of AC and AEC.                                                                                                     
He described why  the AEC was created and  listed its objectives.                                                               
He  described the  governance of  AEC and  how the  meetings take                                                               
place. He  turned to the  organizational structure of the  AC and                                                               
showed a map of the Arctic countries.                                                                                           
11:51:39 AM                                                                                                                   
MR. GUTIERREZ  listed the  permanent participants  on the  AC and                                                               
the  observing nations  and organizations.  He  described the  AC                                                               
working groups.                                                                                                                 
He explained  what SJR 16  will do. It recognizes  the importance                                                               
of  the  Arctic  Economic  Council   in  providing  a  forum  for                                                               
residents of  the state to give  input on policies. The  state of                                                               
Alaska holds a  strategic position as the gateway  to the Arctic.                                                               
Alaska will benefit from the efforts  of AEC. It seeks to empower                                                               
the U.S. EC  delegation, which consists entirely  of residents of                                                               
this state.                                                                                                                     
He  concluded  that  in  SJR 16,  the  Alaska  State  Legislature                                                               
expresses  its confidence  and support  for AEC.  The legislature                                                               
respectfully requests  that Congress express support  for AEC. It                                                               
requests that  the chair of AEC  be a resident of  Alaska and for                                                               
the structure  of AEC  leadership to mirror  the rotation  of the                                                               
chair of the Arctic Council.                                                                                                    
11:54:12 AM                                                                                                                   
SENATOR  GIESSEL moved  to report  CSSJR  16(ARC) from  committee                                                               
with individual  recommendations. There  being no  objection, the                                                               
motion carried.                                                                                                                 

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SJR 16 Version W.pdf SARC 3/19/2015 11:15:00 AM
SJR 16
SJR 16 Sponsor Statement.pdf SARC 3/19/2015 11:15:00 AM
SJR 16
SJR 16 Supporting Document-letter of support from ASRC.pdf SARC 3/19/2015 11:15:00 AM
SJR 16
SJR 16 Supporting Document- Letter of Support from Gana-A'Yoo, Lmt.pdf SARC 3/19/2015 11:15:00 AM
SJR 16
SJR 16 Supporting Document- Murkowski letter to Balton - SAO meeting Whitehorse.pdf SARC 3/19/2015 11:15:00 AM
SJR 16
SJR 16 Supporting Document- Letter of Support from Dr Mike SFraga.pdf SARC 3/19/2015 11:15:00 AM
SJR 16
SJR 16 Presentation.pdf SARC 3/19/2015 11:15:00 AM
SJR 16 Supporting Document- Letter of Support Bering Straits Native Corp.pdf SARC 3/19/2015 11:15:00 AM
SJR 16
SJR 16 FN.pdf SARC 3/19/2015 11:15:00 AM
SJR 16