Legislature(2017 - 2018)BUTROVICH 205

03/07/2018 03:30 PM Senate RESOURCES

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03:30:32 PM Start
03:31:18 PM Confirmation Hearing(s): Big Game Commercial Services Board, Regulatory Commission of Alaska
03:47:51 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Consideration of Governor's Appointees TELECONFERENCED
Big Game Commercial Services Board:
- Mr. Adam Trombley
Regulatory Commission of Alaska:
- Commissioner Janis Wilson
-- Public Testimony on Appointees --
<Bill Hearing Canceled>
-- Public Testimony --
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
              SENATE RESOURCES STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         March 7, 2018                                                                                          
                           3:30 p.m.                                                                                            
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
Senator Cathy Giessel, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Natasha von Imhof                                                                                                       
Senator Bert Stedman                                                                                                            
Senator Kevin Meyer                                                                                                             
Senator Bill Wielechowski                                                                                                       
Senator Click Bishop                                                                                                            
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
Senator John Coghill, Vice Chair                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                                         
Big Game Commercial Services Board                                                                                            
     Adam Trombley                                                                                                              
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
Regulatory Commission of Alaska                                                                                               
     Janis Wilson                                                                                                               
     - CONFIRMATION ADVANCED                                                                                                    
SJR 13-URGING CO-MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR SEA OTTERS                                                                                 
     - SCHEDULED BUT NOT HEARD                                                                                                  
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 13                                                                                                  
Urging  the United  States Congress  to amend  the Marine  Mammal                                                               
Protection Act  and urging  the United  States Department  of the                                                               
Interior  to permit  Alaska Native  organizations and  the Alaska                                                               
Department of Fish and Game  to co-manage, take, and study marine                                                               
mammals under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.                                                                                 
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action to record.                                                                                                   
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
ADAM TROMBLEY                                                                                                                   
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:  Reappointee  to  the  Big  Game  Commercial                                                             
Services Board.                                                                                                                 
JANIS W. WILSON                                                                                                                 
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Reappointee to the Regulatory  Commission of                                                             
Alaska (RCA).                                                                                                                   
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
3:30:32 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  CATHY   GIESSEL  called  the  Senate   Resources  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at 3:30  p.m. Present at the  call to                                                               
order  were Senators  Bishop, Meyer,  Stedman, Wielechowski,  Von                                                               
Imhof, and Chair Giessel. Senator Coghill was excused.                                                                          
^Confirmation  Hearing(s): Big  Game  Commercial Services  Board,                                                               
Regulatory Commission of Alaska                                                                                                 
                    CONFIRMATION HEARING(S)                                                                                 
               BIG GAME COMMERCIAL SERVICES BOARD                                                                             
                REGULATORY COMMISSION OF ALASKA                                                                             
3:31:18 PM                                                                                                                  
CHAIR GIESSEL said the committee  would take up the reappointment                                                               
of Adam Trombley  to the Big Game Commercial  Services Board. She                                                               
invited him to tell the committee  a little bit about himself and                                                               
why he wants to continue serving on this board.                                                                                 
3:32:12 PM                                                                                                                    
ADAM TROMBLEY,  representing himself, Anchorage, Alaska,  said he                                                               
had been involved in public service  for the last 10 years at the                                                               
local level and enjoys serving  on this board because he respects                                                               
the  disciplinary  actions that  don't  favor  anyone within  the                                                               
industry. When someone screws up,  it doesn't become just a good-                                                               
ole boys club. He  said he has been on the board  one year and at                                                               
the last meeting  he was elected as vice chairman.  It has been a                                                               
real  enjoyment to  learn  about the  issues  around guiding  and                                                               
CHAIR  GIESSEL   asked  his  thoughts   on  the   board's  budget                                                               
MR.  TROMBLEY answered  one of  the reasons  they started  to get                                                               
themselves  out of  the  financial hole  is  to start  addressing                                                               
discipline by  using consent agreements.  So, there is not  a lot                                                               
of litigation after that, which can  really drive the cost up. By                                                               
the  time the  issue comes  to  the board,  everyone has  already                                                               
agreed. He  didn't foresee that  changing. The fee  structure has                                                               
changed and he can see the  board being completely out of debt in                                                               
a couple of years.                                                                                                              
CHAIR  GIESSEL  remarked that  she  didn't  realize that  consent                                                               
agreements weren't being used by the board until recently.                                                                      
MR. TROMBLEY  said he  couldn't remember how  far back  the board                                                               
started  using them,  but it  is really  helping keep  litigation                                                               
costs down.                                                                                                                     
CHAIR GIESSEL noted seeing a  substantial increase in fees in the                                                               
last audit and that many  members of the Resources Committee also                                                               
sit on  the Legislature  Budget and Audit  Committee and  will be                                                               
interested in its review of this board.                                                                                         
She found  no further questions  for Mr. Trombley  from committee                                                               
members and thanked him.                                                                                                        
3:36:48 PM                                                                                                                    
At ease                                                                                                                         
3:37:48 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GIESSEL called  the meeting  back  to order  and said  the                                                               
committee would  next take up  the reappointment of  Janis Wilson                                                               
to the  Regulatory Commission  of Alaska (RCA).  The term  is six                                                               
years and it  is actually a full-time job.  Members have salaries                                                               
at range  27 and have  to do  some substantial work.  She invited                                                               
Ms.  Wilson to  tell  the  committee why  she  wants to  continue                                                               
serving on the RCA.                                                                                                             
JANIS  W. WILSON,  reappointee to  the  Regulatory Commission  of                                                               
Alaska  (RCA),  Anchorage,  Alaska,  said she  had  been  an  RCA                                                               
commissioner for  12 years  and would  like to  continue serving,                                                               
because it is  interesting and challenging work.  She makes group                                                               
decisions with  four other very deep-thinking  people; she enjoys                                                               
making those  kinds of decisions  and further enjoys  the reading                                                               
and studying that all the commissioners have to do.                                                                             
CHAIR  GIESSEL  thanked  her  for  her  desire  to  continue  and                                                               
remarked that  Ms. Wilson's resume is  substantial. She obviously                                                               
has a great deal of experience in utilities and law.                                                                            
SENATOR BISHOP  said he asked  his questions this morning  in the                                                               
Finance Committee and thanked her for putting her name forward.                                                                 
MS. WILSON remarked that Governor  Hammond gave a number of women                                                               
opportunities  to serve  as officials  in his  administration and                                                               
thanked him for mentioning it this morning.                                                                                     
SENATOR  WIELECHOWSKI thanked  her for  her long-time  service to                                                               
the  state  and asked  a  question  on a  controversial  decision                                                               
regarding the ML&P/Chugach Electric approval  to buy a portion of                                                               
the Cook Inlet  gas field from ConocoPhillips about a  year and a                                                               
half ago.  A pretty scathing  dissent was issued  by Commissioner                                                               
McAlpine  saying the  late  filing and  the  ensuing process  the                                                               
utilities engaged  in was "abhorrent."  He was concerned  that it                                                               
impacted  the decision  in that  case.  He asked  if that  filing                                                               
timeframe gave her pause in retrospect.                                                                                         
MS. WILSON  answered that the  whole panel of  five commissioners                                                               
paused when  they were asked to  make a decision in  such a brief                                                               
period of  time, a  matter of  six to eight  weeks. They  did the                                                               
best they could with the information.  The reasons had to do with                                                               
tax  and the  availability  of  tax credits.  A  majority of  the                                                               
commissioners took  everything into  account and decided  that it                                                               
was  acceptable, though  not  desirable, to  make  such a  short-                                                               
notice decision.                                                                                                                
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI said  he appreciated her response.  It was a                                                               
tough  situation.  He   asked  how  she  might   look  at  future                                                               
consolidation in  the Railbelt  between utilities,  something the                                                               
RCA has suggested in the past.                                                                                                  
MS.  WILSON   answered  the  RCA   submitted  a  report   to  the                                                               
legislature on Railbelt utilities  that also made recommendations                                                               
and one consolidation may come  before them soon depending on the                                                               
outcome of the  upcoming municipal election. They  will handle it                                                               
in the same way they  handle all transfers of certificates, which                                                               
is  an application  will  be filed;  it will  be  noticed to  the                                                               
public. The RCA will take  public comment and then decide whether                                                               
to  have  a public  hearing  on  it.  They  will gather  all  the                                                               
information   whether  it's   hearing   information  or   comment                                                               
information and make their decision.                                                                                            
SENATOR WIELECHOWSKI  asked what  the consensus  on consolidation                                                               
was in the RCA report.                                                                                                          
MS. WILSON recalled  there were five recommendations.  They did a                                                               
study and  hired a consultant  and found that consolidation  is a                                                               
good idea. It  would cut down on litigation  amongst the Railbelt                                                               
utilities of which there have been quite a lot.                                                                                 
3:45:23 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  GIESSEL thanked  her  and opened  public  comment on  both                                                               
appointees. Finding no comments, she closed public testimony.                                                                   
CHAIR GIESSEL thanked both appointees  for their service and said                                                               
in  accordance   with  AS  39.05.080,  the   Resources  Committee                                                               
reviewed  the  following  and   recommends  the  appointments  be                                                               
forwarded  to  a  joint  session for  consideration:    Big  Game                                                               
Commercial Services  Board, Adam Trombley, term  expires 3/1/2022                                                               
and Regulatory  Commission of Alaska, Janis  Wilson, term expires                                                               
3/1/2024. This does  not reflect an intent by any  of the members                                                               
to  vote  for or  against  the  confirmation of  the  individuals                                                               
during any further sessions.                                                                                                    
3:47:51 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR GIESSEL  adjourned the  Senate Resources  Committee meeting                                                               
at 3:47 p.m.