30th Legislature(2017-2018)

Bill Text 30th Legislature


00 Enrolled HJR 5                                                                                                          
01 Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic                           
02 National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development; relating to oil and gas exploration,                               
03 development, production, and royalties; and relating to renewable and alternative energy                                
04 technologies.                                                                                                           
05                                           _______________                                                               
06 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                             
07      WHEREAS, in 16 U.S.C. 3143 (sec. 1003 of the Alaska National Interest Lands                                        
08 Conservation Act), the United States Congress reserved the right to permit oil and gas                                  
09 development and production within the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;                             
10 and                                                                                                                     
11      WHEREAS, in 16 U.S.C. 3142 (sec. 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands                                        
12 Conservation Act), the United States Congress authorized nondrilling exploratory activity                               
13 within the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (the "1002 study area"); and                            
14      WHEREAS the oil industry, the state, and the United States Department of the                                       
15 Interior consider the coastal plain to have the highest potential for discovery of very large oil                       
16 and gas accumulations on the continent of North America, estimated to be as much as                                     
01 10,000,000,000 barrels of recoverable oil; and                                                                          
02      WHEREAS, in 1998, the United States Geological Survey estimated the central North                                  
03 Slope and 1002 study area combined could contain up to 46,000,000,000,000 cubic feet of                                 
04 natural gas; and                                                                                                        
05      WHEREAS the 1002 study area is part of the coastal plain located within the North                                  
06 Slope Borough, and many of the residents of the North Slope Borough, who are                                            
07 predominantly Inupiat, are supportive of development in the 1002 study area; and                                        
08      WHEREAS oil and gas exploration and development of the coastal plain of the refuge                                 
09 and adjacent land could result in major discoveries that would reduce our nation's dependency                           
10 on oil produced by hostile foreign nations, help balance the nation's trade deficit, and                                
11 significantly increase the nation's security; and                                                                       
12      WHEREAS the state's and the nation's future energy independence would be                                           
13 enhanced with additional natural gas production from the North Slope of Alaska, including                               
14 what are expected to be significant gas reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and                            
15 the development of those reserves would enhance the economic viability of the proposed                                  
16 liquefied natural gas project; and                                                                                      
17      WHEREAS development of oil at Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk, Endicott, Lisburne, and                                        
18 Milne Point has resulted in thousands of jobs throughout the United States, and projected job                           
19 creation as a result of coastal plain oil development will have a positive effect in all 50 states;                     
20 and                                                                                                                     
21      WHEREAS North Slope production has declined significantly in the last decade and                                   
22 is forecasted to continue to decline; and                                                                               
23      WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, a national asset that would cost                                         
24 billions of dollars to replace, would have its useful physical life extended for a substantial                          
25 period if the additional reserves of recoverable oil from the coastal plain were produced; and                          
26      WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System is currently being extended to leases at                                  
27 Point Thomson, an area bordering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and oil produced in                               
28 the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would require only the additional construction of a                                 
29 pipeline to Point Thomson to deliver oil to market; and                                                                 
30      WHEREAS, while new oil field developments on the North Slope of Alaska may                                         
31 temporarily slow the decline in production, only allowing access to the state's coastal plain                           
01 fields would enable the production volume of Alaska oil to increase by up to 700,000 barrels a                          
02 day; and                                                                                                                
03      WHEREAS opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge now                                       
04 allows sufficient time for planning environmental safeguards, development, and national                                 
05 security review; and                                                                                                    
06      WHEREAS the 1,500,000-acre coastal plain of the refuge makes up less than eight                                    
07 percent of the 19,000,000-acre refuge, and development of the oil and gas reserves in the                               
08 refuge's coastal plain would affect a limited area as defined by the United States Congress;                            
09 and                                                                                                                     
10      WHEREAS 8,900,000 of the 19,000,000 acres of the refuge have already been set                                      
11 aside as wilderness; and                                                                                                
12      WHEREAS the oil industry has shown at Prudhoe Bay, as well as at other locations                                   
13 along the Arctic coastal plain, that it is capable of conducting oil and gas activity without                           
14 adversely affecting the environment or wildlife populations; and                                                        
15      WHEREAS the state will continue to strive to ensure the ongoing health and                                         
16 productivity of the Porcupine and Central Arctic caribou herds and the protection of land,                              
17 water, and wildlife resources during the exploration and development of the coastal plain of                            
18 the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and                                                                                
19      WHEREAS the oil and gas industry has developed directional drilling technology that                                
20 will allow horizontal drilling in a responsible manner by minimizing the development                                    
21 footprint within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and that directional drilling technology                          
22 may be capable of drilling from outside of the boundaries of the 1002 study area; and                                   
23      WHEREAS the oil industry is using innovative technology and environmental                                          
24 practices in new field developments, and those techniques are directly applicable to operating                          
25 on the coastal plain and would enhance environmental protection beyond traditionally high                               
26 standards; and                                                                                                          
27      WHEREAS, in December 2016, President Barack Obama, through executive action,                                       
28 closed 125,000,000 acres of the Arctic Ocean, a vast majority of the United States Arctic                               
29 offshore water, from future leasing consideration, thus preventing extraction of an estimated                           
30 27,000,000,000 barrels of oil; and                                                                                      
31      WHEREAS the Alaska Congressional delegation decried the executive action; and                                      
01      WHEREAS the executive action threatens future development and national energy                                      
02 security; and                                                                                                           
03      WHEREAS the state recognizes that the economic prosperity of the state is dependent                                
04 on available, reliable, and affordable energy; and                                                                      
05      WHEREAS the state promotes the development of renewable and alternative energy                                     
06 resources; and                                                                                                          
07      WHEREAS the Alaska State Legislature encourages the use of revenue from                                            
08 development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the development of renewable and                                 
09 alternative energy resources in the state;                                                                              
10      BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges that oil and gas                                            
11 exploration, development, and production activity be conducted in a manner that protects the                            
12 environment and the naturally occurring population levels of the Porcupine caribou herd on                              
13 which the Inupiat, Gwich'in, and other local residents depend, that uses directional drilling                           
14 and other advances in technology to minimize the development footprint in the 1002 study                                
15 area, and that uses the state's work force to the maximum extent possible; and be it                                    
16      FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the United States                                         
17 Congress to pass legislation opening the 1002 study area for oil and gas development while                              
18 continuing to work on measures for increasing the development and use of renewable and                                  
19 alternative energy technologies; and be it                                                                              
20      FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature opposes any unilateral                                          
21 reduction in royalty revenue from exploration and development of the coastal plain of the                               
22 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and any attempt to coerce the state into accepting less than                            
23 the 90 percent of the oil, gas, and mineral royalties from the federal land in the state that was                       
24 promised to the state at statehood.                                                                                     
25      COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Donald J. Trump, President                                
26 of the United States; the Honorable Michael R. Pence, Vice President of the United States and                           
27 President of the U.S. Senate; the United States Secretary of the Interior; the Honorable Paul                           
28 D. Ryan, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Nancy Pelosi,                                      
29 Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable Mitch McConnell,                                    
30 Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Charles E. Schumer, Minority Leader of                                
31 the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on                                    
01 Energy and Natural Resources; the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senator, and the Honorable                               
02 Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress; and all                                   
03 other members of the 115th United States Congress.                                                                      
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