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24th Legislature(2005-2006)

Bill Text 24th Legislature

00 Enrolled SJR 2                                                                                                          
01 Urging the United States Congress to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic                           
02 National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, to oil and gas exploration, development, and production.                              
03                                           _______________                                                               
04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                             
05      WHEREAS, in sec. 1002 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act                                     
06 (ANILCA), the United States Congress reserved the right to permit further oil and gas                                   
07 exploration, development, and production within the coastal plain of the Arctic National                                
08 Wildlife Refuge, Alaska; and                                                                                            
09      WHEREAS the oil industry, the state, and the United States Department of the                                     
10 Interior consider the coastal plain to have the highest potential for discovery of very large oil                       
11 and gas accumulations on the continent of North America, estimated to be as much as                                     
12 10,000,000,000 barrels of recoverable oil; and                                                                          
13      WHEREAS the "1002 study area" is part of the coastal plain located within the North                              
14 Slope Borough, and residents of the North Slope Borough, who are predominantly Inupiat                                  
15 Eskimo, are supportive of development in the "1002 study area"; and                                                     
16      WHEREAS oil and gas exploration and development of the coastal plain of the refuge                               
01 and adjacent land could result in major discoveries that would reduce our nation's future need                          
02 for imported oil, help balance the nation's trade deficit, and significantly increase the nation's                      
03 security; and                                                                                                           
04      WHEREAS domestic demand for oil continues to rise while domestic crude                                           
05 production continues to fall with the result that the United States imports additional oil from                         
06 foreign sources; and                                                                                                    
07      WHEREAS development of oil at Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk, Endicott, Lisburne, and                                      
08 Milne Point has resulted in thousands of jobs throughout the United States, and projected job                           
09 creation as a result of coastal plain oil development will have a positive effect in all 50 states;                     
10 and                                                                                                                     
11      WHEREAS Prudhoe Bay production is declining by approximately 10 percent a year;                                  
12 and                                                                                                                     
13      WHEREAS the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, a transportation facility that is a                                    
14 national asset and that would cost billions of dollars to replace, would have its useful physical                       
15 life extended for a substantial period if the additional reserves of recoverable oil from the                           
16 coastal plain were produced; and                                                                                        
17      WHEREAS, while new oil field developments on the North Slope of Alaska, such as                                  
18 Alpine, Badami, and West Sak, may slow or temporarily stop the decline in production, only                              
19 giant coastal plain fields have the theoretical capability of increasing the production volume                          
20 of Alaska oil to a significant degree; and                                                                              
21      WHEREAS opening the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge now                                     
22 allows sufficient time for planning environmental safeguards, development, and national                                 
23 security review; and                                                                                                    
24      WHEREAS the 1,500,000-acre coastal plain of the refuge makes up only eight                                       
25 percent of the 19,000,000-acre refuge, and the development of the oil and gas reserves in the                           
26 refuge's coastal plain would affect an area of only 2,000 to 7,000 acres, which is less than                            
27 one-half of one percent of the area of the coastal plain; and                                                           
28      WHEREAS 8,000,000 of the 19,000,000 acres of the refuge have already been set                                    
29 aside as wilderness; and                                                                                                
30      WHEREAS the oil industry has shown at Prudhoe Bay, as well as at other locations                                 
31 along the Arctic coastal plain, that it can safely conduct oil and gas activity without adversely                       
01 affecting the environment or wildlife populations; and                                                                  
02      WHEREAS the state will ensure the continued health and productivity of the                                       
03 Porcupine Caribou herd and the protection of land, water, and wildlife resources during the                             
04 exploration and development of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,                                
05 Alaska; and                                                                                                             
06      WHEREAS the oil industry is using innovative technology and environmental                                        
07 practices in the new field developments at Alpine and Northstar, and those techniques are                               
08 directly applicable to operating on the coastal plain and would enhance environmental                                   
09 protection beyond traditionally high standards;                                                                         
10      BE IT RESOLVED by the Alaska State Legislature that the Congress of the United                                   
11 States is urged to pass legislation to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife                           
12 Refuge, Alaska, to oil and gas exploration, development, and production, and that the Alaska                            
13 State Legislature is adamantly opposed to further wilderness or other restrictive designation in                        
14 the area of the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska; and be it                                 
15      FURTHER RESOLVED that that activity be conducted in a manner that protects the                                   
16 environment and the naturally occurring population levels of the Porcupine Caribou herd and                             
17 that uses the state's work force to the maximum extent possible; and be it                                              
18      FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature opposes any unilateral                                        
19 reduction in royalty revenue from exploration and development of the coastal plain of the                               
20 Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, and any attempt to coerce the State of Alaska into                             
21 accepting less than the 90 percent of the oil, gas, and mineral royalties from the federal land in                      
22 Alaska that was promised to the state at statehood.                                                                     
23      COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President                               
24 of the United States; the Honorable Richard B. Cheney, Vice-President of the United States                              
25 and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Gale Norton, United States Secretary of the                             
26 Interior; the Honorable J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the                            
27 Honorable Bill Frist, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Ted Stevens and the                             
28 Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S.                                              
29 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress; and to all other members of                               
30 the 109th United States Congress.                                                                                       
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