Resource Development Council

RDC Comment Letter:
Support of HB59 - Commercial Fishing Loan Act

February 7, 2011

Representative Paul Seaton
House Fisheries Committee
Alaska State Legislature
State Capitol, Room 102
Juneau, AK 99801

RE: HB59 – Commercial Fishing Loan Act

Dear Representative Seaton:

On behalf of the Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc., (RDC), I am writing in support of HB59 – Commercial Fishing Loan Act.

RDC is a statewide business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism and fisheries industries. RDC’s membership includes Alaska Native Corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

Throughout the last several years, Alaskans have been struggling with high energy costs. Fuel costs and usage have escalated as fisherman are required to go further out for catch due to impacts from endangered species listings, critical habitat designations, marine protected areas, and fish movement. Opportunities to improve energy efficiency through state loans are important not only for the pocket books of the fisherman who harvest over half of this nation’s total catch, but also for the environment—increased efficiency will likely lead to lower costs and ultimately decreased carbon emission. Encouraging such improvements/upgrades to be completed instate, as this bill provides, allows for even more benefits to be felt within Alaska.

We encourage the committee to vote in favor of this bill. Thank you for your consideration.

Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc.