Resource Development Council

RDC Testimony:
SB152 - Legislative Approval of Bristol Bay Sulfide Mine

Before Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee
Testimony provided by Rick Rogers, RDC

March 1, 2012

Chairman Olson and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify this afternoon on SB152, Legislative Approval or Bristol Bay Sulfide Mine.

The Resource Development Council for Alaska (RDC) is strongly opposed to SB152, a bill requiring legislative approval of any sulfide mine within the Bristol Bay region.

RDC is a statewide, non-profit, membership-funded organization founded in 1975. The RDC membership is comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s oil and gas, mining, timber, tourism, and fisheries industries, as well as Alaska Native corporations, local communities, organized labor, and industry support firms. RDC’s purpose is to link these diverse interests together to encourage a strong, diversified private sector in Alaska and expand the state’s economic base through the responsible development of our natural resources.

One of RDC’s top legislative priorities is to encourage the state to promote and defend the integrity of Alaska’s permitting process and advocate for predictable, timely, and efficient state and federal permitting processes based on sound science and economic feasibility. This bill does just the opposite.

This bill isn’t just about Pebble, it is essentially a legislative referendum on the State’s permitting process for projects across all industries state-wide. SB152 sets a terrible precedent by effectively usurping the permitting authority of the executive branch, creating uncertainty for companies that are both investing and contemplating investment in Alaska. It sends a message that the Alaskan Legislature does not trust the rigorous, science-based permitting process that is in place. Sadly, even hearing a bill such as this could elicit such feelings.

We urge each of the members to send a message that Alaska is open for business and not pass this bill out of committee. Thank you for your consideration of our comments.