Resource Development Council

RDC Testimony:
HB 99 - Extending the Alaska Minerals Commission

Before House Finance
Testimony provided by Marleanna Hall

March 20, 2013

Good afternoon, Co-chairs Austerman and Stoltze, and members of the committee. My name is Marleanna Hall. I am a Projects Coordinator for the Resource Development Council. RDC is a membership funded, statewide business association representing forestry, oil and gas, mining, tourism, and fishing industries.

RDC supports passage of CS HB 99, an act extending the termination date of the Alaska Minerals Commission (Commission) to 2024.

Historically, the mining industry has been a cornerstone of Alaska’s economy. Many roads, docks and other infrastructure throughout Alaska were originally constructed to serve the mining industry. RDC believes the Commission provides a necessary voice of issues, as well as recommendations and mitigation ideas for the state of Alaska’s mineral prospect and projects.

This appointed group makes recommendations to the legislature and the governor in an effort to promote Alaska’s minerals and mineral exploration and development industry. The Commission continues to be an effective means of ensuring policy makers have the benefit of the collective input of lead practitioners in the industry.

This industry, consisting of exploration, development, and production, in Alaska provides for 9,000 direct and indirect jobs with a payroll of $620 million. These are some of Alaska’s highest paying jobs with an average annual wage of $100,000, significantly higher than the state average for all sectors of the economy.

The Committee Substitute for HB 99 has incorporated term limits for commission members and term limits for members selected as Chair and Vice Chair. RDC believes these proposed term limits will help keep a fresh perspective on the mineral industry.

CS HB 99 will bring the Alaska Minerals Commission into line with other Boards and Commissions, extend the AMC for another 10 years, and help keep the members fresh and active in identifying ways to mitigate constraints on mineral development in Alaska.

The Alaska Minerals Commission has a low fiscal impact, but RDC believes it has a significant impact promoting Alaska’s minerals and mineral exploration and development industry. The eleven commission members have broad based mineral industry experience and represent a diverse expertise in mineral exploration and development in Alaska.

RDC urges you to move HB 99 out of House Finance in a timely manner. Thank you for your consideration of our comments.