Resource Development Council

RDC Letter:
Support of SJR 2 - A resolution to
limit federal intervention in Alaska

March 1, 2013

The Honorable John Coghill, Chair
Senate Judiciary Committee
Alaska State Legislature
State Capitol Room 119
Juneau, AK 99801

Re: SJR2 – A resolution to limit federal intervention in the State of Alaska

Dear Senator Coghill:

The Resource Development Council is writing in support of SJR2, an act commending and supporting actions taken by the Office of the Governor, the attorney general, and the commissioner of natural resources to protect the state from federal government incursion into the care and management of state resources and to promote the economic prosperity of the state; and urging United States Congress and the President of United States to limit federal government overreach into management of state resources.

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.

RDC members regularly witnesses first hand the uncertainty, delays, lost opportunities and unnecessary costs of doing business that result from federal actions that fail to acknowledge the limits of federal authority. Misuse of the Endangered Species Act; failure to acknowledge state jurisdiction over navigable waters; land management decisions in conflict with the compromise embodied in the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act (ANILCA); the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) misguided Bristol Bay watershed assessment; and disregard for the principles embodied in the Statehood Compact are all examples of issues where the State needs to stand up to the federal government.

In some instances, RDC intervenes in State legal challenges, such as the ongoing complaint against the EPA and the State Department with regard to the imposition of the Emission Control Area (ECA), clearly a one-size-fits -all approach with disproportionate costs and a lack of demonstrated benefit for Alaskans. Federal land management policies have decimated the timber-based economy of Southeast Alaska, are compromising the health, safety and welfare of our citizens in King Cove, and are eroding the resource potential from lands as demonstrated by the recent integrated resource plan for the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, a plan which closes the most prospective lands in the petroleum reserve to oil exploration and development.

SJR 2 will demonstrate a united front, showing elected federal officials and agencies that Alaska is committed to defending its sovereignty and rights against federal over reach. We encourage the committee to consider prompt passage of this resolution.

Resource Development Council for Alaska