Legislature Passes Bill to Boost Mining in Alaska
Governor Parnell also signs partner bill creating ‘Alaska Mining Day’
JUNEAU-Today, the Alaska State Legislature passed Senate Bill 2, one of a pair of bills sponsored by Senator Cathy Giessel, R-Turnagain Arm/North Kenai, designed to boost mining in Alaska. SB2 authorizes the state to join the Interstate Mining Compact Commission (IMCC). Just a couple of hours earlier, Senator Giessel joined Governor Parnell as he signed Senate Bill 1 into law. SB1, which designates May 10 as “Alaska Mining Day” each year, passed the Legislature on April 6.
“The mining industry built much of the infrastructure we see today in Alaska.” Senator Giessel said. “Mining is the state’s second largest industry, employs more than 2,000 people in high-paying jobs and creates public revenue by paying both state and local taxes. SB 1 Alaska Mining Day honors this important industry and SB 2 helps move it forward by enabling Alaska to become a full voting member of the well-recognized IMCC.”
The IMCC is a coalition of mining states which join together to represent environmentally sound resource development interests on a national level. The IMCC brings a collective voice in preserving and advocating for states’ rights.
“In today’s legislative and regulatory climate in Washington, DC, it is more important than ever for state governments to be heard,” said Senator Giessel. “IMCC is recognized by many in the nation’s capital for its experience and expertise on mining issues. Becoming a member of the IMCC pushes Congress to recognize Alaska as an important player in environmental concerns and regulatory issues.”
Full membership in the IMCC also provides Alaska’s resource and permitting agencies with access to a network of peers to exchange information about best practices and regulations to further advance the mining industry in Alaska.
“Joining the IMCC gives Alaska the opportunity to build on our successes, share what works with other states, and foster a better relationship with federal agencies,” said Senator Giessel. “I would like to thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for their support of both SB 1 Alaska Mining Day and SB 2 Interstate Mining Compact Commission.”
Representative Cathy Munoz, R-Juneau, was instrumental in SB 2 passing the House. Representative Munoz, a proponent of mining from Juneau, which is a town rich in mining history and with two of the state’s largest mines nearby, carried the bill on the House Floor and also sponsored a companion bill, HB 360. “Juneau’s David Stone was a strong advocate for Alaska’s full membership in the Mining Compact Commission.” Representative Munoz said. “He recognized how important it was for Alaska to be engaged with member states to encourage a robust and trustworthy industry. SB2 honors his wisdom and legacy.”
Senate Bill 2 now heads to Governor Parnell for his signature. For a photo of this morning’s bill signing, please click here.
For more information, please contact Margaret Dowling in Senator Giessel’s office at 907-465-8181.