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Coalition of States Fights for State Resource and Mineral Rights

Eleven states band together in battle for state sovereignty over energy and resource development

ANCHORAGE- Recently the Energy Producing States Coalition (EPSC) met, in conjunction with the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), to work on strategies to oppose federal overreach, particularly in the area of resource development.   Senator Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage Hillside/Turnagain Arm/North Kenai, as Chair-Elect of the EPSC, represented Alaska’s interests in the discussion.  Senate President Charlie Huggins, R-Wasilla, and Representative Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, also participated in the meetings.

At the EPSC meeting, members shared energy legislation being enacted in their respective states.  Representatives and Senators reviewed issues impacting energy development, including hydraulic fracturing, the Endangered Species Act, federal ocean policies, Outer-Continental Shelf access, and seismic technology.  The group focused on the impact of federal legislation, discussing rule making and strategies to deal with proposed legislation.

One recent significant fiscal decision by the federal government is the sequestration of shared mineral royalties from production on federal lands in the states.  These revenues are normally shared, 50-50, with each state government.   The federal government has decided to keep the mineral royalties owed to the states, meaning a loss of millions of dollars in critical state revenue.

“Right now, the debt-ridden federal government is trying to steal mineral royalties owed to the states,” said Senator Giessel.  “States count on this mineral royalty money to fund critical services such as education and public safety.”

That’s why the EPSC is currently working with governors and members of the U.S. Congress to restore these lost revenues, along with regaining state control over issues such as access roads, endangered species designations, federal ocean policy and fracking rules.  

The purpose of the EPSC is to develop a unified voice from states on policies and issues that affect domestic energy production and transmission, while promoting safe and responsible domestic energy development.   The coalition works to coordinate, streamline and simplify federal regulatory processes in the members’ states, with a focus on increasing efficiency and reducing redundancy. 

“We already do much of the regulatory work on the state level,” said Senator Giessel.  “It doesn’t make any sense, with the federal government running out of money, that we should see any duplicative efforts.  Environmental protection and resource development are state matters.  We, the states, have the knowledge, resources and personal commitment to do the job effectively and efficiently, while best serving the needs of our constituents.”

Senator Giessel and Representative Millett have taken the lead on two issues especially important to Alaskans; Senator Giessel is researching recommendations on the Endangered Species Act, and Representative Millett will summarize federal ocean policy and how it affects all the states. 

The EPSC currently consists of legislators from Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.  

For more information, contact Lindsay Williams in Senator Giessel’s office at 907-269-0181

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