Legislature Passes Two Resolutions Fighting Federal Land Lock-Up
HJR9 & HJR10 denounce actions by Federal Government to set aside more of ANWR
JUNEAU-The Alaska State Legislature passed two resolutions firing back at the federal government for recent actions to lock up more of Alaska’s lands by designating millions of additional acres of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as wilderness and keeping Alaskans from responsibly developing resources for the maximum benefit of the people.
House Joint Resolution 9, sponsored by Rep. Dave Talerico, R-Healy, urges the United States Congress to open the coastal plain of the ANWR to oil and gas development and tells the Department of the Interior to recognize the private property rights of land owners in and adjacent to ANWR.
House Joint Resolution 10, sponsored by Rep. Ben Nageak, D-Barrow, states the Legislature’s opposition to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s proposed update to the Comprehensive Conservation Plan, which calls for more than 12 million additional acres in the Refuge to be managed as Wilderness. The Wilderness designation would make ANWR’s oil-rich coastal plain off limits for exploration or development.
"The federal government’s recent actions could permanently lock up our economic future. We will not stand by and allow the Obama regime to kill opportunity and resource development in Alaska. That’s why we are strongly standing by these resolutions,” said Senate President Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage.
“We are constantly barraged by the federal government through the Endangered Species Act, EPA overreach, and roadblocks to public access on federal lands. These ongoing federal declarations and activities block development of our resources, responsible use of lands by Alaskans and hold what could be a very prosperous future hostage. These resolutions send the message to the federal government that it needs to uphold agreements made under ANILCA,” said Senate Resources Chair Cathy Giessel, R-East Anchorage/Anchorage Hillside/Turnagain.
“The public should be aware that agencies don’t always know best; particularly when ultimate decisions are coming from people living comfortably in Washington DC,” said Senate Majority Leader John Coghill, R-North Pole. “With ANWR, the executive branch cannot unilaterally override congressional acts creating ‘de facto’ wilderness. Alaskans must be vigilant through 2015 and 2016. The Obama administration, through his agencies, will certainly attempt to finish ‘major legacy projects,’ most of which will harm Alaska’s economy.”