HB106 - ACMP Support
Submitted via email to the Alaska Senate
April 19, 2011
Dear Members of the Alaska Senate:
It is with great enthusiasm that I write today to remind the Senate of the amazing bridges that have been built in the past year. Last year at this time, representatives from nearly every statewide business association worked hard to stop a coastal management bill that had great support from the coastal districts. Members of the Senate expressed severe anger, and deservedly so, at the process not moving forward. It was a bad time.
Fast forward one year to last Friday night, when a new coastal management bill, HB106, was being discussed on the floor of the House of Representatives. After much effort by parties on all sides of this contentious issue, a compromise bill had been put forward. Letters of support for this legislation, as written, were sent by the Resource Development Council, Council of Alaska Producers, and Alaska Miners Association each of whom vigorously opposed last year's bill. A letter of support was also sent supporting the legislation, as written, by the North Slope Borough. Did each party think it was a perfect bill? Of course not, but each was willing to accept the bill, as written, as a compromise. All parties negotiated in good faith, respectful of the others' perspectives, and the product of the negotiations was a bill that passed unanimously out of the House.
As the Executive Director of the diverse Resource Development Council, I unfortunately often get caught in the middle of this very difficult issue. Resource development companies, local communities, Native Corporations, and many others call themselves members of RDC. This issue is one I am excited to have behind us. I remain encouraged at the opportunities before us, but would be lying if I told you I did not see trouble ahead. Last Sunday's hearing on this issue, and the potential amendments that could be brought forward as a result, could put us back to where we were last year. I do not want this to happen.
Please pass HB106, without amendment, as soon as possible. The bridges that have been built through this process are not bridges to nowhere. They are bridges to a future relationship of understanding and compromise.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions. Thank you.