House Fisheries Committee • April 27, 2017
HB 14 Testimony

Good morning, Chairwoman Stutes and members of the House Fisheries Committee. My name is Kati Capozzi. I am the Communications Manager for the Resource Development Council for Alaska, otherwise known as RDC. The  RDC membership includes mining, fishing, oil and gas, forestry and tourism industries, as well as the 12 land owning Alaska Native corporations.

It is a policy of RDC to advocate for predictable, timely, and efficient state permitting processes that are based on sound science. House Bill 14 does the opposite: it makes bad legislation worse, and creates more uncertainty for current and future projects.  

RDC members are the economic engine of Alaska, and we value the non-politicized process for permitting projects. We are concerned this bill will send a message that Alaska’s rigorous permitting process is unpredictable and unstable, all while our resources compete for investment around the globe.

Further, as was mentioned in previous public testimony on this bill, The Bristol Bay Forever initiative is unconstitutional as it violates the separation of powers.

RDC urges the committee to reject this legislation, and instead promote and defend the integrity of Alaska’s permitting process, allowing all projects to be fully reviewed and evaluated. Alaska must encourage the expansion and increased production from existing deposits as well as new exploration and responsible development of its mineral and coal resources.

In Alaska, mining exploration activities are down. This bill will not help return Alaska to a place that companies will want to invest millions of dollars in exploration and development of new mines.

We need to encourage the private sector to invest more in Alaska to create more wealth, provide more jobs, and ultimately provide more revenue to the State of Alaska.

As our state faces a fiscal crisis, it is also imperative projects be allowed to go through the well-vetted permitting process and show investors that Alaska is “open for business.”

Thank you to the Co-chairs and members of House Fisheries for the opportunity to testify.