Testimony in support of HJR 12 - endorsing ANWR leasing
March 8, 2021 | House Resources Committee

Good afternoon Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. My name is Marleanna Hall, and I am the executive director for the Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc., commonly referred to as RDC. RDC supports House Joint Resolution 12 – endorsing ANWR leasing.

For the record, RDC is a statewide trade association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska’s fishing, forestry, mining, oil and gas, and tourism industries. Our membership includes all 12 land-owning Alaska Native corporations, local communities, organized labor, industry support firms, and thousands of Alaskans supporting responsible development of Alaska’s natural resources. 

I’m here today to express strong support for HJR 12, as it supports the oil and gas lease program that will allow limited activity within the non-Wilderness portion of the coastal plain of ANWR. As Kara Moriarty described earlier, this legislation well describes measures to properly address ANICLA and the intent to preserve areas in the coastal plain for oil and gas development. 

Further, it is important that we allow for the eventual development, production, and transportation of oil and gas in and from the Coastal Plain that would meet the requirements established by Congress. Alaska depends on the responsible development of its natural resources to expand and support our economy. 

Alaskans statewide have long-supported oil and gas exploration and development in the coastal plain. In fact, ask Ms. Capozzi described, polling has consistently shown 70 percent of Alaskans support development of energy resources beneath the 1002 area. Local residents and the Inupiaq people who actually live adjacent to the 1002 area also support development.

However, we recognize there are special interests that are opposed to further development of America’s energy resources. They advocate leaving oil in the ground, but even in an era of climate change, reality requires continued development of America’s oil and gas resources. While renewable and alternative energy will make up a growing part of the U.S. energy portfolio, they will not significantly reduce our reliance on oil in the near or mid-term.

We don’t deny renewable energy is a growing part of America’s energy portfolio, but it is still only projected to account for a minority of American energy production in 2040. Along the same lines of what Mr. Walsh said earlier, new oil and gas production will be required to power America’s economy and can serve as a bridge until renewable energy becomes a dominant energy source decades into the future.

Every barrel of oil not developed in America will simply be imported from overseas where environmental regulations are often weaker. To further reduce our reliance on foreign sources of oil, America must continue to pursue responsible oil and gas development onshore and offshore Alaska. New production would provide a bridge to the alternative and renewable energy sources of the future.

Oil development on a fraction of the coastal plain would create thousands of jobs nationwide, generate billions of dollars in government revenue for public services, and further improve energy security for decades into the future. Not only does Alaska need oil and gas development in the coastal plain, but America will benefit from it too. Let’s fuel America’s future with ANWR.

Thank you Mr. Chair and members of House Resources for the opportunity to testify in support of HJR 12 today.