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24th Alaska State Legislature
The Alaska State Legislature
Alaska State House Finance Committee
Rep. John Harris, Co-Chair Rep. Bill Williams, Co-Chair

Click image for large 5'' x 7'' portrait

Rep. John Harris
State Capitol, Room
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907)
Fax: (907) 465-3799
      Click image for large 5'' x 7'' portrait

Rep. Bill Williams
State Capitol, Room 511
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-3424
Fax: (907) 465-3793

House Approves Funds for ANWR Effort
Appropriations Support Education About Exploration
Alaska State Legislature
Alaska State Legislature
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Released:
February 26, 2003
J.D. Wallace
House Majority Press Secretary
465-5369 (Jan-May)

"I think it's very important to keep the ANWR issue out in front of the public. It's a small amount to pay for what we can receive in the end."
Requires Real Audio Player = John Harris
29 K
Requires an MP3 player = John Harris
195 K

 

(JUNEAU) - The Alaska House of Representatives passed House Bill 101 by a vote of 34 to three today. HB 101 appropriates a total of $1.3 million to promote oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. House Finance co-Chairs Representative John Harris (R-Valdez) and Representative Bill Williams (R-Saxman) said efforts to open the refuge for exploration must continue.

"It's a continuing educational effort," Harris said. "The state benefits tremendously from development in that area, not only in general funds, but also from jobs and development of the economy."

"I think it's very important to keep the ANWR issue out in front of the public," Williams said. "It's a small amount to pay for what we can receive in the end."

Arctic Power will receive $1.1 million to persuade members of the U.S. Congress to approve opening the refuge to exploration. Harris said the interest group has made progress in this effort over the years.

"They do a very effective job," Harris said. "They have cleared up many misconceptions about ANWR and as a result many people have changed their opinions to support exploration there."

The Native Village of Kaktovik will receive $100,000 for its own community outreach effort to gain Congressional support for opening ANWR. Kaktovik sits within ANWR and has been a proponent of exploration in the refuge.

"They're people who are affected by the exploration," Williams said. "It's right in their front yard. It's important we show the people back East that members of the Native Community are supportive of exploration in ANWR."

"They use that money to travel to Washington, D.C. to tell their story and to bring people to the village for educational purposes," Harris said. "There's probably no better argument for opening the refuge than the one made by the people of Kaktovik. They know the area better than anybody. They've been there for centuries."

The governor's office will also receive $100,000 to fund its efforts to open the refuge. Both Williams and Harris said the governor will be more active than ever before in the ANWR debate and needs support to do so.

"For the first time in a long time we're going to have our governor go back to Washington, D.C. to advocate for development in ANWR, which really hasn't been the case in the last eight years," Harris said. "We want the governor to be active in this effort, and this funding helps him in his efforts."

"The governor just came back from Washington, D.C. after spending 22 years there," Williams said. "He knows how things work there so I think it's important he keeps on top of the issue."

HB 101 moves to the Senate.

# # #

 

"It's going to result in more drilling and it's going to be a shot in the arm economically to our state."
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· audio comments are available at (800) 478-6540 or below:

02-26-03: House Finance Co-Chair Rep. John Harris explains why the House should appropriate $1.1 million dollars to promote opening ANWR to oil and gas drilling.
Requires Real Audio Player = John Harris
29 K
Requires Real an MP3 Player = John Harris
195 K

02-26-03: House Finance Co-Chair Rep. Bill Williams explains why the House should continue funding efforts to open ANWR to oil and gas drilling.
Requires Real Audio Player = Bill Williams
35 K
Requires Real an MP3 Player = Bill Williams
236 K


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