Governor’s Budget Proposal to Focus on Resource Development
December 07, 2011
“Better transportation corridors will open up petroleum and mining opportunities,” Governor Parnell said. “Mineral exploration expenditures are up, and with our efforts to streamline the permitting process, we are working to secure Alaska’s resources for Alaskans’ benefit.”
1. Roads to Resources ($28.5 million) – This appropriation includes funding for access to the Ambler Mining District, Umiat-Foothills West, a western access route through Tanana, the Klondike Industrial Use Highway, and other resource roads. The funding will be used for project definition, permitting, environmental work, and right-of-way acquisition.
2. Streamline Permitting ($3.3 million)
Between 85% and 90% of the state’s general fund revenue comes from the development and use of state land and natural resources. This project will streamline the permitting process to provide more timely decision making for mining, timber, public access, land sales and transfers, and other resource development applications.
3. Rare Earth Elements and Strategic Minerals ($2.7 million)
This 3-year project will provide critical information assessing Alaska’s rare earth elements (REE) and strategic minerals potential. The area around Bokan Mountain, near Ketchikan, is potentially one of the largest REE deposits in North America, and there are more than 150 known mineral occurrences across the state.
4. Shale Oil Assessment ($1.1 million)
This funding will provide a needed geologic assessment of shale oil on the North Slope and other areas of Alaska.
5. Statewide Digital Mapping ($15.9 million total)
The Digital Elevation model (DEM) is foundational to all infrastructure development. USGS topographic maps are more than 50 years old, inaccurate, and do not meet national mapping standards. Accurate elevation data is vital to responsible resource and economic development, aviation safety, navigational devices, modern emergency response, disaster preparation, floodplain management, tsunami studies, and routing for roads and pipelines. $3.7 million is proposed from the state’s general funds, with the balance from federal funds.
“Responsible resource development is the key to Alaska’s economic future,” Governor Parnell added. “Alaska has an abundance of oil, gas, timber, and other natural resources. Turning oil production around and filling the pipeline serves two important purposes: providing economic opportunities for Alaskans, and helping secure energy independence for our nation.”
Source of News: