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1 enforce all or any of the terms and conditions of the right-of2 way, including the right to renew it or extend it upon its
3 termination and to collect rents.
(b) Where the Secretary determines to transfer out of
5 Federal ownership any Federal lands covered in whole or in 6 part by a right-of-way, he may offer the holder of the right7 of-way a preference right to purchase that portion of the 8 lands which is within the boundaries of the right-of-way, if 9 in the judgment of the Secretary such action is (1) necessary 10 to protect the holder's rights in the right-of-way and (2) not
SEC. 10. Nothing in this Act shall have the effect of 14 terminating any existing right-of-way authorized pursuant to 15
any other Federal statute. However, with the consent of the
holder thereof, the Secretary may cancel such a right-of-way 17 and in its stead issue a right-of-way pursuant to the provi
Sec. 11. The Secretary is authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations as he deem necessary to carry out the
purposes of this Act.
SEC. 12. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to 3 amend, repeal, modify or change in any way the require4 ments of section 102 (2) (C) or any other provision of the 5 National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Public Law
91-190, 83 Stat. 852).
The CHAIRMAN. Now instead of calling Mr. Whitaker—he will not be able to be here, Mr. Carter will be testifying for the DepartmentI thought it appropriate, in view of the fact that our two Senators have to leave and the Governor is here—he made a special trip—that we go out of order and that I call on first Senator Stevens and then Senator Gravel to present Governor Egan of Alaska.
We are delighted to welcome you.
We understand fully the statement you have made and for myself I want you to know I concur wholeheartedly in the statement you
have just made.
It is our pleasure to have with us today our Governor, Bill Egan, and the attorney general of the State, John Havelock, and State Senator, Clifford Groh, representing the State legislature.
I want to commend you particularly for the commitment to have a hearing later if the Supreme Court does not dispose of the matter of the NEPA questions. The hearing on the bills that have been introduced concerning the particular pipepline rights-of-way.
My colleague, Senator Gravel, may have some comments to make. Senator GRAVEL. I would like to add my remarks.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to welcome you both back to the committee.
Senator GRAVEL. Thank you.
I want to associate myself with the remarks of the Senator and also to compliment you for the dispatch and leadership you are providing to this very delicate area that faces our Nation.
Our Alaska delegation led by the Governor will acquit itself very well.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. I will not be able to preside throughout the hearings today and I have asked Senator Haskell, chairman of the Public Land Subcommittee, which normally would be handled in the subcommittee, but we all feel this matter is so urgent that it is being held in the full committee, and I will ask Senator Haskell shortly to take over the chair and he will be presiding throughout the day in connection with these important hearings.
Governor, once again we are delighted to welcome you to the
STATEMENT OF HON. WILLIAM A. EGAN, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE
OF ALASKA, ACCOMPANIED BY JOHN HAVELOCK, ATTORNEY
Senator Jackson, "Mr. Chairman, members of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee. Senator Jackson, I would like to say that I fully agree, too, with the basic topic that we are concerned with here, both you as well as—your committee as well as all the other States in the union, including Alaska, and I would like to point out that in preparing my prepared remarks—they were prepared before I got down here and while understanding that the necessary basic thrust would be on S. 1081, which is mainly the basic thrust of my remarks—but I do, in my remarks, get into what could be construed as maybe somewhat off the line.
I want you to know that is with no intent of being disrespectful or anything at all. It would be very difficult for me, undoubtedly, to get back for your hearing on March 27 and if my remarks could also be included as my personal remarks for those other bills at that time, I would appreciate it.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, there is no problem on that.
If you wish to file any supplemental statements, Governor, we will be very pleased to do so.
Might I, just before you proceed with your formal remarks, make this statement ?
I have been asked to clarify my views on the controversy between a group of oil companies and the State of Alaska over the State's legisTation on pipeline rights-of-way taxation and regulation. This is a matter between the State and the companies which is currently before the State courts.
I have not in the past expressed any opinion on the State's pipeline laws and it would be completely improper for me to comment on the litigation.
I make that statement because there have been some rumors flying around that I have conveyed a certain point of view and I just want to make the formal statement for the record. I have not been in touch with anyone. I have not talked to anyone directly or indirectly. I have not advised any course of action in any manner, shape, or form.
I just wanted to say that. Nor have I authorized anyone to do it.
The CHAIRMAN. You know how rumors get around. We will tell it straight. If I have a view, I wouldn't tell it in some corner someplace or anything of this kind. It is of a public nature.
Governor Egan. Chairman Jackson, members of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee. I appreciate this opportunity to appear before you today to testify on S. 1081, one of the several proposals before the committee relating to the right-of-way section of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. All alternatives mentioned have the effect of clarifying the intent of Congress regarding the use of public lands for the construction of pipelines and are necessitated by the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia construing narrowly a previous grant of authority of the Congress in this regard, thereby not only laying a technical roadblock in the way of constructing the Trans-Alaska pipeline but establishing a major obstacle to the safe construction and operation of pipelines generally in the United States.
Despite the widespread interest of conservation groups arising from the relation of this legislation to the Alaskan project, I would respectfully suggest that the focus of the legislative concern before this committee, as I see it, is not environmental in nature. The environmental issues which have engaged so much of our energies these past several years should be left at this time to the legal and administrative forms available through congressional adoption of the National Environ
mental Policy Act. The court's opinion concedes the authority of the Secretary of the Interior, with appropriate compliance with environmental law, to grant under section 28 of the Mineral Leasing Act a right-of-way for the pipeline equal to its width plus 25 feet on either side. That was the permanent right-of-way that Alyeska applied for but in addition special land-use permits were practically necessary, However, with what I consider to be fauty reasoning, the court ruled that the Secretary lacked authority to issue special land-use permits for the temporary or occasional use of additional right-of-way during the construction or maintenance phase of the project. The court also concluded that since its decision on the use of special land-use permits made construction of the line impossible, there was no need to decide the environmental impact statement issue until-Congress changed the law to allow a practical width. It is the first mentioned aspect of this decision which has brought us, as suggested by the court, to the point of petitioning Congress for relief.
Congressional legislation should be narrowed to the needs of this case, yet be broad enough to cover similar situations impacted by the decision, so that needed efforts to reduce the Nation's energy crisis and to protect the environment may be undertaken without stumbling over what can only fairly be described as a technical impediment.
I do not believe it is appropriate at this time to enact legislation which would include any supplement to or deviation from the procedures provided by the National Environmental Policy Act nor requiring that the environmental examination be begun all over again. While I have grave doubts concerning the workability of provisions of the NEPA Act in relation to the judicial process, it does meet the very legitimate national concerns of the public that the environmental impact of any Federal action having a major impact on the environment be closely examined on a cost-benefit basis. In spite of many years of delay, Alaska's intention still is to see that the Trans-Alaskan pipeline and the special land-use permits issued in connection with it comply with the National Environmental Policy Act.
I regret that I have not yet had time to review in detail each of the various proposals put before the committee, the last of which we received only this week. With the Chairman's permission, I will submit technical comment on S. 1081, and inferentially on alternatives suggested, in writing, during such time as the record is left open following this hearing
At the present, it might be helpful to the committee however, if I amplified my views on the scope of legislative concern and offered some explanation of the critical nature of the situation from the point of view of the State of Alaska and the Nation.
The purpose of any legislation on this matter that the Congress might choose to enact should be to eliminate the cloud of doubt injected by the circuit court over the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to guarantee that the safest and most modern technology may be used in connection with his issuance of rights-of-way for pipeline purposes even when the use of some additional land is thereby required.
It is my view that the most desirable legislation would be so drafted as to address this narrow issue. We do not believe the legislation should