On Tuesday, Senate Bill 48, Governor Mike Dunleavy’s carbon offset legislation was passed by the Alaska Legislature following a successful floor vote in the Alaska House of Representatives.
SB 48 authorizes the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to lease land for carbon management purposes, and establishes a carbon offset program for state land. It also authorizes the sale of carbon offset credits; and providing for an effective date
That means a business or entity that produces carbon dioxide can offset those emissions by buying credits generated by nature-based projects on State land. Land enrolled in a carbon offset project will always be available to Alaskans for camping, hunting, fishing, and other recreational purposes. It will not prevent or halt any natural resource development on State lands. It does not limit emissions for businesses or individuals in Alaska. It does not lock up Alaska lands.
“Alaska can now diversify its economy and stabilize the budget process by entering the rapidly emerging global market for carbon offsets,” said Governor Dunleavy.
“I want to thank the members of the legislature that made improvements to the bill and especially Commissioner John Boyle and his staff at the Department of Natural Resources for their perseverance, patience and hard work to get the bill across the finish line in just four months.”
“Today marks an exciting new chapter for natural resources in Alaska with the passage of Governor Mike Dunleavy’s carbon offset bill,” said DNR Commissioner John Boyle, who expressed appreciation for those who helped with the bill.
“I’m grateful our DNR experts and AOGCC partners were able to work with the legislature to deliver a bill giving Alaska a new revenue stream that complements our current resource development industries and Alaskans’ use of State land. I’m particularly excited about the opportunities to more actively manage and invest in our forests.”
Once SB 48 is signed into law, DNR will begin to develop regulations for a Carbon Offsets Program on State Land that will go through a robust public input process.