Bill: Security for those seeking to halt projects

State chamber supports bill opposed by conservationists

JUNEAU — A conservation group says a bill that would require parties seeking to halt resource extraction or construction projects post a security is unconstitutional and would put corporate interests above those of Alaskans.

The Alaska Conservation Alliance submitted testimony ahead of Tuesday’s Senate Labor and Commerce Committee hearing on HB168.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Eric Feige, passed the House last year. Feige says it seeks to impose a penalty on frivolous lawsuits that delay worthwhile projects and curtail employment.

The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce supports HB168.

The conservation alliance’s Andy Moderow says courts only issue restraining orders, preliminary injunctions or orders voiding or halting use of permits if it determines a plaintiff is likely to win and irreparable harm would occur without a stay.

He calls the bill bizarre.

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