Ivan L. Ascott


This Comment argues that Alaska's position that Congress purposefully incorporated the Mineral Leasing Act into the Statehood Act through section 28(b), and in doing so, permanently granted the state ninety percent of the revenues from mineral development on federal lands, is legally incorrect. The text of the Act simply does not support the position that mineral-lease and royalty proceeds from federal lands are part of Alaska's "compact." In addition, the legislative history of the Act does not support Alaska's position, nor does case law that has addressed related issues. Following this Introduction, Part II of this Comment expands on Alaska's position and explains Alaska's "Statehood Compact" argument. Part III reviews the historical background of the Alaska Statehood Act as it pertains to the ninety percent-ten percent revenue- sharing formula under the MLA. Part IV discusses Alaska v. United States,24 a case that addressed closely related issues and likely will figure prominently in any future argument concerning Alaska's rights under the Act. Part V, after analyzing the text and legislative history of the Act and judicial treatment of statehood agreements generally, concludes the Comment by arguing that Alaska's position will not have success with the courts.