Letter to the editor
Oct. 21, 2012
To the editor:
Regarding Gov. Parnell’s
$2 billion-per-year tax incentive for oil companies: thank you for publishing Richard Fineberg’s article, “Oil profits weather Hurricane,” last weekend. It was clear, concise and had references to where his data came from: Securities and Exchange Commission 10-K filings.
The SEC is a government regulatory agency that was established in 1934 by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression. The main reason it was established was to keep companies from making up data and falsifying accounting records (see Wikipedia for more info). The 10-K is a detailed financial report publicly traded companies must file with the SEC on an annual basis.
My point is that if you falsify a 10-K filing, it’s quite possible you will be led away from a courtroom in handcuffs. Possibly on television. For this reason, the 10-K is a pretty accurate document to source from.
I looked at the 10-Ks for fiscal years 2011 and 2010 (http://sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/webusers.htm) and it’s true ConocoPhillips has had net income from it’s Alaska operations of close to $2 billion per year for the last six years. It’s also true that they lost massive amounts of money some of those years in their Lower 48 operations.
Two billion dollars per year after taxes, corporate salaries and bonuses, equipment costs, etc., is a nice profit for any company. I see no reason for government to give incentives to very profitable companies with no promise of anything in return.
Most of what I read and hear passed off as news these days turns out to be marketing one way or the other. I’d like to thank Richard Fineberg for keeping it real. Also Sens. Joe Paskvan and Joe Thomas for doing their homework and working to prevent the governor’s great giveaway.