Letter to the editor
Oct. 22, 2012
To the editor:
There comes a time when voters need to know who controls the state’s economy — politicians or the multinational oil companies. This fact leads one to question Gov. Parnell, a former lawyer for these same lobbyists, who demands a $2 billion tax break to increase oil production. While more than 80 percent of our tax revenues come from big oil, their only obligation is to the bottom line of their corporations.
Two of these giant oil companies have been remiss in their obligations to the region they drill in. Negligence by Exxon led to a Prince William Sound oil spill of massive consequences. BP’s cost-cutting measures prompted a gigantic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that cost them $22 billion dollars to try to mitigate.
While listening to comments last year about the need for tax breaks for oil companies, I realized how deep the pockets of these very rich companies are. Lobbyists, up to 17 in a row, all pleaded with the Legislature for tax incentives for their benefactors. All sounded like they read from the same script. Only one independent suggested incentives should be set up for competition from other oil companies who are not part of the triumvirate whose monopoly stymies competition.
When I hear legislators demanding these tax incentives, I question where their allegiance lies. The likes of Tammie Wilson and John Coghill, and wannabes like Pete Kelly, all display where their loyalties are. When the governor cannot even get a written guarantee from the oil companies how they will use the deductions, it’s time to question the motives. What about the others, who would see a $600 million hole blasted in the state’s revenues by their selfish acts?
With no guarantees of increased oil production, it’s time to show who is in control of the state’s fortunes — the people and their representatives, or the oil companies, who still must reveal their responsibilities to the state, which gave them permission to drill on state lands.