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Oil's threat

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Posted: Friday, October 26, 2012 12:00 am

Letter to the editor

Oct. 22, 2012

To the editor:

It is my concern that big oil interests are threatening our state constitution. To quote the Alaska Constitution, Article 8: “The legislature shall provide for the utilization, development, and conservation of all natural resources belonging to the State, including land and waters, for the maximum benefit of its people.”

As an Alaskan, I can’t see allowing an extraordinary tax break (amounting to hundreds of millions to billons of potential state dollars) for oil companies interested in drilling in Alaska while our schools are underfunded and our state government is faced with trimming. We all, as Alaskans, will pay the price so the oil industry’s already lucrative profits can be further padded.

Without the present oil tax structure, which greatly helps float our state, the Alaska government will have to look elsewhere to fund services that we depend on. This could even result in the temptation to raid our permanent fund dividends to meet these expenses.

Please let your representative know how you stand on this issue, and ask the candidates if they support this huge tax loophole to the richest industry in the world. If they try to scare you by saying that we need to encourage the oil companies with these breaks so they continue interest, think about it. Do you really think they will pass on Alaska’s oil if we require them to pay their fair price for our resources? I think not.

I would like everyone to send a strong message to our Alaska representatives and Big Oil. Let’s not rewrite the Alaska Constitution’s Article 8 to end with “for the maximum benefit of the oil industry.” Alaska has great resources that are in great demand. We need not give them away.

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