To the editor: Our governor, according to The Anchorage Daily News, is intent upon further cuts to balance the state budget. According to a report in the Daily News-Miner, help is on the way in the form of a citizen ballot initiative to rework the oil and gas tax credit system. Previous Legislatures obviously bowed to Big Oil by giving away a large portion of the profits from oil coming from the North Slope. Presently, the state receives only about 12% of the oil profits, giving the oil companies 88% of the profit, and this is after production costs are subtracted. Compare this with the profits enjoyed by other oil producing U.S. states that have negotiated their share of profits at 30% to 35%. The inequity is being addressed by an initiative because our present Legislature seems to lack the backbone to rectify the inequity.
A quote from the Aug. 30 News-Miner attributed to Kara Moriarty, president of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, stated, “No industry in Alaska can sustain an increase of this magnitude without causing a disaster for our state’s economy.” This meaning Big Oil will lose money if it must give more profit to the state. Can someone explain to me how stopping the giving away of between $1 billion and $2 billion annually to the oil companies is going to create a disaster for the state’s economy? If this disparity is corrected, we will be able to support and improve our education system and the rest of our needed social programs that Alaskans want and need in order to maintain the Alaska most of us wish to live in. Ms. Moriarty would make a hit on late night comedy with her statement.
It’s clear that our governor is not interested in more income. He would rather cut, cut, cut to make Alaska “a better place.”
When the initiative is presented to us for a vote, please support it so Alaska can grow into a better place in which to live.