Letter to the editor

BP and Alaska

To the editor: I am incensed by your bold headline of Sept. 4 regarding BP and taxes (”BP sale stands to lose state millions in tax revenue”). It would seem Alaskans must blame that company for our future lack of funds.

Despite this clever juxtaposing of causality, I am hopeful that readers will not miss the glaring possibility that taxes played a role in BP’s decision to leave Alaska.

There are two erroneous assumptions at play here: that oil companies have infinitely deep pockets and that sizable state taxes are justified by oil companies’ profits. These attitudes neglect the enormous amount of financial risk during exploration, development and operation, especially in extreme Arctic environments.

BP has contributed so significantly to our quality of life in Alaska through its constant and widespread community involvement and contributions, and, yes, taxes.

Let us not be ignorantly ungrateful.

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