You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Letter to the Editor

The oil money giveaway

To the editor: I have been heartened to see how Alaskans are taking care of each other in these hard times. I live alone, and as a scientific field worker can’t work from home. But these difficulties have been lightened by seeing strangers smiling and waving, neighbors offering a hand, and families staying home to protect the vulnerable.

That said, while community members are standing together, our leaders have failed us. This crisis has revealed the sharp inequities in our country. If so many working families cannot afford health care or reliably feed their children from day to day, something is deeply wrong.

In the months before this crisis, as the governor defunded public education, senior services, public health care, community transportation, food security programs and more, using the argument that the state was broke, oil companies posted billions in profits from Alaska oil. Conoco alone posted a $368 million profit from North Slope operations for the fourth quarter of 2019. Alaska oil accounted for 29% of its profit margin, though only 16% of its global production. In other words, our weak oil taxation laws give Conoco profits here that are almost double its global average. Across the board, per-barrel profit margins are higher for oil companies in Alaska than literally anywhere else in the world.

Why are we letting Conoco, BP, et al defraud us of our assets? Why can’t our leaders summon the courage to tax these companies fairly? With profits like these, they are not pulling out. Selling our oil for a fair price is plain good business. If I ran a hamburger stand the way Dunleavy runs Alaska, I’d wind up in jail.

I’ve had enough of government run by the rich, for the rich. Vote ’em out. All of ’em. Support the gubernatorial recall, support oil tax reform and vote for new state representatives who will give a darn about their constituents. This is no time for corporate tax welfare at the cost of our communities.

Guidelines

The Daily News-Miner encourages residents to make themselves heard through the Opinion pages. Readers' letters and columns also appear online at newsminer.com. Contact the editor with questions at letters@newsminer.com or call 459-7574.

Community Perspective

Send Community Perspective submissions by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707) or via email (letters@newsminer.com). Submissions must be 500 to 750 words. Columns are welcome on a wide range of issues and should be well-written and well-researched with attribution of sources. Include a full name, email address, daytime telephone number and headshot photograph suitable for publication (email jpg or tiff files at 150 dpi.) You may also schedule a photo to be taken at the News-Miner office. The News-Miner reserves the right to edit submissions or to reject those of poor quality or taste without consulting the writer.

Letters to the editor

Send letters to the editor by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707), by fax (907-452-7917) or via email (letters@newsminer.com). Writers are limited to one letter every two weeks (14 days.) All letters must contain no more than 350 words and include a full name (no abbreviation), daytime and evening phone numbers and physical address. (If no phone, then provide a mailing address or email address.) The Daily News-Miner reserves the right to edit or reject letters without consulting the writer.

Submit your news & photos

Let us know what you're seeing and hearing around the community.