To the editor: Charlie Paskvan described a disagreement among his family members surrounding Alaska’s oil tax policy in the Sept. 3 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
I’ll remind Charlie of a parallel debate we had in the lunch line at Pump Station 4, on the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. This occurred back when Charlie was a contract safety representative for some of Alyeska’s construction projects, and I was the pump station’s (now retired) mechanical engineer. Our debate occurred during the legislative maneuvering surrounding the “oil tax giveaway” (i.e., SB21) in 2013, and the referendum seeking to repeal it in 2014.
I told Charlie that the oil industry needed to demonstrate they deserve a tax cut by investing in and developing the giant outlying oil fields, located dozens to hundreds of miles from Prudhoe. They needed to make good on the claims Gov. Sean Parnell made when promoting his signature oil tax cut.
Gov. Parnell’s administration told Alaskans that: a) a tax cut would be used by the oil industry to restore a million barrels per day of North Slope oil production, b) 40 billion barrels of conventional oil remains on the North Slope, awaiting development, and c) tens of billions of barrels of additional heavy, viscous, and shale oil also awaits production.
Charlie told me I should be thankful that another Paskvan brother was devising ways to increase the production rate from the original giant oil fields at Prudhoe Bay. I told Charlie that this oil would eventually be produced anyways and did not deserve tax incentives. We had no meeting of the minds in that lunch line seven or so years back.
The bait and switch marketing techniques behind the passage of SB21 are on full display. We’re stuck with less money, throughput, and North Slope employment. Fool us once, shame on Alaska’s oil industry….
As responsible owners of Alaska’s oil resources, we won’t get fooled again. Vote “Yes on 1.” Protect your dividend.