Oct. 18, 2012
To the editor:
Alaska’s constitution states that natural resources are for the maximum benefit of Alaskans. Therefore, it’s our oil.
Gov. Sean Parnell campaigned in 2010 in support of our oil tax system. After his election, Parnell reversed himself, stating that Alaskans should give the multinational oil corporations a $20 billion tax cut. The House passed the governor’s plan in 2011. The Senate passed a bill that encouraged more competition and exploration on the North Slope. Ways that billions could be spent in the Interior include infrastructure maintenance, education and energy assistance.
As a business deal, if we reduce taxes, what do we get in return? Do we get increased production, more jobs for Alaskans, lower-cost energy or a commitment to build a natural gas pipeline to serve Fairbanks?
Parnell and his allies in the Legislature haven’t asked the multinational oil companies any of these questions. Instead, they want to hand billions and billions of our dollars over to the most profitable corporations on the planet with nothing in return. This is a lopsided deal.
Exxon was reluctant to reimburse people in the fishing communities that were devastated by the spill in Prince William Sound. The Alaska Oil Spill Commission said Alaskans were abused in Exxon’s approach toward risk management, saying the company showed “a corporate culture of irresponsibility.” BP acted in the Gulf of Mexico with the same level of arrogance and recklessness.
Veco owner Bill Allen attempted to influence votes in favor of oil interests and legislators went to jail for accepting bribes from him. Now corporate money is flowing into the Interior to defeat legislators who have stood up to the world’s most profitable corporations.
Alaskans can resist corporate greed by voting for Joe Thomas, Joe Paskvan, Ann Sudkamp or Click Bishop for Senate. Democrats Paskvan and Thomas have stood with Republicans Gary Stevens and Bert Stedman in opposing the giveaway. Sudkamp and Bishop have committed to oppose the governor. In the House, David Guttenberg, Bob Miller and Scott Kawasaki reject the giveaway. Dave Watts and Janice Golub pledged to stand with them, and they all deserve your vote.