To the editor: The oil companies who run our state (apparently with help from our Chamber of Commerce) have spent about $11 million to make you to think that support for Ballot Measure 1 comes from Outside environmental organizations and that, since “We don’t give a damn how they do it Outside,” of course we will vote no. The oil companies and the chamber don’t think Alaskans know that the initiative comes from the people of Alaska when the Legislature repeatedly fails to do its job. Outside interests have no input on creating an Alaska citizens initiative.
When Senate Bill 21 was passed it was due in part to promises made by the oil companies: A return to 1 million barrels a day (It didn’t happen!). That there would be more oil jobs (but instead we lost oil jobs!). That there would be more revenue for Alaska (instead we have lost millions that would have been due us under ACES, the previous oil tax system!), That the oil companies would increase their investments in Alaska (instead we have experienced declining investments!). Four promises, and none of them were kept. So why should we believe anything the oil companies tell us?
Alaska’s share of the oil profits are about half of what the state of Texas makes on oil produced there. Why should Texans get a much better “fair share” when Alaskans get about half as much? When the Alaska Permanent Fund was created during the Hammond administration, Gov. Jay Hammond said Alaskans’ fair share should be one-third of the profits after production costs were subtracted. That’s 33%. We are presently receiving about 12%.
Don’t be misled by the misinformation being peddled by the oil companies suggesting that they will invest less and perhaps leave the state if they don’t continue to get half of our fair share. Vote yes on Measure 1 to support Alaska and to send a message to the oil companies that we know they are trying to mislead us from Outside!