To the editor: With over $17 million spent by oil companies to oppose Ballot Measure 1, there is much confusion and downright false information circulating regarding the Fair Share Act. As Alaskans, let us use facts and common sense to evaluate the argument over fair oil taxes.
Oil companies told us that passing SB 21 would be a panacea for growth. The Legislature bought that false bill of goods, and instead of the prosperity they promised, we have seen oil companies sell off their holdings. We have seen significant layoffs, oil production has continued to decline, permanent fund dividends have been cut, and budget cuts have forced the state into a recession. Alaska workers and families have borne the brunt of this disastrous policy experiment while oil companies remain incredibly profitable. In 2019, ConocoPhillips reported a $1.5 billion profit just from their North Slope holdings.
As a member of the University of Alaska faculty, I can attest to the real-time damage our broken oil tax system has caused. Our Legislature has given away $4.2 billion in tax credits, money that would have been better spent investing in Alaska’s future. The University of Alaska has lost over 1,000 jobs, forcing professors and staff alike to move away, and hurting our local economies. Academic programs are being cut reducing student opportunities and pathways to employment. University research vital to Alaska is being threatened because the wealthiest corporations in the world do not want to fairly share the wealth they generate in our state from our resources.
Please cut through the noise and vote yes for Alaska’s Fair Share.