Nothing new under the sun:

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Alaskans fought long and hard to win statehood in 1959. The major issue for Alaskans was getting a reasonable benefit from the export of their resources by what they called “outside interests,” the major national corporations that owned the mines and the canneries. These corporations virtually ran the Territorial Legislature. While millions of dollars worth of gold, copper and salmon left Alaska each year, the outside interests paid little in taxes or severance fees, and the Territory was strapped for money to pay for basic services. In 1939, Territorial Governor, Ernest Gruening made it his battle to wrest political control back from the outside interests. Many other leaders of both parties came on board and eventually the Statehood Movement succeeded. All the while, the outside interests warned that higher taxes would drive away investment and jobs. Those that were operating in 1958 remained in business and profitable after statehood.

-Courtesy of Aurora Films

The Giveaway History Lesson:

Before 2007:

Alaska had been giving away the farm at high oil prices.  Our prior system of extremely low taxes (ELF), production declined dramatically throughout Alaskan oil fields.

2007:  Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature passed ACES

ACES

  • ACES = Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share

  • Under ACES, all Alaskans benefited.  More Alaskans got jobs in the oil patch and oil companies invested more in Alaska.  This helped to grow our economy and improve everyone’s quality of life. 

  • Revenue Sharing went up. The amount of money shared with villages and cities across the state increased from $12 million to $42.5 million, an increase of 265%.

  • Funding for public works projects grew from $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2008 to $2.8 billion in fiscal year 2013.  We were able to take care of many needs that had gone unmet for decades.

  • Good Jobs. Spending on public works projects provided jobs for an estimated 125,000 Alaskans.

  • Savings Grew. Under ACES, our savings grew to $17 billion

  • Oil Exploration went up. Under ACES, oil exploration boomed.  As Karen Rehfeld, Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget reported, “The good news is we are seeing a lot of increase in oil exploration.”

  • New Oil Leases. There was fierce competition for new oil leases. In 2011, 19 oil companies competed for 616,000 acres of new petroleum-rich lands, paying the state nearly $21 million.  The bidding generated the 6th largest amount ever for tracts on the North Slope.    

  • New companies flocked to Alaska

    • In 2010, Great Bear Alaska bid on over 500,000 acres and paid more than $9 million in bonus bids.  They say they can ultimately put 600,000 new barrels a day of oil in the pipeline.

    • The large Spanish oil giant Repsol began exploring in Alaska.  The company announced it would spend at least $768 million under a "broad-reaching exploration and development program.”

  • Industry reaped record profits.  Their profits likely exceeded $40 billion from 2007-2013.  That’s $1,369,863 a day, $57,077 an hour and $16 a second in profits from OUR OIL. Industry profits are much greater in Alaska than elsewhere in the world.  For example, ConocoPhillips earns an average of $17.90 per barrel in Alaska and only $8.37 per barrel in the Lower 48 and Latin America.    

    • Under ACES, profits from drilling in Prudhoe Bay were estimated to be phenomenal – a 123% rate of return


2013, oil companies convinced the Governor and legislature to slash their taxes. 

oil tax giveaway

  • SB 21. The tax cut passed in Senate Bill 21, also called “SB 21.” SB21 passed by only 1 vote. This bill was opposed by both Democrats and Republicans.
  • False Premises. Industry claimed production from the North Slope was declining and a tax break was necessary to turn that around.  But production has been declining for decades – during periods of high and low taxes.

  • Declining Revenues. The Parnell Administration estimated SB 21 would cost Alaskans $4.5 billion in the first five years alone.  After that billions more would be given to the most profitable corporations in the world, depending on the price of oil and the cost of production.

  • Disappearing Revenue. If oil prices increase, the loss to Alaskans could grow even steeper, up to $2 to $3 billion per year. 

  • No Guarantees. A lot of promises were made but SB21 ensures Alaskans get little in return.  No guarantees of new investment. No guarantees of more jobs. No guarantees of increased production.

  • Bad business deal for Alaskans. SB21 is a bad deal for Alaskans but a BONANZA for multinational oil companies.  That's why they are spending millions to fight the repeal effort.


2013 - Alaskans fight back

supportersA bi-partisan group of Alaskans called for the repeal of the giveaway. The referendum is the constitutionally-enshrined means for Alaskans to take direct action when our elected representatives stray from the desired course.  By collecting a record 50,000 signatures in 90 days, we put Senate Bill 21 to an up-or-down vote of the Alaskan people.

Now Alaskans have the opportunity to reclaim our status as owners of our own resources, safeguarding our own future as a prosperous state and not an exploited colony. 

"Alaska's business model and plan are broken; and need to be fixed. We hire Governors and Legislators to do the fixing. They failed when they approved SB-21. It doesn't fix the problem. It doesn't provide the basis of a solid business model or plan. It makes the problem worse. The first step needed to fix the business plan is to repeal SB-21. Then replace it with a taxing and investment regime that works, and that will result in a positive outcome for Alaska and Alaskans." - Jim Whitaker (R., Fairbanks)

"I never saw an issue so unite the left, right and center here ... as opposition to the bill." Robert Atkinson


Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/05/18/3475474/letter-opposition-to-oil-tax-giveaway.html#storylink=cpy

2014 - Alaskans will vote

register to voteAfter a session of political maneuvering, Proposition 1- Repeal the Giveaway will be on the August 19th, 2014 primary ballot in the belief that lower turnout primaries will keep Alaskans from voting on this vital issue. 

Register to Vote!

 

 

 

 


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Vic Fischer, chair, approved this message.
Top Contributors: Barnard J. Gottstein (Anchorage, AK); Robin Brena (Anchorage, AK); Jack Roderick (Anchorage, AK)