Gail Phillips has been speaking for Alaskans since she was knee high to a gnome in Nome, Alaska where she grew up after being born in Juneau. As a Young Republican woman she worked her way up to be State Secretary of the Republican Party in Alaska, was elected to the legislature from Homer and became majority leader and then Speaker of the House. Phillips most recently returned to the Peninsula on behalf of the Make Alaska Competitive Coalition. "I've been speaking to Chambers of Commerce, Rotary clubs and business groups across the state and people are becoming very concerned about what is going on and the impact that the ACES taxes are having on future development and investment in Alaska," Phillips said in an interview.
The Make Alaska Competitive Coalition is an organization made up of Alaska Native leaders, unions, businesses and abroad cross-section of Alaskans with the single purpose of strengthening the economy according to Phillips. "Statistics show that next year's budget for 2013 will be the first time since oil started flowing through the pipeline that the state budget will be greater than the revenue coming in from the pipeline and that puts Alaska in a very vulnerable place. While other oil provinces are booming Alaska's oil production is declining. We don't have a lack of oil in Alaska; we have a lack of investment. We must reverse that trend to get more oil in the pipeline," she told a joint meeting of the Kenai and Soldotna Chamber of Commerce. "At today's prices if we were once again producing a million barrels a day we wouldn't be arguing in Juneau about how are we going to fund education or find the money to build new or repair roads and streets we would have more money than we needed without the ACES progressive taxes. But no one is looking at they all the block in the Senate can see is all the new money that we are getting now with disregard for what we will be loosing in the future because those taxes are preventing new investment here in Alaska. Yes, ACES offers generous incentives for exploration, but we need to balance the production side, remove the progressivity, fill the pipeline and get our economy producing again," she said.
Phillips is challenging all Alaskans even if their local representatives support the ACES amendment to get involved and write to Senate President Gary Stevens and urge him to remove the block that is hindering the ACES tax reform to move through the Senate for the best interest of all Alaskans. Phillips concluded by urging anyone needing more factual information to visit the Make Alaska Competitive Coalition website at www.MakeAlaskaCompetitive.com or call 907-569-7070.