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Oil-tax opponents vow to monitor industry promises

Posted: August 20, 2014 - 2:36pm

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Early results indicate Alaska's new petroleum-tax system will be spared an early death by referendum. If the vote holds up, opponents vowed Wednesday to track promises its supporters made and pounce if they prove to be false.

Ballot Measure No. 1 proposed a repeal of Gov. Sean Parnell's "More Alaska Production Act," approved last year as Senate Bill 21 and in effect since Jan. 1. As of Wednesday, the repeal was failing by almost 6,800 votes out of 153,164 cast but too close to call.

The Vote No on 1 campaign said the law would mean more jobs for Alaskans, more oil production, more money in the Alaska Permanent Fund and "more economic growth for everyone."

State Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, an opponent of the law, said one victory taken from the vote was the extraction of promises from the oil industry that were not made during the Senate Bill 21 debate in 2013.

"If they live up to those promises, that's a victory, that's a great thing for all of us," he said Wednesday. Meanwhile, an army of mobilized Alaskans who voted to repeal will be keeping close watch to see if the system not only stems the decline in Alaska oil but also increases production, Wielechowski said.

"We're in the process of gathering up all the statements that were made by the oil industry and by their supporters, and I hope they live up to them," he said.

Supporters hailed Parnell's measure under the banner of oil-tax reform. It replaced the former system championed by former Gov. Sarah Palin's "Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share," or ACES, which gave tax credits for investment but contained a progressive surcharge that took a larger tax bite from company profits when oil prices increased.

Oil companies said ACES made investment planning uncertain and investment elsewhere more likely.

State Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, said ACES had seven years to work and failed to stop a production decline in a state where 90 percent of government revenue comes from the oil industry.

McGuire said she's willing to give Senate Bill 21 six years and her proof of measureable success will be oil production.

"Without that, you don't grow the royalty base, you don't then put money into the permanent fund, and fundamentally, you don't grow the economy. All you're doing is dividing up what's existing right now," she said.

The law could be adjusted sooner, she said. A provision of Parnell's system is a new Oil and Gas Competitiveness Review Board within the Department of Revenue, an independent board aimed at assessing a fair tax for companies and government.

Kara Moriarty, president of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, a trade group, said companies already are spending more money under the new law. The indicator of the system's success will be whether investment adds production, she said.

Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, pushed for a yes vote on Ballot Measure 1 and remains skeptical.

"When people see the money disappearing and the production disappearing, and when Republicans again start trying to grab your permanent-fund dividend, people will realize they were misled," Gara said.

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Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 08/20/14 - 07:20 pm
1
0
DUPED

I am now convinced that over 52% of the voters.You have been DUPED.A Fiscal Conservative would not have voted to give away $20billion with a no guarantee of any return for the money.I wish to hear not one complaint about the true cost of your NO vote on 1.The DUPED that voted for this.Will soon discover their mistake.

Norseman
3593
Points
Norseman 08/21/14 - 07:19 am
1
0
BP, Conoco, Exxon, and other

BP, Conoco, Exxon, and other big oil operatives, spent over 26 million dollars advertising for this oil tax giveaway program.

This just proves who owns this state lock, stock, and barrel.

When the richest corporations this world has ever known continues to receive tax subsidies so they continue with their record breaking quarterly profits at the expense of all Alaskans, we will have no one to blame but ourselves for voting the wrong way on this issue.

Our children and grandchildren will be the ones who will be effected the most by this capitol cronyism.
We are officially an "OWNED" state, not an owner state.

Observer
23
Points
Observer 08/21/14 - 09:27 am
0
3
Wrong, wrong, wrong

ACES was a failure, and the RINO Sarah Palin got the slap in the face she needed by this no vote.

The owners of this state have spoken. This is a MANDATE! Go lick your wounds, and be thankful that the oil companies aren't packing up EVERYTHING and headed south to places where they could make even more money if this referendum had passed.

Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 08/21/14 - 06:09 pm
2
0
Like I Said

Like I said. The voters that voted No on 1.You have been duped.The oil companies are now making even more money from Alaska.They were not going anywhere, except to the bank.Like I said DUPED.

jford
3362
Points
jford 08/26/14 - 09:54 am
1
0
Voting no was not based on any reality.

“I have no reason to believe that the annual decline in TAPS (Trans-Alaska Pipeline System) volumes will reverse in 2014 or the foreseeable future,” ConocoPhillips commercial supervisor Josepth Falcone said Aug. 6 in testimony presented to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. He is responsible for the business and economic analysis of the pipeline branch of the firm."

Jeffrey Ray, an executive of ExxonMobil, made a similar statement in a July 31 document filed with the RCA.
“Do you expect that the decline in TAPS throughput will reverse in the foreseeable future?” Ray was asked as part of his testimony.
“No, I have no reason to believe that this trend will reverse itself in the foreseeable future,” said Ray, who is TAPS coordinator in the business development and joint interest department.

The Alaska revenue department forecast for fiscal 2015 anticipates oil production will drop to 507,000 barrels a day, with additional declines for the next decade.

Simply put, if you voted no, you were played.

More simply put, if you bought into Parnell's promise of a million barrels a day, you bought into a fairy tale.

Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 08/26/14 - 05:46 pm
0
0
Return for the dollar

The Alaskan,and Alaska can expect to receive from the $20billion giveaway to the Oil industry.The exact same return on your money as if. You would have given the money to me. The DUPED Alaskan has thrown money away. So! Do not comment further about the Republican's being "FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE". The statement would be an untruth. Do you Alaskan's that voted for the giveaway. Have any idea of what you could have achieved with $20billion? No! I guess not.

radiokenai
562
Points
radiokenai 08/29/14 - 08:45 am
0
0
Duped?
Unpublished

Alaskan's (and Americans alike) have been duped by the Liberal Wingnuts like Raoulduke, Norseman and Obama for 6 years now....and now the Dupees are awakening!

It is no surprise that both Republican & Democrats alike have voted Barack's Job Performance somewhere in the class of ..."idiot on vacation".

Likewise, ACES was a catastrophe (and Raoulduke/Norseman screamed that it was from the top of their lungs because it came from a Palin).

You see, these 2-liberals (and all that come before & after them) don't have a clue of what is right or wrong...they complain regardless of what the topic is because they are not satisfied with their life...meanwhile the other 2/3rd of us have to pay for their welfare and food-stamps (latest results).

In the end, they lost and Alaska won...while America is waking up!

Stand by people, you are going to hear much squawking from those 2-Old-Crows come this November!

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