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Cathy Giessel, Senate District N: Got jobs, Alaska?

Posted: October 31, 2012 - 2:47pm

Alaska schools with Career & Technical Education + Responsible Alaska Resource Development = Alaska Jobs (Today + Future) + Vibrant Economy = North to the Future!

Oil — It funds your Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) check…only $878 this year. Some Alaskans were startled by this year’s comparatively small payout. But here are the facts: North Slope Production is Down + Price of oil is Down = Less money to State of Alaska treasury and PFD.

It’s Alaska’s oil…but its not working for us while it sits, stranded, in the ground. We hire people who know how to get it out of the ground. We tax them for the amount they take out and keep 12.5% of the oil as our Royalty share. That Royalty share contributes to the Permanent Fund, and, ultimately, the Dividend check.

High taxes + Hard to Reach Oil + High Cost to Produce the Oil = Production on North Slope Down + Price of Oil Down = Less money to State of Alaska and PFD + Less Alaska Jobs = Families Split Up as Workers go to Other States + Our Kids Leaving for Jobs in Other States.

We can change this equation. But it takes serious discussions and decisions, which the recent State Senate Majority refused to do.

The worldwide economy and hydrocarbon production has changed dramatically. Alaska taxes increased late in 2007 (and were retroactive to the beginning of 2007). Since then, decline in production has been relentless … while other areas in the US and world have increased. Will Alaska take part in that production?

Natural Gas — Alaska has lots! But…we have not taken the necessary action to get a gas pipeline from the North Slope to our homes and businesses. Cook Inlet supply is decreasing. Warnings are that we will be importing natural gas to supply SouthCentral by 2015.

Good news on October 26! … Corps of Engineers issued documents to allow Point Thomson liquid condensate project to begin construction this winter. This is great for jobs and putting more liquids in the oil pipeline. But natural gas production and pipeline is still years away.

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation began the process for building a natural gas pipeline. But this year, the State Senate Majority refused to adequately fund the continued work on that in-state gas pipeline. We must move forward with in-state gas.

Alaska Jobs — I support hiring our trained, work-ready Alaskans first! How do we increase the number of employed Alaskans? First, Alaska needs to have jobs available! Good news … with the Pt. Thomson permits issued on October 26, Exxon predicts up to 2,400 Alaska jobs during peak construction of the project.

Second, Alaska needs to have a workforce ready to fill the jobs! Healthcare has projected job growth, but we also need welders, carpenters, heavy equipment mechanics and other trades. These are family-supporting jobs and critical to our industries.

I strongly support Career & Technical Education (CTE) in our junior high and high schools. Nikiski Middle and High School, in my new district, has some great CTE courses for our students, including welding, carpentry and culinary arts. This is exactly the local control of education that I support.

CTE equips students with marketable skills that employers need. These courses are interesting, challenging and keep students in school. Its education that works!

My opponent claims to support “Alaska hire” but huge amounts of his campaign money going “Outside” makes me question his sincerity. So far he has sent $50,000 to Oregon and Texas to run his campaign, polling and media (APOC reporting). That’s not exactly hiring Alaskans!

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Prodicus 10/31/12 - 11:04 pm
1. Too many exclamation

1. Too many exclamation marks.

2. It reads like a campaign flyer. Talking points. Nothing real here.

3. North Slope Production is Down + Price of oil is Down = Less money to State of Alaska treasury and PFD.

Fact - It was designed to be an investment where at least 25% of the oil money would be put into a dedicated fund for future generations, who would no longer have oil as a resource.
It is not solely funded by oil revenue. The Fund does not include either property taxes on oil company property nor income tax from oil corporations, so the minimum 25% deposit is closer to 11% if those sources were also considered.
The Fund grew from an initial investment of $734,000 in 1977 to approximately $42.1 billion as of August 31, 2012.

The amount of each payment is based upon a five-year average of the Permanent Fund's performance and varies widely depending on the stock market and many other factors. Here's how it's calculated each year:

• Add Fund Statutory Net Income from the current year, plus the previous four fiscal years.
• Multiply by 21%
• Divide by 2
• Subtract prior year obligations, expenses and PFD program operations
• Divide by the number of eligible applicants

Fact - The fund's annual net income doesn't depend on oil production or price of a barrel of oil. The fluctuations of the stock market and the Permanent Fund portfolio determine net income.
If expenses and operations costs are up (which they are) and the number of people increases (which it has), then there's less to go around, shared by more people. Dividend amount goes down.

Norseman 11/01/12 - 07:46 am
Bought and paid for by oil

Bought and paid for by oil companies.....

Dave Harbour
Dave Harbour 11/02/12 - 06:24 am
Critique on Senator Giessel's Op-Ed

Having supported Peninsula events, programs and people for over 4 decades, I know how challenging it must be to consider supporting a person from the other end of a strangely designed Senate district.

Peninsula friends who know me also know that I don't speak anonymously, but for the record.

This is from the heart and mind. Senator Giessel is not from my district but I met her at a public meeting before her first election.

I noticed that when we talked, Cathy listened. I noticed that, later in the conversation, she had absorbed the facts I gave her on the Cook Inlet energy situation and rephrased them flawlessly. It was obvious that I had encountered a smart person. She was also an intriguing person, a nurse practitioner with a thirst for knowledge in all fields...and ability to retain it.

I told friends, as time went on, "This may be the best new candidate for public office we've seen in years." I haven't changed that opinion.

In this Op-Ed she is doing what more public officials should do: she is educating and not boasting. She is leading and not pandering.

With Southcentral energy supply and deliverability and jobs being so uncertain -- not to mention our TAPS economic lifeline -- we must have intelligent, dedicated leadership if Alaska's economy is to survive.

Sometimes, we don't realize that as we leave the old homestead in search of the world's wealth, a field of diamonds has laid beneath our home pasture.

Cathy is the real deal. She is rare because of her ability to listen and absorb. She is special because of her willingness to sacrifice. I urge my Peninsula friends to not ignore this diamond in our own back yard. There are too few like her.

Dave Harbour, Publisher,

("Peace, Brother" - The Late Brother Isaiah , Homer)

Kenai 11/02/12 - 09:27 am

It sounds like Dave Harbour might have a little crush on the Senator.

Prodicus 11/02/12 - 01:38 pm
Seriously, Dave?

Dave Harbour:
Executive Director of Consumer Energy Alliance of Alaska.
Commissioner Emeritus, National Association of Regulatory Commissioners.
Former Regulatory Commission of Alaska Chairman.
Director of external affairs, Alaska Gasline Development Corp.
Director of public affairs, Arctic Gas Consortium.
Director of government relations, ARCO.
Executive director, Anchorage Parking Authority.
Oil and gas company consultant.

She repeated stuff about the "Cook Inlet energy situation" "flawlessly" for you, and yet reveals herself to be unfamiliar with major energy projects happening in Cook Inlet right now. Even worse, energy projects that were in front of the Alaska State Legislature in the last two sessions. Wow, that's not good...

Was she there? Or is it because they are alternative energy? Is she going to be able to do this job, with Big Oil and churches as her only focus?

But come on, Dave. Surely you've known Giessel longer than that! Remember, she was vice chair of the Republican Party that was supposed to take the chair position when Joe Miller tried to get rid of Randy Reudrich. You had to have known her then...

This is cute.

Dave Harbour
Dave Harbour 11/02/12 - 10:07 pm
"Kenai" and his sister, "Prodicus"

When "Kenai" or "Prodicus" are ready to identify themselves and have a real conversation between adults, they are welcome to call anytime. I'm easy to find, as you have found.

Peace, Brother and Sister.

Norseman 11/03/12 - 08:16 am
The supreme court made it

The supreme court made it easy for big oil to no longer worry about being convicted for politcal corruption.

They now can donate millions and billions to any campiagn they wish without ever disclosing that fact.

When bill allen was busy bribing our politicans to vote the "big oil way" in Juneau, he had to do it in secret.
Now all they have to do is pour money into the campaign for the one they wish to buy, to insure that the oil tax breaks will go their way.

How any normal Alaskan citizen can not vote against big oil and their obvious purchasing our government one legislature at a time is beyond me.

Do not fall for the big oil ads that try to strongarm this state into believeing they will fold if they don't get what they want. Just look at their quarterly profits for the past ten years then make a rational conclusion.

We do not need to give anymore of Alaskans wealth to the richest corporations that civilized man has ever seen.

Prodicus 11/04/12 - 09:59 pm
Mr. Harbour

Dave, this isn't about you. It's about a politician and candidate for office. I don't see a reason to "call you."
Your opinions are to be respected, regardless of whether or not I agree. You are outspoken and clear about your beliefs.

That said, I don't respect misleading half-truths and rhetoric that offers no revelation and meant only to convince.
Your endorsement of Giessel is transparently based on obvious mutual self-interest and agenda.

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