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Have we really been getting our fair share?

Posted: March 28, 2012 - 8:43am

I agree 100 percent with the title of former Governor Tony Knowles' Compass article in Anchorage Daily News (March 22). I also agree that what we need as Alaskans is for our legislators and Governor to develope a united position of fairness to both Alaskans and to oil companies. My assessment at this time is certain members of the Senate are working hard to represent our interests.

I also agree that Jay Hammond was very crafty and wise when they crafted the "united Alaskan position" of one-third of the oil wealth to the state, the oil companies and the federal government, respectively.

My disagreement with Tony is based on what happened next. According to Jay Hammond's account in "Diapering the Devil" the oil companies proposed an Economic Limiting Factor, ELF, designed to give the oil companies a tax break for declining fields or a sharp dip in oil prices. Jay agreed to support the ELF only as long as our, the states share, was not reduced. My understanding is that shortly after Jay left office in 1982 that the oil companies and the federal government secretly negotiated a deal that split the wealth with 19 percent going to the feds, 27 percent going to Alaska and a whopping 53  percent to the oil companies.

Quoting Jay Hammond "As a consequence, the state has been shortchanged hundreds of millions of dollars each year for the past several years and will be continued to be denied what was once agreed to be our 'fair share.'"

Thus Tony Knowles statement that "This Alaska fair share worked for almost 20 years" is questionable to me and certainly does not agree with Jay Hammond's 14th chapter entitled "A Broken Bargain."

Coming on top of the Bill Allen-Veco-Alaska Legislative oil tax scandal of 2007 and the appearance that some of the survivors of that Club are still in Juneau today, Alaskans need to be paying attention to what our Governor is proposing for tax give aways to the oil companies. The oil companies are still trying to get the most return for their shareholders. We, Alaskans need to make sure our legislators are getting the most return for Alaskans.

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kenai_kid 03/28/12 - 07:18 pm
Well Written Hugh

A well written opinion that is objective and forthright. I'll have to look into the secret deal the Federal government, as that sounds a little fishy. But thank you again for a logical and well thought out opinion.

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