Apparently there is considerable confusion over who authored a July 7 letter to the editor. I too was surprised to learn that there is a Larry Simmons with views far left from the views of this Larry Semmens. I proudly serve as chief-of-staff for Senator Micciche. He and his team members have always honorably provided excellent service for District O constituents; the folks he always demonstrably places first in every consideration.
SB 21, the More Alaska Production Act, is a good place to start. Experts across the board conclude that this legislation will ultimately result in more barrels of oil produced in the long term, both delivering more jobs for Alaskans and more total revenue for the State of Alaska. Misguiding “giveaway” claims from those that believe money invested in unsustainable social programs instead of jobs for Alaskans are simply a myth. Predicted prices demonstrate that SB 21 will generate more revenue than ACES, without an increase in production. However, as reported by Tim Bradner in the Alaska Journal of Commerce, the 8 percent decline from prior years has already been offset to nearly zero. I believe we will see continued growth in investment and production since Alaska has become competitive with other states.
If the writer had all the facts prior to writing his letter, he would have been thanking Senator Micciche for his knowledge of the industry instead of maligning him for his work. Your Senator could not support the original SB21 because of the low 25 percent base tax. He was the person who knew that a 35 percent base tax rate delivered the right level of government take. He was successful in promoting that change, which proves that he supports Alaskans first. “Special interests” made it clear they were unhappy with the amendment, but the Senator stood tough. Alaska oil taxes are complicated. Most people do not have the time, experience or background to understand them completely. Mr. Simmons, I am appreciative that we have someone like Senator Micciche willing to serve. Your political name-calling lacks substance.
Further, if the writer would have been paying attention he would know that Senator Micciche led the charge on stopping HB 77. Alaskans know this and also know the bill would have likely passed had Senator Micciche not stopped the bill. The significant work your Senator did on this bill demonstrates that he critically analyzes legislation, listens to his constituents and is willing to work hard to create legislation that works for Alaska. Finally, it proves that he is not afraid to kill a bill if it doesn’t measure up, regardless of how much of his work has been invested.
I appreciate this opportunity to clarify that I continue to support Senator Micciche, I am proud to be a member of his team and I’m equally proud to call him my friend.