Oil companies never promise anything in return

Posted: Sunday, January 30, 2011

ConocoPhillips' recently released annual report shows it earned $1.7 billion in Alaska profits in 2010. Over the past four years, Alaska has been one of Conoco's highest profit regions in the world -- earning them over $7.5 billion in profits for its Alaska oil production.

At the same time, it's calling for charity in demanding that Alaska give it the $1.2 billion in tax breaks the governor is calling for. It can't explain how that's a great idea, given that when production taxes were closer to 0 percent in 2006, oil companies actually invested less and hired fewer Alaskans.

Oil companies, of course, never promise anything in return. In fact, the last time we gave them huge tax breaks before 2006, they just sent the money to their shareholders in Texas and London, not to Alaskans.

We should push needed development in NPR-A, and demand the major companies drop monopolistic rules deterring competition from small producers on the North Slope. We should adopt smart policies that work, not sound bite policies that impoverish Alaskans.

Rep. Les Gara


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