Two billion dollars a year out of Alaska's pocket and no commitment from the oil companies to start drilling and creating new jobs for Alaskans?
In an interview with Mark Hamilton on Channel 2 news his comments were somewhat mind boggling. He stated, in so many words, that expecting a commitment prior the proposed tax break wasn't reasonable because the companies here didn't make the decisions, the ones outside the state did. Well folks, if that's true, Juneau is dealing with the wrong management levels. They should be talking to the oil company corporate planners outside the state looking for hard commitments before any tax breaks are considered. Oil company responses such as, "We'll consider drilling," or "We'll put it on our agenda to discuss," etc. do not qualify as hard commitments because they offer no good faith effort to begin drilling.
Nothing man has created lasts forever. In a few years the oil fields currently producing oil will run dry. However, we have money available now that, if spent prudently, will last years beyond that. Demand will eventually catch up and when that happens Alaska will have the goose that lays the golden egg.
The legislators might consider taking a different approach to money available for this year's budget. Instead of saying, "Oh great, we have this much to spend, we'll do the following . . .," perhaps they should take a good hard look at what is really needed and how much we can set aside for future years when the oil will run out.
From out here in the trenches, it seems that some elected officials are acting like Chicken Little.
Dean Hill, Sterling
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