Legislators earn applause for standing up to big oil

Posted: Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It is time for a reality check. Big Oil will not walk away from Alaska because oil taxes are raised to a level compared to other countries in the world. Nor can they take the oil fields with them if they leave. If Big Oil wants to give up its leases, there will be plenty of smaller oil companies prepared to step in and pay increased taxes to earn the huge profits available.

The places in the world where Big Oil can explore and produce are shrinking. Other countries are nationalizing their oil resources freezing Big Oil out. Why else do you think some of the big players who left Alaska in the past are returning?

The oil is Alaska’s oil. It was not created by the oil industry as Big Oil would like the gullible to believe. Big Oil is here because the oil is here. You have to be really gullible to believe Big Oil came here with the idea to create jobs. If they could get the oil without hiring a single person, they would. When the oil is gone, they will leave and likely leave a mess behind.

Anyone who believes lower oil taxes will get a natural gas pipeline built any time soon needs to contact me to buy shares in my lunar gold mine. Big Oil is using it as a carrot to con some Alaskans, like our governor, into lowering taxes on oil.

ConocoPhillips is buying Burlington Resources, a major holder of natural gas reserves in the Lower 48 and Canada for about 30 billion — 50 percent more than the proposed cost of a pipeline. Does anyone think CP management is stupid enough to flood the market with Alaska gas and destroy its investment in Burlington? If you do, be sure to ask me about those lunar gold mine shares.

The other big holders of Alaska gas have gas interests elsewhere they can bring to market sooner and at higher profit. There is no benefit to them to build an Alaska natural gas pipeline any time within the next 10 to 15 years. Exhaust other sources first causing natural gas prices to rise then bring Alaska gas to market. The gas is in the ground. It won’t go anywhere. There is no big cost to keep it there. Pure economics and pure profit motives move big companies.

If the Alaska Legislature does the opposite of what Ben Stevens wants, Alaska will benefit. The state only pays Ben $24k a year, plus per diem. VECO pays $250k. I commend the other legislators for finally standing up to Ben, the governor and the oil industry. Give them a hoorah to keep their backbones stiff and standing up for Alaskans.

William Phillips


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