Alaska owns resources, not the oil companies

Posted: Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Through the course of my job, I meet many people daily and sometimes we get into conversations about politics and the current climate. I find it difficult to accept that so many people on the peninsula are clueless to the point of insanity. Specifically over the current issue of oil taxes and oil company profits. I can’t count the number of people who do not believe that we, the people of Alaska, own the minerals and other resources that are in our state except those that reside on private land, and the number of people who have no intention on learning the truth of the matter.

The constitution of the state reads as follows: “The legislature shall provide for the issuance, types and terms of leases for coal, oil, gas, oil shale, sodium, phosphate, potash, sulfur, pumice, and other minerals as may be prescribed by law.”

The people of this state own it all, and the oil companies are the ones who are stealing the profits of those resources at our expense. People have talked about how if we tax them more they will not stay and the oil will stay in the ground. Even though this would be a great opportunity to seek out and develop renewable fuel sources, I know that there are smaller independent companies that would in a heartbeat come to Alaska and develop those resources. And even if the oil companies did leave they would still be liable for the early termination of their leases.

When the elections come around, we have a chance to make a difference for our kids, but if you are an uninformed voter and have no intention on listening to what is actually going on and learning about how your state operates then you have no business going to the polls. An informed voter is more important than voting the party line because your daddy did.

Dave Briscoe


Editor’s note: Due to editing errors, the following letter is being reprinted from the May 8 Opinion page.

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