Letter: Relevant info on oil tax rates was withheld from Legislature

Anchorage Daily NewsJuly 8, 2013 

There will never be full agreement on what oil taxes in Alaska should be. We who own the resource will want one number, while those who extract the resource will always maintain a lesser number.

When the Legislature crafted ACES, they didn’t simply wake up one morning, and pull numbers out of thin air. They did it with the help and guidance of a global consulting firm called Gaffney, Cline & Associates. This is a division of Baker-Hughes Corp., and they specialize in helping governments worldwide to deal with the oil industry and set tax oil rates. These people know more about the oil industry than all the rest of us combined.

During the SB 21 rewrite this last session, the Legislature wanted, and asked, to revisit with Gaffney-Cline, in follow-up and review before making any changes. The governor has GCA on retainer and would not let them speak to the Legislature on this matter. And he still won’t.

Why is this? Why is this supremely relevant information being kept from the decision-makers?

— Peter Blanas

Anchorage

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