The recent Alaska Supreme Court affirmation of the lower court’s decision requiring Big Oil to pay a fair pipeline property tax to the corridor municipalities must really rankle silk suits in London and Houston.
There are three branches of government and the Big Oil guys just need to figure a way to control the judiciary as well as they do the other two. This is a tough task. Judges are traditionally difficult to remove from the bench and historically are not former or future oil patch employees as is frequently the case in the other two branches. Unfortunately for them, the judiciary just doesn’t seem to be influenced by the cash spreaders that patrol and control the corridors in Juneau.
The oil companies are not going to rest until they manage Alaska’s government to a degree that allows them pay a pittance for the state’s resources. As much as they may hope to, they will probably never be able control the third branch, but hey; two out of three isn’t that bad.
— Paul Richards