It’s no time to trust the financial health of Alaska to the “crapshoot” acknowledged by the sponsors of Senate Bill 21. Revising the tax structure on oil exploration and production might be necessary to make Alaska more competitive with other oil provinces around the world, but any revisions need to be based on solid information, not wishes and hopes.
If the oil companies won’t commit to substantial investments in exploration and production, then, at a minimum, there need to be well-researched and reasoned projections of the effects of reducing taxes on the oil industry before reductions are enacted. The governor and legislators who are pushing for major reductions in taxes have not shown how such reductions would do anything other than increase profits for the companies while devastating state revenues that support education, roads and a host of other programs essential to Alaskans.
Let’s require that the governor and legislators show positive results for Alaska before making drastic changes.
— Charles Gilbert