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Proposition 1 would alienate our friends in the oil industry

The time is near for the vote on Prop. 1. I ask, why would anyone want to return to the 6 percent annual decline in oil volume under ACES? Why would you want to return to the declining rate of profits under ACES? Supporting SB 21, and voting No on Prop. 1 means increasing oil volume thorough TAPS, and increasing PFD checks for all Alaskans...

Alaska Dispatch News

By listening to this summer’s political commercials, Alaskans could rejoice that a job-friendly atmosphere has been restored to the Alaska oil slope due to the end of the ACES pricing structure now replaced by the pre-ACES lower tax rates. So, Vote No on Ballot Measure 1 to create Alaska jobs!

According to that legend, the magic free market crashed Alaska oil production in the face of the “higher taxes” on oil production created by ACES. The storied ending of the tale is now the free market has rebounded greatly due to the restoration of low taxes. The oil companies are drilling and hiring in Alaska again...

Steven Merrill

In the debate over Ballot Measure 1, supporters of repealing oil tax reform have consistently taken facts out of context.

Supporters of repeal say employment was at an all-time high under ACES. What they won’t say is that before ACES new jobs on the North Slope were growing at an average rate of 840 per year, and then dropped 50 percent after ACES...

Andrew Halcro

In the Nov. 4 general election, Alaskans will vote “Yes” or “No” on Ballot Measure 3. That’s an initiative to raise Alaska’s minimum wage (set at $7.75 since 2010) to $8.75 on Jan. 1, 2015, and to $9.75 on Jan. 1, 2016. Thereafter, the minimum wage would be adjusted yearly for inflation. In any case, it would stay at least $1 above the federal minimum wage.

Data and studies on the impacts of Alaska’s existing minimum wage law are scarce. The federal minimum wage, however, has been well studied. So have the possible effects of a proposed rise in the federal minimum wage. As you might guess, there are dueling facts and findings. Still, the federal studies suggest some points for Alaska voters to consider...

Kevin Waring

Ever fallen for a satirical story on the web? You know, it can be really hard to differentiate between made-up crazy and actual crazy. Satirists like Jon Stewart and The Onion have had to step up their game to out-crazy the wingnuttery that has become a daily reality in American politics. (Hat tip to you, Sarah Leadfoot.)

This week I saw a story I thought must be a joke. I have to hand it to Gov. Sean Parnell: he can still manage to parody himself. Truly impressive. He’s such a caricature of himself I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry.

Consider this paragraph fair warning: If you read on, your coffee may end up flying out of your nose and onto your newspaper or computer screen. You’re welcome...

Shannyn Moore

While the Environmental Protection Agency pursues its dubious war on the proposed Pebble mine project, and the end-justifies-any-means crowd applauds, we should be asking: Which project is next and how far will we allow this federal agency to exceed its lawful authority?

Make no mistake, the EPA’s headlong rush to block Pebble before its developers can submit a detailed development plan to state and federal regulators -- even before the project can be reviewed under the National Environmental Policy Act, even before completion of an environmental impact statement -- is only part of the story...

Paul Jenkins
After Prudhoe dries up, what then?

With the Ballot Measure 1 discussion currently sweeping the state, I cannot keep myself thinking why we are not having an equally serious conversation about our future once Prudhoe Bay ceases production. All oil fields are finite in volume, and if we do not figure out how to fund our state budget with other revenue we are asking for a painful transition period. The decision about SB21 and ACES pales in comparison to this larger issue.

Will we be proactive in planning the future of our state or remain focused on the short term and in turn be surprised by the inevitable?

-- Peter Illig, economic geologist, University of Alaska Fairbanks Fairbanks...

Alaska Dispatch News

On July 1 Enstar ratepayers across Southcentral Alaska saw their rates shoot up by over 48 percent. But what is almost as troubling as the rate hike itself is the manner in which the Regulatory Commission of Alaska rubber-stamped Enstar’s requested increase without even giving ratepayers a chance to comment.

I attended Wednesday’s public meeting of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska regarding this matter. During the public testimony period, many customers described their frustration at Enstar, and rightly so. The elephant in the room, mostly unspoken, was the role of the RCA in this mess. Clearly reform is needed to restore confidence in Alaska’s utility regulations...

Laurie Hummel

Do corporations have a soul? And if so, does that corporate soul require, like individuals, the practice of religion? Anyone familiar with the United States Supreme Court’s opinion in the recent Hobby Lobby case knows that august body has answered these confounding moral questions with a resounding, “Yes!”...

Marcelle Mcdannel

Concern for the safety and welfare of vulnerable patients in our care has always been and continues to be important to Providence Alaska Medical Center caregivers.

Our job as adults and health care professionals is to protect children and to maintain standards that keep children safe within our community and hospital. Sadly, even when hiring processes and background checks are correctly performed and policies for reporting abuse are properly followed, abuse may still occur.

When we hear that a child has been harmed by sexual abuse, we feel anger at the perpetrator. Our anger increases when we learn, as in many cases, the abuse happened more than once...

Adam Muhr