In the five years since the Senate Bill 21 oil tax law passed, the state has been paying subsidies to the oil companies. We are supposed to be getting new wells and additional oil in the pipeline in return for those subsidies, but we are not. Joe Paskvan has pointed out that Alaska has actually lost money in three of the five years since SB 21 went into effect. I was here in 1969, when the original oil leases went through, and never in a million years would I have believed Alaskans would one day be paying the oil corporations to take our oil off our property.
It was announced that we are getting a $1,600 Permanent Fund dividend check, reduced from $2,900. It turns out that the amount we are paying out in subsidies matches the “missing” PFD money, roughly a billion dollars ($1,300 times 631,000 eligible Alaskans). Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer and every other Republican who voted to pass SB 21 will try and convince you that the PFD checks are being garnished to pay for education and roads and what not, but the cold fact is that the PFD checks are being garnished to pay for the oil subsidies.
Do they deserve that money more than you do?
— John Pender
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