On May 21, ADN published two commentaries about the oil tax ballot measure: one against it, by Matanuska Brewing owner Matt Tomter, the other in favor, by Robin Brena. Mr. Tomter claimed the measure would hurt the Alaska economy but offered no evidence to support that claim, only reiterating the old notion that if the big oil companies lose a tiny fraction of their profit, then they won’t spend as much in Alaska. Mr. Tomter forgot to mention that the measure applies only to the large legacy fields, not new development.
Mr. Brena, on the other hand, offered plenty of facts and stats to back his claim that Alaska is not getting its fair share. Consider it this way: If the measure fails, the large oil companies will make billions in profit as they have for decades, and Alaska may benefit slightly. If the measure passes, the oil companies may make a bit less profit, but perhaps a billion dollars per year will be pumped into Alaska and its economy, and Mr. Tomter will get more business, not less. My family and I will be voting for the measure, and if it passes, we’ll be heading to Matanuska Brewing for a celebratory round.
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