Oil is the lifeblood of our economy. It provides the revenue to operate our schools, pave our roads, and offer a wide range of critical public services. Ensuring that Alaska’s oil patch is an attractive place to do business is a big priority of mine. We must be competitive in our tax rates and fair in our regulations to ensure that the industry remains strong, vibrant and profitable. At the same time, we must ensure that Alaskans get the maximum benefit from the sale of our valuable oil and gas resources, as required by the Alaska Constitution, and that development occurs in a responsible manner.
Since we reformed oil and gas taxes (ACES) in 2007, jobs, investment and the number of oil companies doing business in Alaska have all hit all-time highs. And BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon have made roughly $40 billion in profits from the production and sale of Alaska’s oil and gas.
I do not support giving tens of billions in tax breaks to the oil industry with no strings attached. It is simply bad business for Alaska – and there is not a single company in the world that would agree to the terms they are trying to get Alaskans to agree to. Passing the tax breaks being proposed by the oil industry would cripple our economy. According to Governor Parnell’s Budget Director, these tax breaks would immediately result in massive deficits. They would endanger our credit rating and drain our $17 billion state savings accounts within several years.
Instead, I have and will continue to support targeted incentives and other measures to get more oil in the pipeline. I will always stand up for Alaska.
Below are just some of the actions I have taken to support and promote this essential industry:
- Co-sponsored legislation to encourage new oil and gas development in challenged areas of Alaska (HB276)
- Introduced legislation to ensure oil and gas companies develop state lands they’ve leased in a timely manner to get more oil in the pipeline (SB 209)
- Sponsored legislation to enable the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority to partner with industry to move oil and gas projects forward (SB 216)
- Endorsed oil and gas leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and opposed wilderness designation for the refuge (HJR 9 and HJR 11)
- Provided tax breaks to encourage oil and development in unexplored areas of the state (SB23)
- Helped revitalize oil and gas drilling in Cook Inlet by providing incentivizes for deep sea drilling (SB 309)
- Supported legislation to support the construction of natural gas storage facilities in Cook Inlet to ensure an adequate supply of gas for Anchorage residents during the darkest and coldest months (HB 280)
- Supported expedited planning for an in-state natural gas pipeline (HB 369)