Morning Headlamp — Alyeska Pipeline Service puts a face on oil and gas tax debate

Not in line with AK’s needs. According to KTOO, Democratic lawmakers have outlined what they’ve called a “line in the sand” on the oil tax issue. Sen. Bill Wielechowski says Democrats have sought fixes to the oil tax structure and are drawing a line in the sand to fix the problem. There is wide disagreement in the House over what needs to change, with some saying the system needs to basically stay intact and others calling for a full overhaul. Democrats have leverage over oil and gas tax credits because it requires a three-quarter vote to draw from the Constitutional Budget Reserve, a state savings account that will likely be needed to pay for government services as the state faces a $4.1 billion budget deficit, and to get a plan to use Permanent Fund earnings to pay for government off the ground. Headlamp predicts that Senator Wielechowski and his peers will demand increases to the budget and taxes on businesses to support their addiction to big government. 

President of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Adm. Tom Barrett (ret.) penned an op-ed in the Alaska Dispatch News calling for Alaskan lawmakers to protect the oil and gas industry. According to Barrett, “Alaska’s oil industry is struggling just like Alaska’s economy. Industry companies are collectively cutting back, laying off hundreds of hardworking Alaskans, and halting some operations due to frighteningly low oil prices and political hurdles. A truth remains: The long-term health of Alaska’s oil and gas industry is as connected and vital as ever to the health of our state…The industry employs thousands of Alaskans across the state – engineers and surveyors, pipeline technicians, welders and laborers, accountants and safety and environmental professionals. They are mothers and fathers of families.” Headlamp applauds Adm. Barrett for highlighting the true cost of industry slowdown and impediment. The oil and gas industry isn’t a faceless entity, it represents thousands of families and livelihoods that depend on a prosperous industry.

A recent CNBC report examined what a low price environment has meant for energy producing states across the country, chronicling Alaska specifically. According to the piece, “Though [Alaska] ranks fourth among oil-producing states, as recently as 2012 nearly 75 cents of every dollar of the state’s revenue came from oil, according to Moody’s. Last year, that share had fallen to 28 percent.” The piece features commentary from Alaskan economists Mouhcine Guettabi and Gunnar Knapp.


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First Reads

Democrats draw ‘line in the sand’ on oil tax, credits issue
KTOO, April 19, 2016

Painful transition for energy states as oil revenues evaporate
CNBC, John Schoen, April 19, 2016

Here’s what has the Alaska Capitol gridlocked
KTUU, Austin Baird, April 19, 2016

Oil and gas, trans-Alaska pipeline still vital to state’s future
Alaska Dispatch News, Adm. Tom Barrett, April 19, 2016

Alaska Gov. Walker’s administration to address lawmakers on Permanent Fund legislation Wednesday
Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, April 19, 2016