Morning Headlamp – House and Senate Stare Down Over Income Tax Proposal

Two birds, one stone. As Alaska marks the 40th anniversary of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) increased oil production is needed for not only the state budget, but for the health of TAPS. Alyeska President Tom Barrett has said ““More oil is the best long-term solution for sustaining TAPS, from a technical and operational standpoint.” New discoveries by Repsol and Caelus could bring more revenue to the state and help increase throughput in TAPS. Headlamp hopes that our elected officials in Juneau take a long-term approach to oil and gas legislation that encourages more exploration and production rather than passing punitive taxes that could kill these projects and threaten the future of TAPS.

The continental divide. House majority leaders held a news conference on Tuesday where they declared themselves unwilling to make concessions on their deficit-reduction plan, which includes a restructured Permanent Fund, an income tax, and higher oil taxes. Senate President Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, meanwhile, took to Facebook to blast the House’s “left-leaning majority” for its “whopping income tax bill” that he said would set up an “Alaskan-style IRS.” “They’re coming for your money because they want to grow government at the expense of working Alaskans,” said Kelly. The “taxes, taxes, taxes” approach of the House doesn’t appear too popular with the Alaskans based on the public testimony we’ve heard of late. Perhaps they should reconsider.

Don’t believe everything you read. Alaska’s U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan have introduced legislation to open Arctic Waters to oil and gas development and are being attacked in a recent press release by the Center for Biological Diversity. Unfortunately for CBD, the Senators have Alaskans in their corner with a recent poll showing 76 percent of Alaskans support offshore oil and gas development. Headlamp applauds our U.S. Senators for proposing legislation to move Alaska forward. Offshore development could bring new jobs and restore our healthy economy. Bravo!

First Reads

Alaska Needs Much Higher Oil Prices To Reverse Its Oil Fortunes, Tsvetana Paraskova, April 18, 2017

Alaska House and Senate dig in deeper in first days of overtime as governor offers help

Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, April 18, 2017

Offshore oil and gas development is both safe and vital for Alaska

Arctic Energy Center, April 18, 2017