Friday Fact Check: In a recent interview with the National Journal, US Senate candidate Dr. Al Gross made statements that suggest he a ) doesn’t understand the economics of the oil & gas industry in Alaska, b) doesn’t care about the economics of the oil & gas industry in Alaska or c) will say anything to anybody in order to get elected.
We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, assume he doesn’t understand the economics, and give him some help so that he doesn’t make the same mistake in the future:
- Instead of saying “I think it’s going to be clear to Alaskans that this (SB 21) was a really bad piece of legislation as it relates to them,” we suggest “ Since SB 21 passed, oil companies have paid Alaska $8.7 billion in taxes and $13.8 billion in total state revenue.”
- Instead of claiming that SB 21 was “Good for special corporate interests. Bad for Alaskan families”, we suggest “Since SB 21 passed, Alaskan families – a family-owned clothing store in Kenai, a family-owned fabrication shop in Fairbanks, a family-owned engineering firm in Anchorage – have seen their business double.”
- Instead of calling SB 21 a “barrel of poison” and saying he “ would like to see it replaced”, we suggest “Under SB 21, the state has received more oil and more revenue than was projected under the old tax system. Why mess with something that works?”
If Dr. Gross is serious about representing ALL Alaskans, we hope he rethinks his careless statements. One-quarter of all Alaska’s jobs are attributed to the oil and gas industry. 75% of the unrestricted state revenue from businesses to the state comes from oil and gas. Since SB 21 passed, over $2.7 billion has been deposited in the Alaska Permanent Fund. Clearly our current tax structure is good for Alaska, good for Alaskans, good for Alaskan families and doesn’t need to be replaced.
“Big Oil” bust is killing my town
Carrie McKean, The New York Times, April 30, 2020
Sometimes it surprises me when people don’t seem to realize life is a whole lot more gray than black and white. Once I boarded an airplane with a woman wearing a “Down With Oil” shirt. I wondered if she caught the irony of her wearing it on a plane, in clothes that couldn’t have been made without oil. I hear too many online, and even on the news, acting like that woman now — rejoicing in the downfall of an industry that, like it or not, we’ll all depend upon for the foreseeable future.