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Alaska Chamber of Commerce promotes legislative priorities to grow Alaska’s economy and support its communities

Successful legislative session achieves reform for increased oil production and reduction of energy costs to communities

Anchorage, AK  - The Alaska State Chamber of Commerce (Alaska Chamber) commends the legislature on their successful efforts to grow Alaska’s economy while helping communities with energy price relief.

Two of the Alaska Chamber’s top state legislative priorities were successfully tackled during the legislative session with the passage of SB 21, oil tax reform, and HB 4, the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline (ASAP) project. 

The Alaska Chamber has spent the past several years working to expand the Alaska economy and protect jobs for Alaskans by promoting reasonable but effective tax reform for the oil industry, the largest economic driver in the state. As members made it clear by voting for oil tax reform as a priority the last three years, they believe keeping the pipeline full is the most important issue facing Alaska today. With the passage of SB 21, the state of Alaska is one step closer to a vibrant economic future.

Along with SB 21, HB 4 not only moves Alaska forward in regards to affordable energy, it also has the potential to expand the economy by offering consistent, reasonably priced energy for Alaska citizens and businesses.  In addition to the immediate effect such a project would create, it also has the potential to expand business in the state through possible “end-of-line” business opportunities. The Alaska Chamber membership chose to directly address the high cost of energy as a legislative priority and HB 4 is part of that initiative.

“While the Alaska Chamber counts the passage of both bills as a positive step forward for Alaska, there still is a lot of work ahead of us.  We have 23 other positions that we hope to address during the interim and next session,” says Renee Schofield, Alaska Chamber Board Chair.  She goes on to say, “I think the passage of SB 21 is a positive change in our tax policy towards Alaska’s biggest economic driver and that HB 4, although not directly affecting my region, will in the long term benefit all Alaskans.” 

Rachael Petro, President and CEO of the Alaska Chamber, points out,” The passage of meaningful tax reform is a crucial component for Alaska’s economic health.  Rather than allow the tax changes passed in SB 21 to bear fruit over the next few years, plans are already being made by some to return to the onerous ACES tax structure. The business community will continue to advocate for Alaska’s future and fight to preserve Alaska’s competitive place in the world market.”

A complete list of the 2013 positions and legislation that the Alaska Chamber supports are available on the Alaska Chamber website under “Advocacy”.

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