Alaskanomics's Blog August 14, 2014
Posted: 14 Aug 2014 04:23 PM PDT
With five days to go until the Primary Election on August 19, the battle over oil tax structure is fierce. The vote is too close to call and both sides are urging everyone to get out and vote. The facts of the debate seem to fade away as the issue is becoming extremely emotional.
Northrim Bank has publically supported the ‘Vote No’ effort and has contributed to the Keep Alaska Competitive campaign because it is important that Alaska is competitive for development and production of our natural resources. The tax structure put in place by SB21 returns some competitive edge to Alaska and production has increased in the short time that SB21 has been in place. The production numbers of FY14 were finalized on August 6 and there was only a 0.1 percent decline for the year. After an 8.2 percent decline in FY13, an average of only 565 fewer barrels a day FY14 is a welcome change.
Both sides of the debate agree that a change was needed for Alaska’s oil tax structure. SB21 provides incentives for new oil, which will help increase production. New projects have already been announced after the passage of SB21 last year. There have also been new investors to the North Slope and many agree that the new projects are a direct result of a more favorable business climate in Alaska.
North America is well on its way to being energy independent and Alaska can be part of increased production and development if ‘Vote No’ prevails on August 19. A ‘No’ vote is a vote for Alaska’s future. It means more jobs for Alaskans, increased revenue for the State, and a stronger chance for the gas pipeline to be completed. This is one of the most important issues to face Alaska since statehood. We encourage all Alaska voters to be engaged in the process and to ‘Vote No’ on ballot measure 1 on August 19.