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All eyes on Juneau as Senate takes up ACES debate


From the Alaska Oil and Gas Association...

Meet Bonnie Smith

As the Health, Safety and Environmental Manager for Pioneer Natural Resources, Bonnie Smith knows a thing or two about workplace safety and mitigating risks.

In an effort to help educate Alaskans about the impact of high oil taxes on the Alaskas business environment, Bonnie is appearing in a series of advertisements on behalf of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association (AOGA).

Read more

With billions of barrels of known reserves, Alaska can enjoy a healthy future for decades if we can attract the investment we need to deliver those barrels to the pipeline. A fair and equitable tax policy is key to making Alaska an attractive place to invest, which will ensure that we continue to have the revenues we need to pay for critical state services.

And, almost 60 percent of Alaskans support the governor's proposed oil tax changes contained in HB 110, which passed the House of Representatives in March 2011 ( Read the Alaska Journal of Commerce story about the Hellenthal poll).

However, instead of taking up HB 110, the Alaska State Senate is working on new tax legislation, and AOGA will provide weekly updates about what's going on in Juneau, and how you can be involved.

All indicators point to the need for action on oil tax reform
While legislators debate action on oil taxes, oil production continues to decline. Since ACES passed, Alaskas oil production has plummeted 140,000 barrels a day. That is in five short years. And, what is happening to reverse the trend? Not much. According to the Alaska Economic Report, state officials say investment activity on the North Slope dropped by 13 percent in the last half of 2011 compared with the previous year.

Despite billions of barrels of oil remaining on the North Slope and oil prices at sustained high levels, Alaska is failing to attract much needed investment. The reason is simple — Alaska has the highest production taxes in North America.

"Production decline is real and needs to be addressed immediately. We believe focusing on the states long-term fiscal health, as well as job opportunities for more Alaskans today is more important than short-term revenue gains," said Kara Moriarty, executive director of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association.

Oil tax debate venue: Senate Resources Committee
The Senate Resources Committee has proposed SB 192 as a "place holder" for oil taxes. This week the committee has scheduled several hearings on this issue. We will notify you the minute public testimony will be taken, which is not scheduled at this point. Watch the hearings by clicking here: gavelalaska.org or www.alaskalegislature.tv.

1:30 PM Wed., Feb. 22 Senate Resources: Dept. of Natural Resources, Plans of Development
3:30 PM Wed., Feb. 22 Senate Resources: Claire Fitzpatrick, BP
3:30 PM Thurs., Feb. 23 Senate Resources: SB 192 Oil and Gas Production Tax Rates, Dept. of Revenue
1:30 PM Fri., Feb. 24 Senate Resources: SB 192 Oil and Gas Production Tax Rates, Dept. of Revenue
3:30 PM Fri., Feb. 24 Senate Resources: SB 192 Oil and Gas Production Tax Rates, Amendments to be discussed

How can I help?
Each one of us can play an important part in the debate by letting our legislators know how important this issue is to our families. Please contact your representative and urge them to support meaningful reform of Alaskas oil taxes so our state can attract new investment.

Sending a personal note to your elected representative is easy to do, and takes just a few minutes.

Visit the Alaska Prosperity Project to locate your legislator and send a note directly to them.


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