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Senators Propose Plan to Spark New Oil and Gas Production in Alaska

Senators Wielechowski, French offer nine proposals to spur production and improve Alaska’s tax structure

JUNEAU – Senators Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) and Hollis French (D-Anchorage) rolled out a plan this morning for boosting oil and gas production on Alaska’s North Slope.  The Senators identified nine ways to improve Alaska’s tax structure and oil and gas laws, stimulate more production, and ensure that Alaskans are fairly reimbursed for the sale of their natural resources.

The plan includes tax allowances for new oil production, lowering the cap on Alaska’s production tax rate by 15 percent, setting a new minimum tax rate, improving state leasing procedures, and creating new opportunities for the state to partner directly with industry.

“This plan offers meaningful benefits to industry and to Alaskans,” said Senator Wielechowski.  “Our plan would lower tax rates when oil prices are high and reward companies that successfully increase their production from one year to the next.  This will not only help fill the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, but will create more jobs for Alaskans and provide additional state revenue to pay for essential public services.”

“Another big part of this plan is boosting oil production by partnering with the oil and gas industry,” said Senator French.   “Allowing the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority to enter into partnerships would create greater alignment between the state and the oil industry, laying the groundwork for increased investment in Alaska.  It would also help smaller, independent companies get new development projects off the ground.  Such public-private partnerships successfully exist in many oil basins around the world.”

Another key component of the plan is improving leasing procedures to encourage greater and faster development of the state’s oil and gas resources, consistent with Alaska’s constitutional mandate to develop its natural resources for the maximum benefit for all Alaskans.  “We developed this part of the plan in response to concerns that some oil companies are winning exclusive leases of oil-rich state lands and then sitting on those leases, effectively warehousing Alaska’s resources while investing elsewhere,” said Senator Wielechowski. 

The amendments will be presented during Senate Resource Committee meetings about Senate Bill 192, starting today.  

For more information, please call Senator Wielechowski at 242-1558 or 465-6881 or Senator French office at 465-3892.

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