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Petersen and Gara Announce “Truth in Alaska Oil Company Profits Act”

Alaskans deserve to know how much companies are making off Alaska's oil

JUNEAU - Today Representatives Les Gara and Pete Petersen (both D- Anchorage) announced the "Truth in Alaska Oil Company Profits Act" to require Exxon to start revealing the profits they make in the State of Alaska.  Exxon is the only major oil company that withholds that information. 

"Alaskans deserve to know how much companies are making off of our oil," said Rep. Petersen. "We need this information if we're going to maintain a fair balance between industry's share and Alaska's fair share."

"Exxon claims it isn't making enough profit in Alaska.  Though the claim seems meritless, they should stop hiding their profit information from Alaskans if they are going to keep making this claim," said Rep. Gara.

The legislation would require any company which receives more than $50 million in Alaska oil tax credits or which produces more than 75,000 barrels of oil per day in Alaska to make quarterly reports of its Alaska profits.

Conoco Phillips has made significant profits under the current oil tax system Governor Parnell is seeking to overhaul.  Its annual reports show Conoco's Alaska oil development profits exceeding $7.5 billion since 2007. British Petroleum has reported over $7.2 billion in Alaska oil development profits in Alaska from 2007 to 2009.  It has not yet reported its 2010 profits.

"The great fiction oil companies are selling is that they can't profit under the current oil tax system.  When two of the three largest companies have taken in over $15 billion in profits under Alaska's oil tax law in recent years, the cry that they can't make ends meet in Alaska rings hollow," said Gara. "Alaskans need all the facts about the value of our resources, not just industry propaganda."

The federal government requires companies to report their profits made in the United States, but Alaska law allows companies to use a formula to estimate their Alaska profits in order to pay the Alaska corporate income tax. These numbers are kept confidential under state law. British law requires BP to release its annual Alaska profits. The federal Securities and Exchange Commission requires Conoco to release its Alaska profits because the high percentage of the company's work done in Alaska triggers the reporting requirement.

The "Truth in Alaska Oil Company Profits Act" will be read across the House Floor on Monday.

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