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Majority Members React to BP Investment News

Join Governor in welcoming news of adding rigs, investing billions in Alaska

Monday, June 3, 2013, Anchorage, Alaska – Members of the Alaska House Majority Caucus today offered their positive reactions to BP Alaska’s announcement of new capital investment on the North Slope, including two new rigs and $4 billion total in investment.

“This is the type of progress and growth in our economy Alaskans asked for last November,” House Majority Leader Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage, said. “We have been asking the federal government to let Alaskan's run Alaska, and we have proven that we can and will make decisions that will encourage private sector growth. This is a look to the future that benefits us today, and also the next generation tomorrow.  I look forward to more positive news of investment in our economy now that the international community knows Alaska is once again open for business.”

BP officials said the decision coincides with the Legislature passing Governor Parnell’s Senate Bill 21, the More Alaska Production Act, which reformed Alaska’s oil tax laws to spur investment and increase production through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

“This is incredibly good news for Alaska,” House Rules Committee Chair Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, said. “BP’s investment will create hundreds of new great-paying jobs for Alaskans, and together with other investments recently announced, this marks the beginning of a turnaround for Alaska’s oil patch. Without a doubt, it’s a very encouraging sign for Alaska’s future.”

“This is a great start,” House Resources Committee Co-Chair Eric Feige, R-Chickaloon, said. “I hope we can see more news like this as the years go on thanks to our work to once again make Alaska a competitive environment.”

“Testimony on oil tax reform clearly showed that Alaska has significant oil resources, but has lacked the extra investments needed to produce new North Slope oil,” fellow Resources Co-Chair Dan Saddler, Eagle River/JBER, said. “BP’s announcement that they’re accelerating their investment in Alaska, including buying two new rigs, is clearly good news for the oil industry and our economy, and is part of an encouraging trend.”

The BP news follows that of fellow North Slope operator ConocoPhillips and new entrant Repsol.

“Today’s announcement by BP demonstrates that a stable and reasonable tax system leads to new investment, economic growth and new jobs,” House Energy Committee Co-Chair Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, said. “The industry is responding to adjustments we made to the state’s oil taxation system and this could be the beginning of a new chapter in oil production at the nation’s largest oil field, Prudhoe Bay.”

The Majority Caucus made Responsible Resource Development and Building a Strong Economy two of its Guiding Principles for the 28th Alaska Legislature, and prioritized passage of SB 21 to help re-invigorate North Slope oil and gas investment. Roughly 90-percent of Alaska’s revenue comes from oil taxation, which is used to pay for everything from schools and senior care, to roads and other public services.

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