Morning Headlamp - House Majority loses control with introduction of oil tax bill
House Rep. Geran Tarr
Democrats in the Alaska House of Representatives introduced a proposal Wednesday to raise oil taxes and limit cash payments and credits – igniting a debate on industry contributions toward reductions of the state's ballooning deficit.
Headlamp was surprised to hear that the bill, HB 111, was shared with the media before it was shared with Minority members of the House Resources Committee. So were the Minority committee members.
Alaska regulators are concerned that "paltry" surety bonds from companies responsible for plugging and abandoning non-producing wells leave the state at risk. According to testimony from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission's Chair Cathy Foerster to the House Resources Committee, "Should a North Slope operator leave without plugging all of their wells, I'm not sure $200,000 would even pay for the engineering study needed to plan the plugging operations, much less any of the actual plugging costs." Large and small operators are required to post a $100,000 bond on their first well, and an additional $100,000 bond for all other wells that might be drilled.
KTUU, February 8, 2017
Alaska Dispatch News, Nathaniel Herz, February 9, 2017
Alaska Dispatch News, Alex DeMarban, February 9, 2017
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