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Walker should give up on 'pipe dreams'

Morning Headlamp, October 11, 2016


Pipe dreams. According to retired UAA professor of Justice and state attorney general John Havelock, "It's long past time for Gov. Bill Walker to concentrate on the critical business at hand: resetting the Alaska economy." In an ADN commentary, Havelock calls on the need for Walker to look at income taxes, PFD, oil revenue programs, and other casual mechanisms to help reinvigorate Alaska's economy. "He must start now, as he should have much earlier, without gas line distractions, in defining and selling a balanced budget that does not start with concessions to the oil industry.  Keep it simple and make sure the public knows which legislators are playing fantasy budgeting."


Headlamp is not surprised to see another ADN piece suggesting that legislators tax the state's leading industry, again, and ignore the opportunity to reduce the size and scope of government.  Furthermore, we are unsure how implementing new taxes, and raising existing taxes on industry, will help reinvigorate Alaska's economy. The only thing that will be reinvigorated under that plan would be government spending. We are disappointed by this piece, but not surprised. 


A recent Forbes article called on the need, or simply desire, for a policy-driven energy debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The piece highlights several topical energy issues including the recent Alaskan discovery by Caelus, "Wouldn't it be nice for the citizens of Alaska to know what each candidate's policies would look like regarding development of oil and natural gas resources in the Arctic North? The recent announcement by Dallas-based Caelus Energy of a massive discovery of what it believes are 2.4 billion barrels of technically recoverable crude oil on Alaska's North Slope could, if developed, revive the state's sagging economy." Other potential topics included the shale booms in Texas and Oklahoma as well as energy exports.


A Pew Charitable Trusts report focused on seven states that have funds from extraction revenue, which the report describes as "sovereign wealth funds." According to Pew, Alaska is one of only two state funds whose purpose is well-defined by state law. And the report found that it's one of three states that doesn't allow withdrawals from the fund principal.


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First Reads

Governor should give up Alaska gas line, give us real budget solution
Alaska Daily News Miner, John Havelock, October 10, 2016

A Trump - Clinton Debate On Energy Would Be Nice
Forbes, David Blackmon, October 10, 2016

Pew report sees Alaska ahead of other states in its 'sovereign wealth fund'
Alaska Public Radio News, Andrew Kitchenman, October 10, 2016

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