JUNEAU â€“ Today, the House Democratic Caucus published a real-time counter on its website (akdemocrats.org/giveaway/) to show Alaskans up-to-the-minute losses from the governorâ€™s oil wealth giveaway, SB21. While the Governor's giveaway is extremely generous to corporations in London and Houston, the giveaway will adversely impact individual Alaskans.
“It’s important that the public sees just what we’re giving up to multinational oil companies, since it’s really uncertain what we’re getting in return for this ‘crapshoot’,” said House Democratic Whip Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) who announced his intention to publish a counter at a post-session news conference in April. “The only guarantee in this bill is that Alaska is giving up billions of dollars over the next few years and that Alaskans are going to have to pay for it by depleting our savings and forgoing educational opportunities, road maintenance, and public safety.”
This counter shows the amount of money Alaska residents have lost — and the oil companies have gained — since the first part of Governor Parnell’s oil wealth giveaway (SB21) took effect retroactively to January 1, 2013. The number on the counter is based on the governor’s cost estimates from the fiscal note for the final bill. It takes into account the different times various sections of the bill take effect. Once the full bill is in effect on January 1, 2014, the rate of losses to Alaska will speed up dramatically. The caucus will update this counter over the coming months as more data becomes available for oil price, production levels, and the various deductions and allowances oil companies claim.
Democratic legislators offered an alternative oil tax plan that would have increased production, brought new competition to the North Slope, and added balance to Alaska’s tax structure. Neither of those bills was granted a hearing during the 2013 legislative session.