Sunday, May 15, 2016

HB 247: My Senate Finance Testimony

My name is Deborah Brollini and I am testifying in opposition to HB 247.  I am testifying on behalf of myself. Unlike many who have testified on this bill my concerns are throughput through the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPS).

I would like to remind Alaskans and the committee that our Trans Alaska Pipeline was shut down in 2011.  We were lucky that Alyeska pipeline, and its contractors were able to bring TAPS back online in a number of days and not weeks or months.   The Admiral Tom Barrett, President of Alyeska Pipeline has repeatedly spoke about the challenges of operating a pipeline below 500 thousand barrels per day.

TAPS production is tinkering at 508 barrels per day.  The cost of operating TAPS rises as oil production declines.  The state and Alaska’s oil producers, who are Alaska’s largest taxpayers and investors, like it or not, our futures are linked.  Alaska needs to stop its bipolar relationship with the oil producers, and start acting like the partner it should be.  

In closing, I want Alaska to be a player in a world oil market.  Unfortunately, Alaska lives in the moment, and not in the long-term.   I am not opposed to reducing tax credits to companies who have not contributed a drop of oil into TAPS, or who have not contributed a cent to Alaska’s treasury after years of benefiting from Alaska’s generous oil and gas tax credits.

I am for increasing oil production through the Trans Alaska Pipeline by increasing oil production from existing fields.   If we ignore the challenges of low oil production through TAPS we will have an 800-mile piece of Chapstick on our hands.

Oil prices will rebound, and its about how Alaska chooses to manage its checkbook, and our oil production through these challenging times.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Moter Fuel Tax Increase proposed by the Governor

Rep. Shelley Hughes
Representative Shelly Hughes

We’ll hear the bill again this week. What do you think? Last week the House Transportation Committee held its first hearing on the Governor’s bill, HB 249. Here’s what it would do:
  • Double the motor fuel tax for road vehicles (8¢ more per gallon)
  • Triple the aviation fuel tax (7¢ more per gallon)
  • Double the marine fuel tax (8¢ more per gallon)
  • Collect $49 million from Alaskan families and businesses per year

    Not only would the cost of travel for Alaskans increase due to this proposal, but because shipping and freight costs would rise as a result, Alaskan consumers could expect the costs of goods to increase along with the tax.
For those in our district, we realize that Mat-Su is not only home to thousands of daily commuters but is a large area where key destinations are miles apart. This tax increase is a big deal. A local roundtrip to a certain retailer or for a medical appointment can easily involve 15-20 miles. Bottom line: we buy a lot of gas. The motor fuel tax portion of this bill would translate into a disproportionate amount of the $49 million coming from our wallets into the general fund.

I’ll be chairing the House Transportation Committee on Thursday, February 4th at 1 p.m. when we’ll hear the motor fuel tax bill again. I’d love for you to chime in. You can testify by going to your local Legislative Information Office or if that’s not feasible, contact my office 907-465-3743 for call-in information. You can also send written testimony on HB 249 to rep.shelley.hughes@akleg.gov, and I’ll see that it’s included in the committee bill packets. You can watch the committee here. Stay tuned because we may provide another yet another opportunity for public testimony.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALASKA

I'm happy to share my birthday with my beloved state of Alaska. Happy Birthday Alaska!!!

WE'RE IN!!!

Alaska became a state on January 3, 1959. Happy to share my 50th birthday with my beloved state of Alaska.