Saturday, July 28, 2012
After Colleagues Rushed Proclamations, Senator Wants Focus on Actual Facts and Consequences Before Passing Judgment on ACES
Anchorage – After reviewing the press releases and background documents, State Senator Cathy Giessel cautions taking fellow Senator Bill Wielechowski’s proclamations about ConocoPhillips’ latest Securities Exchange Commission filings with a heaping tablespoon of salt.
“Perhaps he should consider reading glasses,” Giessel, R-Anchorage, said. “The asterisk and small print on Alaska in the segment highlighted by his press release shows that the low-balled 35 percent number doesn’t factor in property taxes or severance tax, which pushes their effective tax rate under ACES closer to 64 percent. If you add in our royalty charge, you’re up around 70 percent. That’s a significant difference, and a big deal.”
“Careful attention to detail is important when scrutinizing a data-packed document like an SEC filing. The Senator needs to read the fine print carefully and not rush to judgment,” Giessel said. “This is of paramount importance to the health and financial well-being of our state and Alaskans deserve better than rash comments that are misleading.” During this year the company is on track to pay the State nearly twice what it will keep in profit from its Alaska business” she added.
The filing further shows that through the second quarter the company invested $2.9 billion in capital projects in Alaska, the Lower 48 and Latin America. Only $388 million of that in Alaska. “$2.5 billion in American spending NOT taking place in Alaska,” Giessel said. “The money’s going south, where companies see the most upside. Obviously, they don’t see that in Alaska under this tax regime.”
The filings also show that they’ve underspent their Alaska budget for last year. “That’s worrisome in and of itself,” Giessel said. “There’s a huge disparity between Senator Wielechowski’s reported ‘facts’ and the context and content. Despite what he would lead you to believe, these filings don’t offer ‘proof’ that ACES is working. What the filings show is that ConocoPhillips is focusing more and more outside of Alaska, and if that’s the Senator’s definition of “working” – sending money and assets away – then I for one will work even harder to make us more competitive.”
The Consolidated Income Statement filing can be viewed at http://www.aksenateminority.com/archives/1079#more-1079