Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SB 21: Deborah's thoughts

Deborah Brolini
Alaska Energy Dudes and Divas

I cannot keep up with the emails, and phone calls over the past two days about my thoughts on oil tax legislation being decided in the Senate this week. So what are Deborah’s thoughts? I am supportive of SB 21 which is not what the Governor proposed in January. The Senate will vote tomorrow on a Senate Committee Substitute (CS) that all Alaskans can be proud of. The due diligence taken and the questions asked by Senators has molded the Governor’s bill into a better bill, and as a mother I can look my children in the eye. I do enjoy hearing the snide remarks, and comments about me that I am a shill for “big oil,” and let me tell you the oil industry and support companies are not beating down my door to help find me find a job, pay my mortgage or put my children through college. My energy blog, and advocacy for oil tax reform has always been about my children’s future.

Alaska’s oil tax system is broken and everyone can agree on that fact. However, the rub is how do we fix it? Currently, Alaska is writing checks to oil exploration companies that has not resulted in one drop of new oil into the Trans Alaska Pipeline (TAPS), or one penny into state coffers as a result of these tax credits.  There has been a lot of belly aching by some that the oil producers have not been exploring for oil. But, if you really sit down and think about it… the oil producers already know where the oil is.  So do we continue to write open-ended checks with no return on our investment?  As Alaskans do you write checks with nothing in return?  The answer is no.  Since 2007, the state has been giving away billions of dollars to explorers with no accountability, and SB 21 puts a stop to the madness.  SB 21 also offers solutions with a Competitive Review Board so that we are always on top of our global competitiveness without the politics and rhetoric of the day. 

SB 21 is legislation that I have watched closely, and I believe the process of moving this legislation has been transparent and fair. I am not on the Governor’s side, or the oil industry’s side. I’m on Alaska’s side, and giving my children the future they deserve. So, tonight I can go to bed knowing that the decisions made by Senators tomorrow will be whether they vote in favor of the Governor and Alaska failing, or will they vote to move Alaska forward. I pray they vote the latter.