Missing from discussions surrounding passage of SB-21, the oil tax giveaway estimated to be in the billions of dollars over several years, was acknowledgement of a vision of what that money could do for Alaska.
In the past decades Alaska’s economy and state funding have been driven by oil, first from Cook Inlet then from the North Slope. But two factors mitigate against Alaska as a continuing oil state — the emergence of new technologies resulting in relatively cheap, accessible oil in the Lower 48 states, Canada and the Pacific Rim, and the inevitable emptying of the large basins that feed the 48-inch, Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline. According to annual reports, Alaska is no longer a prime focus of the major multinationals.
Re: the call to repeal Ord. 2011-12.
Wasn’t it interesting to receive the mailed flyers recommending the repeal of Ord. 2011-12 from Chicago, Ill? Wow, with all their big-city problems, it’s amazing that they take an interest in the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska.
First off, if the Assembly accepts Ord. 2013-18, Ord. 2011-12, which was never enacted on the Kenai Peninsula, will be history.
As so carefully explained by Chief of Staff Paul Ostrander at the Assembly meeting on June 4, every issue brought forward by the public during the Task Force meetings has been addressed in Ordinance 2013-18.
Some years ago when our little town of Homer began a discussion on how to improve the traffic intersections, I was surprised to see the discussion quickly break down into two camps: traffic lights vs. roundabouts. Why did such an apparently innocuous subject devolve so quickly into two opposing views? A reflection process of nearly two years has led me to share a few thoughts.
I once read a story in which God was querying man. The question asked by God was, “Do you think my creation is imperfect?”
My initial reaction was “of course,” but then I remembered it was God asking the question. Upon realizing that creation is perfect, followed the realization that my perception of creation was imperfect. (again)
Over the past month, you may have run into dedicated people asking you to sign a petition to repeal the oil giveaway. These volunteers are giving of their time and effort to get enough signatures to get this important issue on the ballot for 2014.
We are well on our way to meeting our signature goals, but we still need every one of you to sign. This is a non-partisan effort to give Alaska citizens a chance to vote on whether we believe this tax giveaway is a good idea.
My name is Ola Mullikin. My 8-year-old son Hayden has been attending the Homer Boys and Girls Club since approximately March of this year. I am writing to express the need to keep this club open for the community of Homer, as well as its neighboring communities. My intent with this letter is to tell my personal story with the hope of showing the bigger issue of the need to keep this program alive.
Actress Angelina Jolie just announced that she underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning that she was genetically predisposed to cancer. Her disclosure was a powerful show of solidarity with the more than 100,000 American women who undergo breast removal surgery each year.
But Jolie’s story, while inspirational, is different from most women’s. She benefited from a relatively uncommon nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM), a procedure that removes the breast tissue while preserving the breast skin and nipple. With NSM, after reconstructive surgery, breasts are left looking mostly unchanged.
In 2005, Cook Inletkeeper stumbled across a public notice for an exploration permit to conduct hard rock mining activities in the Bristol Bay watershed. The notice caught our attention not only because of the size of the proposed exploration area, but also because of its location in the headwaters of Bristol Bay’s rich salmon fisheries. Soon after, we met with the project proponent, Canadian-based Northern Dynasty Minerals, and began seeing maps and plans for the project. While the mine site and its associated impacts were confined to the Bristol Bay watershed, we quickly learned Northern Dynasty planned to ship its ore concentrate from the west side of Cook Inlet – near Iniskin Bay – and to pull a power line across Cook Inlet from the Kenai Peninsula to run the mine.
If recently passed legislation to cut taxes on oil companies doing business in Alaska is not repealed by voters, you can say goodbye to annual Permanent Fund dividends and hello to a state income tax.
The money Senate Bill 21 gives back to BP, ConocoPhillips, and Exxon Mobil Corp. will leave Alaska with about the same amount of income from oil revenues that the state treasury had to spend back in 2002, when voters were choosing a new governor and the primary issue was discontinuation of dividends and resurrection of a state tax on income.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average tax countries around the world charged for taking a barrel of oil is about 79 percent of the cash remaining for distribution between oil companies and governments — after all expenses of production and delivery for that barrel have been deducted from its sale proceeds and paid. By the Energy Department’s calculation, take-home profits for companies like BP, ConocoPhillips, and Exxon average about 21 percent of what’s left over after expenses.
Two recent news items out of Norway caught my attention. The first happened April 30th when Governor Parnell went there to discuss tax policy. The second was the announcement on May 6th that Norway had decided to make a change to its oil tax laws.
Now, I don’t know whether the governor was responsible for the May 6th tax change. But I like to imagine that the Norwegians listened very carefully to the governor’s reasons for lowering taxes here. Being the sober and meticulous people they are, they ran a complex cost-benefit economic analysis on his ideas. They studied the results and then came to a reasoned decision. To raise taxes.
Sixteen borough residents formed a committee to promote the Better Elections Initiative. The purpose for this initiative is to implement a better voting system for Kenai Peninsula Borough residents that include “Vote by Mail” with a “Ranked Choice Voting” provision. The ballot initiative was filed at the borough clerk’s office on May 10.
“These changes will promote greater voter turnout, provide more opportunity for voters to make an informed decision at each borough election and will save our borough money,” said Fred Sturman, Initiative co-sponsor.