Sen. Calls Oil Giveaway “Crapshoot”
Senator Kevin Meyer conceded that it is not known whether Senate Bill 21 will actually lead to significant oil production increases, despite a giveaway of billions of dollars from state coffers.
“Realistically, we all would expect new oil,” Meyer said. But he added, “It’s kind of a crapshoot. You really don’t know, and the industry certainly isn’t going to say one way or the other, because you know their motivation is to try to keep the rates down as low as they can.”
A billion dollar a year crapshoot! Yay! Anyone want to play? I didn’t think so. Oh, and did I mention that Kevin Meyer is the Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee?
Former Senate President Chancy Croft writes in the Alaska Dispatch:
“A big fight is going on in Juneau, and it’s coming to a head. The stockholders of three of the world’s largest oil companies are trying to take money away from Alaskan citizens. So far, the governor and the House have helped the oil companies. On Monday, twenty members of the Alaska Senate will have to decide whose side they are on.
“This takeaway/giveaway is Senate Bill 21, masquerading as an inducement for future development of Alaska oil resources. Nobody supporting the takeaway/giveaway even pretends any actual development by the oil companies is required. The oil companies don’t have to do anything to take $1 billion a year away from Alaskans. Nothing. Nada. Zero…
“The Department of Revenue’s fiscal note calculates, without increased oil production, SB 21 will transfer more than $5 billion over the next five years alone from Alaskans to the stockholders of these oil companies. Starting in 2014, it will double from $625 million to $1.375 billion.”
Well, it’s Monday. And here’s a peek at the Senate calendar for today:
Hmm. Scallops, crab, Coast Guard, food issues… I don’t see any massive giveaway to multinational oil corporations in there, do you?
One would think that if there were enough votes to pass the giveaway, that it would be on the calendar, wouldn’t one? But, one does not see SB21. Therefore, one must conclude that perhaps the votes are not to be had. Remember that a 10-10 split means no dice on the bill. There must be an 11-9 vote at least for the legislation to move forward.
It’s obvious that we regular Alaskans don’t want this bill. It doesn’t take someone with an MBA, or a rocket scientist, or a petro-economist to know that it’s a bad idea to enter into a business transaction when you’re giving the other party billions of dollars, and they are giving you… nothing. Common sense tells you that.
Here are some ways to make that $1.3 billion a year tangible: (And remember, it will grow to $1.8 billion in five years)
That’s more money than the State of Alaska spends on education every year.
$1.3 billion is the equivalent of building 30 new schools.
It is dozens of times more money than the state spends on military and veterans affairs.
That’s more money than Alaska spends on Health and Human Services annually.
That’s two to three times more money than the State spends on transportation every year.
Is Sean Parnell planning on eliminating Alaska’s entire education, health, or transportation budget?
If not, where’s he going to get the money?
The good news is that Alaskans are miffed enough, and motivated enough to actually be calling (on the actual telephone!) their senators and telling them how they feel. So, keep it up! Working together for a common purpose is still a powerful force.
Remember that scene in Finding Nemo where all the fish were trapped in the big net? They all started swimming in the same direction as hard as they could, and after concerted efforts they were able to break free. Well, I have no idea if that can happen in real life, and I’ve looked high and low for an image of that scene, and couldn’t find it. But imagine yourself there in the net. We can turn over this boat, and its disastrous legislation before we’re trapped in a state that has basically acknowledged it’s an oil colony. We just need to swim hard, and in the same direction. It’s better than flopping around on the deck and wondering what the hell happened.
So, keep it up. If you didn’t call senators over the weekend, do it today. Send emails. If you see them wandering around Juneau, ask them in person. Make them explain to you what they will do and why. Hold them accountable for the vote they will cast. They work for YOU.
Former Aide to Governor Wally Hickel, and Senior Fellow at the Institute of the North, Malcolm Roberts recently wrote a compass piece in the Anchorage Daily News:
Alaskans struck a deal with Congress when we won statehood to own our natural resources. But the fight continues over who will benefit from their development. Gov. Sean Parnell’s Senate Bill 21 threatens to give away great value from our oil resources without guarantees that production will be increased or that the giveaway will ever be repaid.
Let your Senator know it’s time to slow down, make sure everyone understands how much could be lost and find a better solution than what is being offered. Our constitution and the deal we cut for statehood are at stake.
Here’s your targeted phone list:
Senator Click Bishop – 800-336-7383
Senator John Coghill – 877-465-3719
Senator Mike Dunleavy – 907-465-6600
Senator Fred Dyson – 800-342-2199
Senator Dennis Egan – 855-465-4947
Senator Anna Fairclough – 800-861-5688
Senator Peter Micciche – 800-964-5733
Senator Cathy Giessel – 800-892-4843
Senator Charlie Huggins – 800-862-3878
Senator Pete Kelly – 907-465-3709
Senator Lesil McGuire – 800-365-2995
Senator Kevin Meyer – 866-465-4945
Senator Donny Olson – 800-597-3707
Copy and paste this list into the “To” field on an email to reach all the senators above:
Senator.Click.Bishop@akleg.gov, Senator.Peter.Micciche@akleg.gov, Senator.Mike.Dunleavy@akleg.gov, Senator.Fred.Dyson@akleg.gov, Senator.John.Coghill@akleg.gov, Senator.Dennis.Egan@akleg.gov, Senator.Anna.Fairclough@akleg.gov, Senator.Cathy.Giessel@akleg.gov, Senator.Charlie.Huggins@akleg.gov, Senator.Pete.Kelly@akleg.gov, Senator.Lesil.McGuire@akleg.gov, Senator.Kevin.Meyer@akleg.gov, Senator.Donny.Olson@akleg.gov
Just keep swimming!