Dems Denounce GOP “Crap Shoot”
Welcome to the day of reckoning.
Monday came and went without a vote on SB21, the highly controversial oil tax bill in which the governor and the governor’s hench-legislators would like us to give away almost $2 billion a year to Big Oil in exchange for … nothing. You know, just to be nice, so that then they might decide to be nice to us. If they want. No pressure.
The vote is scheduled to happen Wednesday, and Democratic members of the Alaskan Senate say they remain hopeful a series of amendments can prevent Alaska from falling off its very own “fiscal cliff” that will lead inevitably to massive deficits, with no commitments from the oil industry to raise production levels or increase Alaska hire.
“Alaskans elected us to make a good business deal for them. The Governor’s giveaway in Senate Bill 21 was described as a “crapshoot” by a key supporter. We categorically reject that. We won’t support the sacrifice of our schools, roads, and public safety and the 17 billion dollars we fought so hard to save without solid commitments from the industry to drill in Alaska, rather than use our money to drill overseas,” said Senator Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage), that crazy radical. He’s so demanding.
The “key supporter” is Senate Finance Co-Chair Kevin Meyer of South Anchorage who also happens to work for… (wait for it)… ConocoPhillips!
“We have had zero audits under ACES. We have no information on capital credits except the two anecdotes from the Governor. The Legislature is being asked to rubber stamp a rush job,” stated Senator Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage).
So, when SB21 does come up for a vote, Senate Democratic legislators plan to offer several amendments to retain Alaska’s share of windfall profits, correct deficiencies in audit requirements, and directly tie any tax reductions to increased production.
“As it stands now, Senate Bill 21 cheats the future. I maintain hope tomorrow my colleagues will join together as we have in previous years to stand up for Alaska. We can make this really bad piece of legislation better or failing that, vote it down,” stated Senator Hollis French (D-Anchorage).
“During the last election every candidate stated they would not give away billions with no strings attached. Tomorrow we will find out who keeps their promises to the people of Alaska and who caves to the pressure of the oil industry, against the interests of Alaska, because that is exactly what Senate Bill 21 does,” said Senator Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage).