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May 18, 2021

Rep. Olson: Exxon Got a Bad Rap

Last week Exxon went to Juneau. Not just to lobby, but to appear for questioning at a hearing. The company has long kept a low profile in Alaska. Why? Maybe because its front men would rather not run into any of those Alaskans who waited 20 years for their 10 cents on the dollar.   And what would legislators want to ask the company that sat on its Point Thompson leases for three decades — until the state finally tried to take them back? Maybe some tough questions about how to incentivize oil production, and what specific projects would come…

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Alaska’s Founding Father on Big Oil

On Thursday, rallies were held across the state to protest the legislature’s impending giveaway of billions of dollars from Alaska’s coffers to the wealthiest corporations in history with no strings attached. Speeches were given by many people, but perhaps the most important was that of Vic Fischer, one of Alaska’s original Constitutional delegates. Having Vic Fischer here is like being able to ask Thomas Jefferson or John Adams about the Constitution. He addressed a large crowd in the chill of downtown Anchorage, in front of the Legislative Information Office. He was asked if he was freezing to death in the…

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Repeat after me. “North Dakota!”

Alaska Robotics created a couple minutes of awesome when they interviewed Governor Sean Parnell about his oil tax plan. Who’s that shadowy figure behind Flat Sean, and what the heck happened to his jaw?

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Palin Fiddles While Alaska Burns

Former half-term governor Sarah Palin marches ever-onward toward becoming the Don Rickles of the conservative right. It’s a lofty goal with plenty of competition. Alaskans will remember that even back when Palin was governor, she was never happier than when she was mocking and deriding the Republican establishment. In her home town of Wasilla, it was then Senate President Lyda Green. Later she graduated to throwing tomatoes at Governor Frank Murkowski. Several of those tomatoes were direct hits, resulting in her ascension to the Governor’s Mansion. She was also the presence behind the scenes of an attempted but failed Republican…

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The Conoco Coup

Pick. Click. Giveaway. We’ve all heard the ads, “ConocoPhillips: Alaska’s Oil And Gas Company.” They should change that to “Alaska: An Oil Colony of ConocoPhillips, BP and Exxon.” Fifty-five years ago Alaskans voted for statehood. We were tired of Outside corporations dominating our fisheries at the expense of Alaskans. It looks like we need to wage that fight once again as large Outside companies – this time oil companies – have taken over our government in a nonviolent, post Citizens United coup. Former ConocoPhillips lobbyist Sean Parnell runs our executive branch. He’s the guy who also worked for the law…

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What You Can Do About SB21

The Republican-dominated Senate just voted to give Alaska’s future away. So, what are you going to do now? Disneyland? Wrong answer. The savings that Alaska has accrued from it’s oil tax revenue will now go straight into the pockets of the most profitable corporations in the history of the world. We have no guarantees of any increased oil production, jobs, or exploration. History tells us we won’t get any of it. For a summary of what happened, with quotes and video clips of important moments, click HERE. Nine senators (7 Democrats and 2 Republicans) stood up for you, and withstood…

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Senate Votes to Give Big Oil Billions

Here’s your highlight reel from the Senate oil tax debate. Late Wednesday night the Alaska State Senate voted 11-9 to give billions from the state treasury to the oil industry. A 10-10 vote would have killed the bill. Amendments and debate took all day, and went well into the night. The bottom line is that the senate voted to give away the farm, in exchange for nothing. No increased promise of production, exploration, or jobs. It might incentivize them to do something though. Magically. If we’re lucky. That’s the argument of the 11 Senators who voted for this historically bad…

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A Letter to the Legislature

The Alaska State Senate is about to reconvene on the matter of the governor’s oil tax giveaway. Earlier in the day a series of amendments from Democratic legislators was shot down by the Republican controlled body.  As we prepare for a potential final vote in the Senate, a letter to the legislature was sent from former First Lady Bella Hammond, and a series of former legislators and political leaders in the state. March 20, 2013 Dear Senate President Huggins, Speaker Chenault, and Members of the State Legislature, We are writing with respect to Senate Bill 21 and proposed changes to…

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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…

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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…

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