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June 17, 2021

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The View from Juneau

An old saying goes something like this, “We hate in others what we hate in ourselves.” I don’t think I’ve seen a better example of that than this 28th legislative session. I flew to Juneau to watch the last days of the session for myself. Home in Anchorage, I spend a remarkable amount of time watching Gavel to Gavel – I even Tivo it. But the cameras don’t show what’s really going on in the Capitol, restaurants and bars; they don’t show the lobbyists following lawmakers into the bathroom or to the smoking porch. (I have to wonder whether the…

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…

4/4 Statewide Backbone Rallies

Backbone calls on Alaskans to show their support for getting a fair return for Alaska’s oil resources, owned in common by all Alaskans, by attending rallies on Thursday, April 4th at noon all across Alaska. When: Thursday, April 4, at noon Where: Juneau: On the Capitol Steps Anchorage: At the Anchorage LIO – 716 W 4th Ave Fairbanks: Veterans’ Memorial Park – 700 Cushman St.

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…

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…

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…

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…

Oil Taxes on the Table Monday

This is it, everyone. It all comes down to this weekend. The Senate is likely to vote on the historic oil wealth giveaway this Monday. It is time to stand up for Alaska’s future. You have homework. Alaska owns its oil. That means YOU own YOUR oil, and the wealth it provides your state. Where you put your money is squarely where your values are. Do you want money for schools, for roads, for infrastructure and for jobs, or do you want your money to fill the bulging pockets of the wealthiest multinational corporations in the history of the world?…

Former First Lady Smacks Down Gov’s Oil Tax Plan

Today former Governor Jay Hammond’s widow Bella and his daughter Heidi Hammond have called for a TV ad from a group calling themselves “Resource Full Alaska” exploiting Jay Hammond to be stopped immediately. The ad has the brass cojones to compare Jay Hammond, arguably Alaska’s most popular former governor, to its current oil shill CEO Sean Parnell. The ad calls on the legislature to pass Parnell’s oil tax plan which would drain the state’s coffers to the tune of $2 billion a year. “I was never consulted about this television ad,” said the former First Lady. “Jay Hammond never would…

Sunday Pizza & Petroleum

By Rep. Les Gara This Sunday from Noon until 2:00, Senator Ellis and I will be in Anchorage if you’d like to hear a legislative update, and share your thoughts and concerns. Or you can pretend that’s why you’re coming, bring your kids, and eat free pizza. We’d be honored if you came for any of the above reasons, and be honored to feed your kids and grandkids. Here is the low cost – like free – video invite Johnny and I put together. It’s amazing. No, it’s actually just OK. But we’re almost proud of it. Please share it…