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May 16, 2021

The Silver Lining on Prop 1

Congratulations, Alaska! Thirty-one percent of registered voters decided for 100 percent of us what is “best for Alaska” in an election this week. Last week I knew we were in trouble when employees of oil companies were bussed to the early polls. Buses with gift baskets and snacks. Must be nice. The election worker balked when I asked for a Republican ballot. I smiled. I voted. Voting early on Tuesday, I drove into town and kept seeing signs made of bed sheets on the overpasses. One in particular got to me. It was the eight gold stars with “Vote Yes”…

The Oily Facts on Prop 1

By Peter Blanas Alaskans understand that oil is the economic cornerstone of our state. Alaskans are right to be concerned, that we have a healthy and productive oil and support industry. It’s also understood that the extraction of oil in the Arctic, is very difficult and expensive, and should come with a good return on investment. We want the industry to earn a healthy profit, along with Alaska, the resource owner. First, a look backward: Oil began flowing down the pipeline from the North Slope in 1977. Daily production peaked in 1988, at just over 2 million barrels a day,…

Palin Slams GOP Successor in Alaska

Hey, Alaska! Sarah Palin is back. She left our state’s politics in the dust after quitting office in 2009, but yesterday she returned to her favorite local media platform—The Bob & Mark Radio Show—to slam her successor and one-time Lt. Governor, Republican Sean Parnell. The bone she had to pick with him relates to her signature legislation as governor, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES). The oil tax system that ushered Alaska’s bank account into golden days of plenty, with a savings of more than $17 billion, ACES funded subsequent investments in roads, schools, and critical infrastructure projects. Under ACES,…

Why Big Oil Fears This Man (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW)

More than 50,000 signatures were gathered in the effort to put the question of repealing SB21 on the ballot in August of 2014. The massive no-strings-attached giveaway to big oil companies will drain Alaska’s coffers into the bank accounts of the wealthiest multinational corporations in the history of the world. Alaska gets nothing – no commitment to exploration, production increases, or jobs. We do get to sacrifice the future of education, infrastructure projects, parks, public safety, and other critical needs. It’s not much of a deal. And yet, the Parnell administration and most Republicans in the legislature voted for it,…

1 Simple Act You Can Do to Save Alaska

On this day when even the most ardent curmudgeon can’t help but feel a little patriotic stirring, even if it’s only for what has been… or what might yet be, you have something to do, Alaskans. Santa says. And so does this guy.   Yes, I am talking to YOU. NOW. This is the last week to sign the petition to repeal the most devastating legislation Alaska has ever seen – Senate Bill 21 (SB21). You don’t have to think of him as Uncle Sam. He can be Uncle Jay (Hammond), or Uncle Wally (Hickel), or Uncle Bob (Bartlett), or…

Parnell Signs SB21 While Protesters Gather

Inside, former ConocoPhillips lobbyist and current Gov.  Sean Parnell was signing away billions of dollars of Alaska’s oil wealth to BP, Exxon, and ConocoPhillips. He was handing them new roads and road improvements, he handed them schools, he handed them public safety officers, and bridges. And in return, we get nothing. Outside, a crowd gathered during their lunch hour to protest the action. The Republicans who backed the Governor’s giveaway either tried to rush through the crowd without making eye contact , or they entered the lobby of the Dena’ina Center from the other side. It was a parade –…

French, Gara Collect Signatures for SB21 Repeal

  Senator Hollis French, and Rep. Les Gara will be gathering signatures on the “Repeal the Oil Wealth Giveaway” referendum Friday, May 10th from 12-1pm at the Barnes and Noble on Northern Lights Blvd in Anchorage. “Reversing the $1-2 billion giveaway will give us the chance to write a better law. Alaskans want a law that encourages production and does not take Alaska off the fiscal cliff,” said Representative Gara. Democratic Legislators offered a tax solution that would have required investment in Alaska, and increased production from companies to qualify for tax breaks. The Republicans’ idea, SB 21, gives billions…

SB21 Repeal Referendum Certified!

After taking the maximum allowable time under the law (go figure), Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell certified the application for a referendum petition filed last week by Vote Yes – Repeal the Giveaway, a grassroots Alaskan group formed to challenge the controversial new law known as Senate Bill 21.  The certification allows a signature drive to move forward to put this oil wealth giveaway to a vote of the people in 2014.  The group is now waiting for petition booklets from the state. SB 21 dramatically lowers Alaskans’ oil income, transferring billions of dollars from resource owners to multinational oil companies.  It…

Parnell Withholds Oil Tax Information

  Sean Parnell got his wish for a Republican-controlled state senate this time. Last session, the bipartisan coalition prevented the massive $2 billion a year no-strings-attached oil wealth giveaway. This time, preventing our coffers from being drained into the pockets of the world’s most profitable multi-national corporations will require even more effort from Democratic legislators, fiscally responsible Republicans, and Alaskans themselves. Doing his part, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) today called on Gov. Sean Parnell to release information he has withheld regarding his proposed oil tax legislation. Two weeks ago Gara filed a public records request for important oil tax information…

New Oil Rigs Shipped to Alaska Cause Pants to Ignite!

~Shiny new oil rigs bound for Prudhoe Bay, Alaska If you listen to the oil companies, their lobbyists, and the cadre of legislators and elected officials they’ve purchased over the years, you’d think it’s the end of the world. They run in circles, hair on fire, rending garments, pounding their own foreheads with their palms and wailing, “Nobody wants to invest in Alaska anymore! It’s too hard! We’re too regressive! The poor oil companies can’t make a living! They’re going to go somewhere else if we don’t give them everything they want! Aaaaaaaa!” It’s an ugly sight. First, of course,…