Rep. Guttenberg’s Newsletter: Oil, Guns and Medicaid Reform

Tomorrow is the last day of the regular session and the house is moving legislation that was previously put on hold to prioritize the budget. HB 247, Oil and Gas Tax Credits, passed out of Finance Committee and made its way to the floor where it was then sent back to the Rules Committee.

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Rep. Guttenberg’s Newsletter: Interior Fire Chiefs, Fox Spring & Oil/Gas Credits

As session progresses and the legislature starts to examine the Governor’s proposed New Sustainable Alaska Plan, I am meeting with individuals and organizations from across the state to chat about what’s important. With so many proposed cuts, it’s imperative that we take the time to consider the role of government in Alaska in order to prevent a recession. Simply cutting our way out of the budget deficit is unrealistic and would harm the economy.

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News: Rep. Gara’s Public Comments Detail Potentially Excessive Tax Breaks for a Company Seeking “Royalty Relief”

Anchorage – On Monday, Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage) filed detailed public comments showing the Nuna oilfield will receive significant, and possibly excessive, tax breaks under little-known provisions in S.B. 21. The Parnell Administration, in its waning two weeks, proposed a roughly $40 million reduction in the royalties Nuna’s current owner, Caelus Energy, would owe Alaskans. The Parnell Administration proposed to change the field’s existing lease terms to include additional revenue reductions at a time Alaska is facing a $3 billion budget deficit.

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NEWS: Near Zero Value Nuna Oilfield Deal Challenged by Rep. Gara

Anchorage – Thursday, Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) asked the Parnell Administration to hold off on a controversial proposal for tens of millions of dollars in additional tax reductions on a North Slope oilfield. Last week Governor Parnell’s Commissioner of Natural Resources announced his proposal to reduce the 12.5% royalty on the Nuna oilfield by over 50%.

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NEWS: OIL COMPANIES REFUSE TO PULL FALSE RADIO, TV ADS

Anchorage – Last week Representative Les Gara (D, Anchorage) wrote oil companies calling on them to pull radio and TV campaign ads they are funding, falsely implying oil production is going up under the 2013 oil tax law they are campaigning for. ConocoPhillips responded directly, refusing to stop the deception. The other three have not yet replied. “Oil companies should level with voters, not mislead them,” Gara said. 

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Rep. Kreiss-Tomkins’ Newsletter: What are those yahoos in Juneau up to now?

Like a good story, most legislative sessions have a narrative. Last session’s narrative was simple and wholesome: the passage of a multi-billion dollar tax cut for oil companies. And by golly, we got the job done with SB 21, which passed the Senate 11-9, and fulfilled its unfortunate destiny by a vote of 27-12 on the floor of the House of Representatives at 2:07 a.m. in the wee hours of April 14, 2013. (I was among the dozen dissenters.)

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Note from Rep. Gara: Oil Tax Rollbaack: Documents Undermine “Million Barrels a Day” Promise

When does 370,000 equal 1 million? Only in politics.

Last year, to get the votes to roll back Alaska oil revenue by over $12 billion in the next decade, the Governor told voters they could expect a 100% increase in production by 2023 to “1 million barrels” of oil a day. Nice sound bite. Not accurate.

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Note from Rep. Gara: Education Pressure Working? Silenced Experts & Not All Gas Pipelines Are the Same

Dear Neighbors,

Earlier this week I woke up to killer whales in the Gastineau Channel. At first I thought that could be a bad omen. Then I thought, “I could use some cereal.” That’s just how you have to roll in this job. You do what you can, work harder than you want to give yourself the best chance to make a difference, look at the killer whales, forget them and move on.

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