Rep. Les Gara

Companies Continue to Mislead On August Election Issue

June 4, 2014

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.

Chart thumbnailProduction went down last year, and is projected to fall by over 40% by 2024.  A bi-partisan group of legislators, Former First Lady Bella Hammond, Constitutional Delegate Vic Fischer and two of the three major Governor’s candidates support SB 21’s repeal.  Those production decline numbers come from the Governor’s own Department of Revenue (April, 2014) and Office of Management and Budget (February, 2014). See links below.

“You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.  Every state forecast shows oil production will continue to steeply decline, even more sharply under SB 21 than under the previous law,” Gara said. Parnell’s Department of Revenue concedes production will fall from over 500,000 barrels a day today to roughly 300,000 barrels by 2023 under the new law the oil companies are promoting as creating ‘more production,’” Gara said. See here.

The Facts:  Twice a year, the State of Alaska publishes projections of long-term oil production, using forecasting methodology presented to legislators as the most accurate possible. A chart using the state’s own 2014 forecasted production numbers shows a massive production decline under SB 21.

Commercials defending SB 21 claim increased production as an established fact.  One radio ad says, “…more oil’s a good thing, it’s just good for businesses…  …Top contributors are BP Anchorage, Alaska, Exxon Mobil, Anchorage, Alaska, and ConocoPhillips, Anchorage Alaska.”

In its April, 2014 Revenue Sourcebook, the State of Alaska predicts North Slope oil production under SB 21 will fall 40%, from 521,800 barrels in 2014 to 315,000 in 2023. The state’s Office of Management and Budget further predicts production will fall another 30,000 barrels a day to 285,000 barrels by 2024.

Using the same forecasting methodology, the state also predicted more oil under ACES, the law SB 21 replaced in 2013.  Under its last forecast under ACES in the Spring, 2013 Revenue Sourcebook (before SB 21 passed), more oil was expected in 2014. In that report’s furthest year ahead, 2022, more oil was forecast under ACES than under SB 21.



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