Parnell signs oil tax bill, offers $50m for ANWR study

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

May 28, 2013


By Alex Murray

JUNEAU, Alaska: After signing an overhaul of the state's oil production tax scheme into law last week, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell (R) now looks to convince his state's legislature and the federal government to fund a study that could lead to development in the Alaska Natural Wildlife Refuge.

Last Tuesday at Anchorage's Denaina Center, Parnell signed Senate Bill 21, which eliminates the previous progressive tax scheme in favor of a 35 percent base rate with a tax credit per barrel produced. Parnell and fellow supporters have argued that the law will encourage oil development in the state, while opponents say tax revenues will drop considerably with no guarantee of return, and that the law amounts to a handout for oil producers. In an op-ed piece published by the Anchorage Daily News last Thursday, Parnell cited several producers' reactions to the legislation as "positive effects." A group opposing the law, "Vote Yes, Repeal the Giveaway," has been pushing for repeal; with its petition certified last month, the group must collect 30,169 signatures by July 13 in order to have the Alaska Oil Cuts Veto Referendum placed on the 2014 primary ballot.[1][2][3][4]

Prior to signing the bill, Parnell appeared at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event via video link, proposing that the state contribute $50 million to a study determining the viability of exploration in the 1002 Area of the Alaska Natural Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), in the hopes that the federal government will also fund it. The study would last seven years, assessing seismic activity and development potential in the 1.5 million acre region. The study is said to cost $150 million in total; the private sector has also been suggested as a funding source. Parnell submitted the 187-page proposal in a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, whose department has yet to comment publicly.[5][6][7][8]

Parnell announced earlier this month that he would seek re-election in 2014.[9] Alaska is one of 24 Republican state government trifectas.

See also

Ballotpedia News