The Palin family's 16-year friends and now sole supporters on the Alaskan airwaves - Bob and Mark - yesterday devoted over a half hour of their show to Gov. Parnell's naked attempts to undermine and undo Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share (ACES), which is one of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's signature accomplishments.
ACES is a graduated tax system, whereby taxes on oil and gas revenues increase as the value of the resource increases - in the case of oil above $52 per barrel. A portion of this money goes into state savings and another portion is distributed to all Alaskans via the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). Another point often missed when discussing ACES is that it contains a built-in incentive to explore and drill new fields by levying little or no tax when these operations are being conducted. Tax credits are given to develop new infrastructure and reinvest in existing infrastructure.
ACES was developed with strong bi-partisan support to supplant the Petroleum Profits Tax. Governor Palin signed ACES into law on December 19, 2007. It is one of her signature accomplishments.
Gov. Parnell made a prior attempt to scuttle ACES during last year's legislative session. Despite his attempts to extort passage of the repeal, the attempt died in the Alaskan State Senate. Governor Parnell - who literally thinks Alaskans and the state surplus are benefiting too much from ACES - is gearing up for another attempt in this year's legislative session according to Bob and Mark. HB 110 has been introduced and Gov. Parnell - who Bob and Mark refer to as "Gov. Jellyfish" - used his State of the State address as a bully pulpit to push the bill's passage in this year's legislative session.
On April 7, 2011 Gov. Parnell bizarrely asked, “Really, how much [money] is enough?” referring to the money going into Alaska’s state surplus from taxes on oil and gas revenues derived from ACES.
Yes, unlike most other states in the union, thanks to Gov. Parnell's predecessor - Sarah Palin - Alaska has a surplus. In Bizarre: AK Gov. Parnell asks "How much $ is Enough" for Surplus, I wrote:
He operates on the fanciful notion that by doing away with ACES, the top three oil companies will drill and explore in Alaska. Those shilling for the oil companies rail about what a “horrible” place Alaska is to do business, yet Alaska has some of the lowest taxes and much better working conditions than most of the nations these companies find preferable. Since ACES became law in 2007, Alaska has seen an increase in the amount of energy industry jobs....Bob and Mark noted that by Alaska's State Constitution, its citizens - not the oil companies - own the oil, gas, and mineral deposits. ACES ensures that the state, and its citizens benefit from the resources they own. The oil companies are levied a tax that is fair and despite what Gov. Parnell and other shills say, Alaska is a very profitable place for them to do business.
Gov. Parnell - who US for Palin supported under the mistaken notion that he would continue the Palin mandate - wants to forgo an estimated $8 billion in guaranteed income over five years on the fantasy that big oil companies will ramp up exploration. Meanwhile, the small independent operators who want to drill then ship through the pipeline are charged prohibitive tariffs by the pipeline owners - the big three oil companies.
Even Hollis French, a Democrat Alaska State Senator - who post-August 2008 was no friend of Gov. Palin - said the state needs to "tie tax relief to more investment."
Gov. Parnell and those advocating HB-110 want to give the oil companies something for nothing. ACES gives Alaskans something based on something they own.
"ACES works, it's been working, and will continue to work," Bob and Mark said.