As Alaska's Legislative Session goes into full swing, Amanda Coyne of the Alaska Dispatch busted six myths that pertain to Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share (ACES). US for Palin has discussed ACES several times over the past year, starting during last year's session when Gov. Parnell tried to have ACES repealed. At that time, he went on record bizarrely asking the Alaskan people "how much is too much?" regarding revenues collected under ACES. Under Alaska's State Constitution, the people - not corporations - own all of the state's mineral and energy resources. Gov. Parnell, and special interest groups such as "Make Alaska Competitive" (MAC) failed in their designs on ACES last year and are trying this year again to have it repealed.
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.
In her first of two articles, Coyne debunks the following myths:
- "Oil companies are always reliable business partners." - Coyne delineated several examples where the opposite is in fact true.
- "Alaska oil companies are taxed 80 to 90 percent" - This whopper of a fish tale is put out by MAC. Coyne delineated the actual amount. It's 39%.
- "North Dakota is so much rosier than Alaska" - Some will cite North Dakota's 11%, which in reality is 13%. But, they fail to account for the 20% take that private landowners get from the oil companies in North Dakota, resulting in a rate that is comparable with Alaksa's.
- "Jobs in droves are heading south" - Coyne points out how in Alaska's energy sector, "hiring has reached record levels - an all-time high."
- "The pipeline is running dry" - Coyne provides all the different dire predictions about when the Tans-Alaska Pipeline is to run dry - almost always within the next five to 10 years. The actual time is closer to 2068.
- "Alaska is running out of oil" - a corollary to the the pipeline myth, the bottom line is Alaska will not run out of oil for a long time.
ACES works and should be left alone. Alaskans are encouraged to write, fax, or call their State Representatives and state Senators and have them Vote NO on HB-110.
H/T Ian Lazaran, Conservatives4Palin.