Letter: Oil not 'worth a nickel' if it stays in the ground

This is in response to Rich Moniaks opinion piece on Feb. 5 in the Juneau Empire regarding SB 21 and ACES.

Proposition 1 does not create another discussion about oil taxes, but instead takes Alaska back to the failed ACES tax policy. ACES would be bringing less money to the State right now if it weren’t for SB 21 being put into place a month ago. Also, ACES was not a bracketed system; it was a progressive system, which is significantly different than the bracketed individual taxpayers income tax system as suggested by Mr. Moniak.

This issue was part of the debate and discussion that the Legislature deliberated and took testimony on and ultimately decided that ACES was flawed and that SB21 was the best solution going forward for Alaska.

I have heard both sides of the argument and I feel that this is of such importance to our state that the voters really need to get past the sound bites and comments that SB 21 “is just a giveaway to the oil industry.” It is a complex topic, and I don’t claim to be an expert on oil taxes, but in my opinion if we don’t have the incentives for industry to invest in Alaska the pipeline will dry up and all that oil in the ground won’t be worth a nickel to our economy. And it won’t be able to fund the vast majority of the state’s budget for the services and infrastructure we currently enjoy.

I agree with Mr. Moniak’s closing statement that “it’s still our oil,” but there is zero value to Alaska if we can’t get it out of the ground and to the markets.

Industry will choose to go to states and countries where they can find stability and certainty with their expenditures; SB21 will go a long ways to encouraging them to choose Alaska to develop our natural resources.

I will be voting NO to Proposition 1, as I feel it is the best choice for our future and the future of our kids and grandkids.

Scott Spickler

Juneau

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