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Letter: Oil tax analysis was wrong

Posted: July 17, 2014 - 11:07pm

The “My Turn” column by Doug Reynolds, titled “Be careful what you vote for,” that ran last week had a major error. In a democratic republic, an individual or a corporation does not have to do anything unless there is a court order requiring them to do so. The oil companies simply do not have to drill or produce oil in Alaska. As with other private contracts, the consumer pays what the producer demands or they don’t get the product or service. Try telling your doctor you are only going to pay X amount for this visit. Medicare is doing that, and doctors are refusing Medicare patients. As a private business owner, if you didn’t like our fee schedule, you were perfectly free, and even encouraged, to take your business to a competitor.

Oil taxes are a government taking of part of the oil company compensation. Take too much, and your oil stays in the ground. Pay the fees and oil flows down the pipeline. Oil tax reform won’t hurt the Permanent Fund nearly as much as governmental deficit spending.

It is time to stop politicking with oil taxes and use some good old-fashioned family budgeting. We as a state can not deficit-spend forever without going bankrupt.

John D. Cooper

Juneau

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Karl Ashenbrenner
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Karl Ashenbrenner 07/18/14 - 07:06 am
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Part of the lease

agreements are requirements to develop the leases which includes producing the oil...not doing so and just sitting on leases is a favorite tactic of big oil. Until recently the State did nothing. When the Comm. of Nat. Resources finally went after Exxon to take away the Pt Thomson leases for non compliance, Exxon screamed bloody murder but started work on the lease area...Commissioner Irwin was subsequently forced out for the egregious act of forcing an oil company to meet their lease requirement. There are mechanisms to make oil companies produce oil up to and including the final step...government takeover. It is time that Alaska and Alaskans step up to the plate and demand what is our due, not the crumbs the multinationals want to give us.

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