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My Turn: Unite for a bright Alaskan future

Posted: April 16, 2011 - 10:26pm

Alaska remains full of opportunity and promise. From the very first Native Alaskans to all the citizens who live and work in the state today, Alaska’s challenges have been met by those willing to look beyond the horizon.

Despite challenging environmental conditions, Alaska has achieved a remarkable and enviable position in the world by responsibly developing its natural resources — hard work that has fueled an engine of progress for the state and its people. Today, Alaska’s oil and gas production accounts for more than 34,000 jobs across the state and nearly 90 percent of its general revenue.

Unfortunately, the engine is not firing on all cylinders.

Since 2007, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) tax regime has failed to be either clear or equitable. Under ACES, nearly every measure of progress has declined, including investments and production.

And as oil volumes flowing through the TransAlaska Pipeline (TAPS) continue to decline, the engine of progress is in very real danger of stalling.

Gov. Sean Parnell has recognized the detrimental effect of ACES on Alaska’s future and is leading real changes to improve the state’s competitiveness. His proposals offer an important step in the right direction toward a brighter economic future for Alaska. It is our firm belief that passage of the governor’s proposed changes to ACES, in its current form, will support additional investments in Alaska that will lead to greater development and production.

Over the past several weeks there has been much discussion regarding Parnell’s ideas for ACES reform. Most of the talk has focused on winners and losers in the near-term. In fact, the governor is looking beyond the horizon to long-term solutions in which everyone wins.

ExxonMobil is committed to Alaska’s future. We have worked here for more than 90 years, investing more than $12 billion to date and providing jobs for Alaskans. Currently, we are working with the state to bring the Point Thomson Project on line to produce additional oil and gas volumes in the near term. Going forward, we have joined with TransCanada to help bring a new gas pipeline to Alaska. Progressing these multi-billion dollar projects underscores ExxonMobil’s continued commitment to Alaska.

Parnell’s proposal provides a foundation to build on the opportunity and promise of the state’s vast natural resources and the indomitable spirit of its people.

Whether you are a proponent or critic of ACES reform, we all seek the same goal — a strong and prosperous Alaska. We encourage all state legislators to work together to provide industry with an investment environment that will help secure a promising future for the people of Alaska.

• Kruger is president of the ExxonMobil Production Company.

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