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My Turn: Too much money… oh dear!

Posted: December 23, 2011 - 1:02am

Gov. Sean Parnell’s reasoning to cut oil taxes lacks substance. First he said we have been losing jobs, but when Department of Labor & Workforce Development found that to be false he searched for some other excuse.

He’s now concerned that oil production is declining.

Well, lowering taxes won’t change that, especially since ACES encourages new production. Let’s profit from record high taxes along with the oil companies while we have a chance.

We can invest our surpluses in developing our next big industry: renewable energy.

If we invest wisely and move forward quickly, this emerging industry can take over as our financial lifeblood and fund our state indefinitely.

Anyone who has seen “The Renewable Energy Atlas of Alaska” created by Alaska Energy Authority and Renewable Energy Alaska Project realizes that Alaska is the “Saudi Arabia” of renewable energy and the time is now to ramp-up its development.

So why is Parnell trying to cut oil taxes after his predecessor and the Legislature worked so hard to find a fair and effective tax structure that was supposed to finally settle the uncertainty the oil companies had about the Alaska tax structure?

ACES has brought billions of extra dollars into the state coffers during the short time it has been in place. Well, methinks he has aspirations about his future after we retire him from his current job as governor.

Since his arguments hold no water, that is the only conclusion I can come up with. Anyone out there have a better idea?

Parnell seems dogged in his attempts to help large corporations to the detriment of the Alaskan people, as he was with the cruise ship tax, but I trust our legislators to hold fast against him.

I feel confident that Rep. Beth Kerttula and Sen. Dennis Egan will do all they can to keep ACES intact. I certainly hope Rep. Cathy Muñoz realizes her mistake in supporting Parnell’s proposed tax cuts last year and joins with the rest of our Juneau delegation.

Alaskans, pay attention to the governor’s shell game, as we have billions and billions of dollars and our very future at stake.

• Stewart is a business advisor and managing member of Business Works LLC.

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