Alaska editorial: Not the time to bluff on oil tax rates in Alaska Hold 'Em

Posted: Thursday, March 02, 2006

The following editorial appeared in the Peninsula Clarion:

Trying to determine a fair oil tax plan between the governor, the oil companies and the Legislature is a lot like a game of Alaska Hold 'Em.

The administration is betting on future developments and the natural gas pipeline occurring with the next card turned. The oil companies are all in for a 20 percent tax on net profits, and the Legislature is holding a pair of threes and contemplating bluffing.

The very future of resource development in our state is the pot. Millions upon millions of tax dollars to the state is on the table.

This is not the time to bluff. This is a time to act.

The state needs a new oil production tax plan now.

We urge the legislators to work with the administration to get the oil tax bill approved so a gas contract can be signed and sent to the Legislature.

We concur with Congressman Don Young, who encouraged state lawmakers to move toward approving both measures.

"I'm hoping the legislative body will take the opportunity and really give it a chance," Young said. "This nation needs that gas line."

So do we congressman, so do we.

After all, 20 percent of billions of dollars is worth more than 30 percent of nothing.

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