My turn: Alaskans deserve fair share of resource wealth

Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I believe the recent flyer, "Resource Review, The Tipping point," is another example of a greedy and biased group of individuals who are in the back pockets of the oil company giants, just as many of our state legislators are as proven by the recent court trials, pending trials and convictions for taking bribes to enhance oil company profits for personal gain at a great cost to all Alaskans.

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The major oil giants have been posting record quarterly profits, in billions of dollars at recent times. And now when residents of Alaska, who own the land and oil under those lands, demand their fair share of the profits the oil giants produce from those lands, the oil companies cry foul. They use the threat that increasing taxes on their profits will drive them away from exploration and production in Alaska.

Instead of truth, the individuals use fear tactics, not to benefit Alaskans but to benefit themselves and the oil companies they cozy up to.

The facts are, with the situation in the world at this time - especially in oil-producing countries such as Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia and others - oil imports to the United States will continue to dry up, especially if we continue to place sanctions on or go to war with Iran. Some oil exporters to the United States, such as Saudi Arabia, have already indicated they can decrease or stop exports of oil to the United States entirely, without loss of revenues. This could be done by selling the oil to China and other countries in that region where there is a huge demand for oil.

The drying up of imports to the United States by any of the foreign oil producing countries will require that the U.S. oil producers will have to discover and develop new fields in the United States, increasing exploration and development, not decreasing exploration and development as the propagandists now claim.

Alaska, with its huge potential oil deposits in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions, will be in the forefront of such exploration and development.

As demand for oil goes up, so will the price of oil and with that, profits for both the owners and producers will go up. Add to that a Natural Gas Pipeline through Canada to the Lower 48 states, and oil producers, Alaska and all Alaskans will reap, for decades to come, the golden harvest of these, our natural resources.

Under the statehood compact with the United States, Alaska was to get a 90-10 split of income from our natural resources. Afterwards, the United States reneged on that agreement, and Alaska settled for a 50-50 split. Let's get our fair share this time. Don't let the propagandists scare you away from receiving your fair share of your natural resource wealth.

• Frank W. Sharp is a resident of Angoon.

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