Don't understand oil deal

Posted: Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Governor Murkowski has stated numerous times that resource development will solve our budget crisis. If that is so, I do not understand why senators Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski added an amendment to the National Energy Bill that will eliminate both the federal and state payment of oil royalties from any oil coming out of NPR-A. Gov. Murkowski endorsed this in writing according to the Nov. 15 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. This was also stated on national radio as one of the numerous giveaways to big oil. We are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars that rightfully belongs to the people of the state of Alaska and also to the federal government. This provision will allow the oil companies free oil at our expense.

By agreeing not to charge the oil companies anything, senators Stevens and Murkowski, and Gov. Murkowski, are robbing you and your children of future royalties that go into the Permanent Fund and come out as dividends. Oil royalties keep the state operating. We all realize that we are in a budget crisis, so why did our governor and congressional delegation give our main source of revenue away for free?

If (and I hope it will not pass) the energy bill is approved, the news headlines should read; "Oil companies get free oil: Big Oil - $hundreds of millions; Alaska citizens - $0." We should demand an explanation as to why the people have lost hundreds of millions of dollars that are rightfully ours and our children's. I encourage everyone to write Ted Stevens, Lisa Murkowski and Frank Murkowski for a truthful answer. The number of jobs created will in no way get close to the amount of money that has just been stolen from you and your children. This is especially true since a portion of the workers will probably be non-residents and, as we do not pay any state income taxes, this will not give any revenue to the state. This is not a jobs issue, it is robbery and a giveaway to companies that are having record profits. How do you like getting robbed of hundreds of millions of dollars by your elected legislators?

Bill Kopplin


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