Parnell Gives State of the State
Oil & gas taxes primary topic
Governor Sean Parnell Wednesday night declared that the legislative session now under way will be “one of the most consequential in our state’s history.”
Parnell’s State of the State address to the legislature covered a range of topics, but it’s not surprise that resource development issues were the major focal point.
The governor said the current state of the state is good, with Alaska experiencing unemployment numbers and mortgage foreclosure rates well below the national average.
But, he said the relative prosperity won’t last unless petroleum production is increased. To that end, he said the in the past 24 hours he’d resumed talks with the CEOs of the three major North Slope producers, calling on them to move forward with a project for exports of liquefied natural gas to Asia.
And, as expected, the governor called on lawmakers to lower oil production taxes as a means of attracting more industry investment and ultimately an increase in production.
One related fight that’s brewing comes with a bill by Senate Finance Co-Chair Bert Stedman to decouple the taxation of oil from the taxation of gas before gas goes in a pipeline.
Parnell opposed that measure two years ago and vetoed it, saying it amounted to a big tax increase.