Oil overshadowing issue in state Senate races
The debate over oil overshadows all other issues in the fight for control of the Alaska Senate.
The 20-member Senate is ruled by a coalition of 10 Democrats and six Republicans. Some GOP leaders, including Gov. Sean Parnell, want this alliance to end. For two years, the coalition has foiled Parnell’s attempts to lower taxes on the oil industry.
Parnell has argued that lower taxes will lead to more oil production. But critics consider his plan a massive corporate handout with no guarantee that companies will invest more here.
No one in the Legislature has argued with the desire to see more oil flowing through the trans-Alaska pipeline. The debate centers on how best to achieve that goal.
At least 16 Senate seats are up for grabs Nov. 6.