A new non-partisan group seeking repeal of an oil tax cut has filed an application with the Division of Elections to begin a petition drive.
Prime sponsors of the referendum are former state Sen. Vic Fischer, former Alaska First Lady Bella Hammond, and former Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor and state Rep. Jim Whitaker.
They call the tax changes made by the state legislature a massive giveaway that will benefit major oil companies and hurt Alaskans.
Fischer was member of Alaska’s Constitutional Convention 57 years ago. He says the tax break is unconstitutional and lawmakers have an obligation to manage Alaska’s resources for the maximum benefit of Alaskans, not oil company shareholders.
The group has 90 days to collect 30,000 signatures of registered voters to get the initiative on the 2014 primary ballot.
Meanwhile, Gov. Sean Parnell says ConocoPhillips’ announcement that it will bring an additional rig to Kuparuk this spring is the first step to “an Alaska oil comeback.”
ConocoPhillips said Wednesday it will work with other owners on funding for a new drill site on the Kuparuk River Field. The company credits the decision on the legislature’s decision to reduce oil industry taxes.
- Kenneth Manzanares, 39, is charged by a federal grand jury with one count of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Kristy Manzanares, also 39, aboard the Emerald Princess cruise ship in Southeast Alaska.
- The federal government is moving forward with its review of Hilcorp's proposal to drill offshore for oil in the Arctic.
- A series of promising oil discoveries and a recent move by the Trump administration mean the vast, remote National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is about to get a lot more controversial.
- Details are emerging slowly on the fire at the Peter Pan Seafoods processing plant in Port Moller. The 100-year-old plant caught fire late Tuesday night, and the blaze continued to burn Wednesday. The full scope of the damage is still unclear, but witnesses say it is extensive.