The plan was introduced by Gov. Sean Parnell, and it comes in response to the closure of the Flint Hills oil refinery. It originally applied to the Petro Star refineries in Valdez and North Pole and the Tesoro refinery in Kenai, but was amended yesterday to include the shuttered Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski.
The bill allows each of those facilities to secure an tax credit or payment of $10 million a year if they spend $25 million on tangible assets.
Supporters of the bill argue it’s necessary to keep the refineries running because of the jobs they provide and their importance to the state’s military bases. But some Democrats have characterized the bill as a bailout, and they unsuccessfully tried amending the bill so that the money would be given out as loans instead.
The bill passed today on a 35-5 vote. Anchorage Democrats Les Gara, Harriet Drummond, and Andy Josephson opposed the bill, along with Juneau Democrat Sam Kito III and Eagle River Republican Lora Reinbold. It still needs to be approved by the Senate.
- Between decommissioned defense sites and contaminated currents, the Bering Strait Region is particularly vulnerable to toxic pollution.
- The Tlingit-Haida Central Council, Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal organization, wants to expand its programs through profits from a business it’s buying.
- But in some cases, like the Kensington Mine, it’s too late.
- While “Annapurna” officially opens Friday at Perseverance Theatre, you can catch pay-as-you-can previews Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.