The Senate’s bi-partisan coalition is writing its own bill to counter Gov. Sean Parnell’s proposal to reduce Alaska’s oil revenue by giving producers major tax breaks. Stevens says the Senate Resources Committee version will be drafted in about a week and a half.
Fairbanks Democrat Joe Paskvan – co-chair of the committee – says the legislation will treat Alaska as an “owner state.”
“You know we are different than most other jurisdictions in the United States and we need to act like a sophisticated owner with a world class resource,” Paskvan told reporters Thursday.
While details are scarce, the bill will include a progressive surcharge and tax credits.
Senators say they’ve been discussing their approach with the Parnell administration and the promise of more oil industry jobs for Alaskans may help bridge the gap between the two sides.
Parnell’s House Bill 110 passed the House last session, but the Senate refused to move it, asking for more and better information on the need to reduce oil taxes.
A report commissioned by the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee, chaired by Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, indicates the administration exaggerated when it claimed oil industry jobs were being shipped out of Alaska to other oil-rich states.
According to the McDowell Group report, average annual employment on Alaska’s North Slope reached a 20-year high in 2010.
- Tribal groups from opposite ends of the state have formed an alliance to fight mines they say threaten traditional fisheries.
- The deadline for bids and public comment on a proposed Haines-area timber sale has been extended. The University of Alaska is offering up 400 acres of old growth Sitka spruce and western hemlock on the Chilkat Peninsula.
- Heat pumps are nothing new. But upgrades over the past thirty years have made the systems a lot more reliable. Now Juneau installers are racing to keep up with growing demand.
- Concern over poor king salmon runs across the state drew a panel of fisheries experts together at a recent meeting in Anchorage. The event focused mainly on a better understanding of the science behind population declines.