SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


New Oil Tax Is Fine
By Rep. Jay Ramras


August 20, 2007

Transparency in government is a new and welcome mantra in Alaska politics, but now is not the time to have a special session on the PPT oil tax.

Changing oil taxes again poses a great danger. It may upset the competitive bid situation for a licensee to build a gas pipeline. We need to give Gov. Palin's Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) an opportunity to work. We also need to encourage the producers to submit what has come to be called a non-conforming bid.

Our goal, if the people of Alaska insist on a revisit of the PPT, ought to be to go to Juneau and swiftly affirm or reject the identical proposal that was before us in 2006.

If we open the debate to a tax on the gross, or to raise the tax rate, we run the risk of chilling our fragile investment climate. The oil industry needs fiscal certainty. We need to provide a stable oil tax regime.

Opening a Pandora's Box to revisit the oil tax will lead to paralysis and further deteriorate our relationship with the North Slope producers. It will not lead to firm transportation commitments and contracts to move our gas to the marketplace.

A special session is not appropriate at this time. If we must meet, then we should vote to affirm our previous action on the PPT oil tax formula. Give the PPT time to work and give AGIA a chance to succeed. Let's not choke the important months ahead by overthinking and rethinking what we've already done. I was a proud, untainted "yes" vote then and I will be again.



Received August 13, 2007 - Published August 20, 2007

About: Rep. Jay Ramras (R) is a member of the Alaska State Legislature representing District 10 - Fairbanks.

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska