The State Legislature passed sweeping oil tax reform this year, but Speaker of the House Mike Chenault said there’s no reason to fear that the changes will harm exploration currently happening in Cook Inlet…
Speaker Chenault(R-Nikiski): “Under the ACES program, the Cook Inlet was cut out of that tax structure, and so it’s on its own tax structure, compared to the North Slope. And the frustrating part is that people think that it is in relationship to ACES and so they’re concerned about it, when in all reality, there’s no tie between the current ACES program that we have or SB21 and the exploration in Cook Inlet.”
The new oil tax structure, commonly known by its legislative title “Senate Bill 21,” is still facing opposition with a group titled ‘Vote Yes: Repeal the Giveway.’ They’re mounting a referendum petition.
Speaker Chenault(R-Nikiski): “There’s not a $2 billion giveaway. It’s a bumper sticker that some feel works and it grabs people’s attention. Under the current tax structure program, if my memory’s correct, at today’s price per barrel, that number is about $540 million to maybe $700 million not $2 billion.”
Chenault said SB21 was designed to stimulate the oil and gas industry over the long haul, making a short term loss worthwhile.