Critics of SB21 will be gathering in front of the Dena’ina Center today as the Governor signs several bills into law, including the new oil tax structure, support for an in-state natural gas pipeline, and the state budget bills.
The group Vote Yes! Repeal the Oil Giveaway is calling the bill one of the worst in Alaska’s history. Earlier claims that the bill would cost Alaska $2 billion were refuted by Speaker of the House Mike Chenault…
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.”
But the group said today that the change will cost Alaskans an estimated $4.5 billion over the next five years, and more if prices rise.
Former Senator Vic Fisher suggested SB21 even “runs afoul of our constitution, which guarantees Alaskans the maximum benefit from the sale of natural resources.” He called it an “unjustified and egregious giveaway” and said it must be stopped.
The group is still working to gather the 30,000 signatures needed to put SB12 on the ballot this year. They have a little over two months to finish their petition.
For more: Move to Repeal SB 21 Gaining Ground.
*Note: figures in the transcription of Speaker Chenault’s quote have been updated.