The Kenai Peninsula’s legislative delegation joined a joint chamber of commerce luncheon today at the Soldotna Sports Center. While they presented a united front on many issues, SB21 – the Governor’s oil tax overhaul – brought out some differing opinions.
Senator Cathy Giessel chairs the Senate Resources Committee…
Sen. Giessel(R-S. Anchorage): “It is a group of folks that want to turn Alaska back, and what we have done this last year int he Legislature, both the House and the Senate, is we have said, ‘Yes. Alaska is back, we are ready to move forward.’ These folks want to move us backwards and ride the decline down. It’s really a philosophical question: do you want to have a future, or do you want to just reduce in size and shrink?”
Rep. Paul Seaton said he isn’t confident SB21 will bring a change in behavior from oil companies, and he was looking for more incentives tied to performance.
Rep. Seaton(R-Homer): “Well of course the referendum is just saying that the bill that was passed isn’t the right bill. It doesn’t say that ACES is perfect, it doesn’t say any of those things, it just says that without some kind of performance criteria, the amount of money that is left transferred from the State to the companies, whether that’s the correct mix or not. So it’s a question the public will have to answer – how they feel about that.”