Here in Juneau, the Legislature continues to weigh legislation to get more oil flowing through the pipeline and opportunities growing again for Alaskans.
Discussions have centered on how our State taxes stack up against other oil-producing jurisdictions.
Experts in the field have reaffirmed the stark reality: In the middle of a worldwide oil boom, Alaska is losing ground.
Alaska's tax regime cannot compete at these higher oil prices, and our State's treasury is at risk for paying billions of dollars in tax credits back to oil companies, even when we can't afford it.
In the next year alone, Alaskans are on the hook for nearly $1 billion in tax credit payments to oil companies, no matter the price of oil.
Making matters worse, the current regime hurts Alaskans by leaving billions of barrels of oil stranded in the ground. Less production means less opportunity for Alaskans and puts pressure on the State's ability to provide the services Alaskans depend on.
Our bill, Senate Bill 21, cuts the state's risk of decline and encourages both exploration and production. Because both
We maintain targeted incentives for exploration in Alaska.
But by simplifying and restoring balance to the tax system, those incentives pay off for companies when new oil gets produced.
The Legislature has made significant progress. They had more than 26 hearings on our proposal in the first 45 days of the session. I applaud legislators for their hard work and dedication
to an open and transparent process.
This intense, transparent scrutiny of proposed tax changes ensures Alaskans will benefit and have a future with new production, not status quo decline.
I remain committed to our four principles for oil tax reform: one, that any change must be fair to Alaskans; two, it must encourage new production; three, it must be simple so it restores balance to the system; and four, it must be competitive and durable.
It's time to unleash more oil for Alaskans' benefit and grow our economy. Thanks for listening.