In Juneau, reforming our tax system to create a future for Alaskans remains a top priority.
After several years under Alaska's current oil system, here's what we know:
Alaskans are coming up short.
When prices are high, progressivity discourages investment. When prices are low, generous tax credits that are based on spending put the State's treasury at risk. That's not the way it was supposed to work -- but the data tells the truth.
New analysis shows that although oil prices are $13 a barrel higher today, revenues to the State would have been more this fiscal year -- if production had held to 2008 levels.
With increasing costs and declining production, there is less and less available value for Alaskans.
We cannot hold onto the status quo, knowing that means production decline and declining opportunity for Alaskans.
Ultimately, the question before the Legislature is what kind of opportunity we will create for Alaskans today and building for Alaskans tomorrow.
Our plan balances the needs of Alaskans by providing more revenues at low prices in exchange for lower revenues at higher oil prices.
It does this while creating a competitive environment that will attract investment and create generations of opportunities for Alaskans.
I am committed to signing legislation that meets my principles for oil tax reform: one, that any change must be fair to Alaskans; two, it must encourage new production; three, it's got to be simple so it restores balance to the system; and four, it must be competitive and durable.
Alaskans deserve to reap the benefits of our oil and not passively accept status quo decline. Any legislation that meets my four guiding principles will not only have my support, it will get my signature.
Let's keep our foot on the gas pedal and pass legislation that increases production and gets Alaskans the best return for their oil. Thanks for listening.