Governor Sean Parnell today signed legislation authorizing tax credits for exploration and drilling in remote areas of Alaska that show a promise of holding hydrocarbons. These areas include the Nenana Basin, the Yukon Flats, and Selawik Basin. The tax incentives for natural gas exploration, sponsored by Representative Steve Thompson, aim at the development of untapped resources with nearby communities in the Interior and Western Alaska that are in need of a local energy source.
Governor Parnell signed SB 23 at an event hosted by the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce.
"High costs have left many areas unexplored or underexplored. This legislation has the potential to attract significant investment in the Nenana Basin and in Northwest Alaska - as we saw in Cook Inlet," Governor Parnell said. "This legislation also incentivizes above-ground natural gas storage, which is going to be a big help here in Fairbanks. If we are to maintain adequate supplies at peak load periods or in the event of a disruption, the Interior needs storage capacity."
Senate Bill 23 also extends the Alaska Film and Television Production Incentive Program for 10 years. The program offers a 30 percent tax credit on all qualified spending in Alaska, with an additional 20 percent tax credit for Alaska hire, six percent tax credit for shooting in rural Alaska, and two percent for working in the winter months.
The legislation also has a provision, sponsored by Representative Mia Costello, which encourages the development of high-growth technology and research companies in Alaska. The provision will improve Alaska's business climate, promote the diversification of Alaska's economy, and encourage entrepreneurship and the development of Alaska's venture capital investment sector.