Alaska Robotics

Oil Taxes

Tuesday, March 26th 2013 by Pat

I guess this is my public testimony. I write and read and make things and I hope those things will float out into the world and help nudge our collective consciousness towards a better place.

I felt like this video was heavy handed and not as funny as some of the other political stuff I’ve done in the past but I’m also feeling the weight of a lot of frustration and futility. It was just a few years ago that we trudged through the VECO scandal and my faith in our state government never really recovered.

Ethics are as lax as ever, we have lawmakers who work for oil companies voting on issues that will directly affect their careers and pocketbooks. It’s a mess.

The amount of money Governor Parnell’s proposed tax structure costs Alaska over the next few years is estimated to be in the 5-6 billion dollar range.

To put that in perspective, for that amount, Alaska could own the New York Yankees, Manchester United, and the Dallas Cowboys.

According to the Forbes Global 2000 we could use that money to pick up Tesoro, US Steel, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, Goodyear, Safeway, or even bigger fish if we just wanted a controlling interest.

Or we could start our own oil drilling company.

The argument I usually hear against a state owned oil company is corruption and inefficiency. Well, the corruption is already there and a state owned oil company could only be more transparent to the public and lawmakers. Right now, people are trying to make important decisions based on speculation rather than information.

Inefficient? Yes, it would probably be massively inefficient but all those jobs and all that leaky money would stay right here in Alaska. It’s the Ted Stevens model of trickle down economics, corruption and inefficiency filling the pockets of locals and spilling out into the regional economy.

Whatever happens, oil is a finite resource and we should be preparing for decline and transition in the long game.

Also, I’m really tired of hearing about North Dakota. Let’s come up with a plan that works for Alaska.

2 Responses to “Oil Taxes”

  1. Arlo says:

    “To put that in perspective, for that amount, Alaska could own the New York Yankees, Manchester United, and the Dallas Cowboys.”

    That’s the concept you should have run with. Funny, and with a much broader appeal.

    It’s not too late! Time for another late-night writing, shooting, editing, and post session!

  2. Greg Chaney says:

    Absolutely excellent video. Love the backdrop too. One fact that seems to get lost in all of this is that Alaskans actually own the oil in the ground. And yet it’s called a tax when the oil companies pay Alaska to extract it. When the State sells land to someone, they don’t call it a tax when someone pays them for it. Why then does everyone call it a tax when we sell oil to oil companies for a fraction of its market value? And to think that the American Revolution was about gaining independence from England and now we send the majority of our wealth to British Petroleum. And Alaskan Statehood was about gaining control of our resources so we wouldn’t be controlled by companies from out of state. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!