Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Thomas needs to reject $2 billion for oil


To get my vote in this next election I’d have to hear from state Rep. Bill Thomas that he would reject Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell’s plan to give benefits to the oil industry that by some estimates would amount to a loss of state revenue of $2 billion a year.

For the sake of debate, assume that the $2 billion were instead to be distributed as a permanent fund check: 722,190 Alaskans each would receive $2,769. The community of Haines, (2,560 residents), would see $7,088,640 each year. For a family of four, it would mean $11,076 in your bank account, every year. Headlines would read, “Local economy goes zoom.”

When you hear that the oil companies need this money to invest in oil development in our state, keep in mind that Exxon spent $9.3 billion on researching and developing new resources in the second quarter of 2012, with most of that money going to develop shale oil in Western Siberia, and petrochemical plants in Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Gulf Coast. Exxon had a profit in those three months of $16 billion, so they bought back $5 billion of their own stock. You have to wonder why they didn’t spend some of those profits on beefing up exploration in Alaska.

Oh yeah, those capital budget projects we got last year would have to be slashed. You guessed it, to pay for the giveaway. By the way, state Sen. Bert Stedman, a Republican, fought this giveaway all last session. John Norton