Sen. Pete Kelly

GUEST COMMENTARY: End cash payments without raising oil taxes

For six months, politicians of all parties in Juneau have sung a similar song: the state can no longer afford to offer cash payments to oil and gas companies for work we’ve incentivized these companies to undertake.

These cash payments are costing the state an estimated $1 million per day through the end of 2017. That’s a lot of money — $1 million could fund seven state troopers for a year. The $200 million we’ll owe in cash payments by the end of the year could fund the entire Department of Law and Department of Public Safety — for a whole year.

GUEST COMMENTARY: Senate will stonewall tax hikes

Today I’d like to share with you the Senate’s vision for Alaska’s next steps forward into the 21st century. We now face a harsh economic reality where world energy sources are cheaper and more diverse than ever before.

Oil prices are low, and may stay that way.

Thanks to the statesmen of the 1970s, Alaska remains rich in a more universal commodity, cash. With over $60 billion, Alaska’s capital resources can earn more than all our oil wells combined. And I suspect that cash, unlike crude, won’t ever fall out of favor with the cultural elite.

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