Parnell calls out Alaska senators in oil speech

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm •  Published: October 12, 2012

Paskvan, who is co-chair of the Senate Resources Committee, noted the work he's done in delving into issues surrounding development of shale or viscous oil, as well as development off-shore.

"To think that I've ever advocated in this shrinking pie versus increasing pie discussion that the governor has started, my position has always been that I'm most optimistic for Alaska's future for the next 50-100 years," he said.

Just because Parnell says something "doesn't mean it's true," he said.

In 2011, coalition leaders refused to follow the House's lead and pass Parnell's tax cut plan, saying they didn't have the information needed to make a sound policy call. The Senate took the lead in crafting an oil tax plan this year, but a comprehensive tax plan failed to garner adequate support within the bipartisan caucus.

The Senate instead, in the waning hours of the regular session, passed a bill that included provisions that would have given a tax break for new-field production. The House shot that down, with the speaker saying the plan hadn't been vetted in the House.

A tax-cut plan put forth by Parnell during this year's special session was criticized by lawmakers in both parties and chambers.

Alaska relies heavily on oil production to run its government, but industry production has been declining. Critics of ACES, including the North Slope's three major producers, say the tax structure eats too deeply into their profits when prices are high and is a disincentive to new projects and new drilling.

Parnell has said that addressing oil production is a top priority for him heading into the next legislative session.

Parnell also took aim at critics who have labeled his plan a $2 billion a year giveaway, calling it a bumper sticker slogan but misleading. During debate on his 2011 tax-cut plan, it was estimated the plan would cut revenue by $1.8 billion to $2.1 billion by fiscal year 2017 if there was no new production. It was billed as a worst-case scenario.


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Parnell speech to Alaska Support Industry Alliance: