From Sean Cockerham in Juneau --
Exxon Mobil isn’t making any friends in the state Legislature. Two state senators stormed out of a Senate Resources Committee hearing today after Craig Haymes, Exxon’s top executive for its Alaska operation, refused to give the company’s profits in the state.
Haymes was testifying about what an expensive place Alaska is to do business, when Anchorage Democratic Sen. Bill Wielechowski noted the company made $40 billion last year.
Wielechowski: “How much did you make in Alaska?”
Haymes: “We do not report earnings on a state by state basis.”
Wielechowski: “I know you don’t report it. But surely somewhere somebody has calculated that figure.”
Haymes: “We’re a global company. We report our earnings through our quarterly summaries and in our annual report. And we don’t report it on a state by state basis.”
Wielechowski: “I know you don’t report it. But surely you don’t just take that big pile of money you get from Alaska and throw it in the drawer and say, ‘what do you know we made a little money this year.’
Haymes – “As I mentioned, we don’t report our profit on a state by state basis.”
Wasilla Republican Sen. Charlie Huggins, chair of the committee, then broke into the exchange.
Huggins: “Let’s move on.”
Wielechowski: “Can I request that information?”
Haymes: “We don’t report our profits state by state.”
Wielechowski: “You have no idea how much you made in Alaska?”
Huggins: “Let’s move onto the next topic please.”
Not long after, Kenai Republican Sen. Tom Wagoner started drilling Haymes about the profits.
Wagoner: “I’m just going to try one more time, Mr. Chairman. I find it very interesting that Exxon Mobil will not disclose its profits made in Alaska. BP discloses those profits they make in Alaska. ConocoPhillips discloses those profits.”
Wagoner told Haymes that he came to the special session on raising oil taxes with an open mind. But he said Haymes was making him doubt the oil company claims they are “partners” with the state.
Wagoner: “I don’t think that’s the way a partner acts. I’m very disappointed that Exxon Mobil will not disclose the profits they make in Alaska…It leaves me lacking in trust.”
Huggins: “Continuing right along.”
Haymes then resumed talking about what a “high cost region” Alaska is. He asked the legislators to lower oil taxes.
By this point, Wagoner and Wielechowski had both left the committee hearing in frustration.