From Richard Mauer in Juneau —
The Senate Finance Committee hearing on oil taxes, Senate Bill 192, may have droned on at times, but there were also some interesting moments.
Damian Bilbao, head of finance for BP Exploration (Alaska), gave an articulate perspective from industry on the current tax system, ACES — Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share. He asserted that the tax scheme, one of the cornerstones of Gov. Sarah Palin’s administration, just wasn’t working.
Here’s an excerpt from his remarks:
While most of the day’s discussions focused on dollars, tax policy, investments and assertions and opinions about how a change here would create an effect there, Sen. Donny Olson moved the discussion to the personal level of his constituents — the rural residents of western Alaska.
Olson, a physician and Democrat from Nome, said high oil prices aren’t only about tax revenues, profits and investments. They’re also about real life hardships. He said his constituents believe the state should tax oil production at higher rates when crude prices rise because that’s the only way they can be compensated when they can’t put gas in their four-wheelers or heating oil in their stoves.
Here’s what Olson said: