leadership Monday hardened its opposition to Governor Sean Parnell's tax
reduction for the oil industry. In a speech from the floor of the Senate, President
Gary Stevens called for caution in moving the bill along - warning his
fellow-members to be suspicious of those who promote fear that the trans-Alaska
Oil Pipeline will be closed if the legislature doesn't pass the tax break.
said the legislature needs information, data and cooperation from the
administration and industry before deciding whether to cut taxes. He reminded
supporters of the tax bill that rushing to a conclusion will not work.
also pointed out production estimates -- in legal proceedings last year - show
the pipeline to be still operational until 2047,and will be viable with only a
third of the production it how carries. Stevens said the TAPS line will not
close - in fact, if it were not there, it would be built now.
governor's response came in an e-mail from Press Secretary Sharon Leighow who
pointed to statements made by Conoco-Phillips CEO Jim Mulva last week that the
company has $5-billion in projects ready to go if the tax regime were
changed. Stevens asked in his speech why Mulva through his employees and
lobbyists had not made the same commitment before the legislature during House
said the Senate cannot dispute that oil production is down - and that affects