Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

The Lingering Influence of Crony Capitalism and Big Oil in Alaskan Politics





In recent posts, I discussed how Governor Palin’s key legislative victory, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) , has been a transparent, constitutionally-based, pro-growth success. In 2007, Governor Palin signed into law ACES, an oil tax structure that includes incentives for development and investment in capital improvements and ensured that Alaska’s resources would be developed for the maximum benefit for the people of Alaska as per their state constitution. The Alaska constitution states that the state’s natural resources belong to the people of Alaska. In essence, revenue derived from oil development belongs in part to the people of Alaska who, as owners of the resources, are due their share of the profits as "shareholders". Beyond this, ACES also replaced Governor Murkowski’s Petroleum Profits Tax (PPT) which was tainted by crony capitalism and corruption and lead to the arrest and conviction of state legislators and Governor Murkowski’s chief-of-staff due to the ties between PPT negotiations and VECO Corp, a oil and gas pipeline company.

ACES has been a success for both the people of Alaska and the oil companies. In a recent Facebook post, Governor Palin highlighted how the revenues of ACES have benefited the people of the Alaska and have made the state financially sound, as it has helped provide a $12 billion state surplus, put billions is savings, pay down underfunded state pension plans, and forward fund education. ACES has proven to be a success for oil companies as well. ACES has contributed to oil job increases, high profits for industry, a record high numbers of oil companies drilling in Alaska, and increased capital development by oil companies spurred by $3 billion of tax incentives. Alaska now has the second best business tax climate in the country, moving up two spots since the passage of ACES.

In the previously referenced Facebook post, Governor Palin brushes off current criticisms of ACES and refers to desires by some to make changes to ACES as "political posturing". A bill that would alter the ACES tax structure (HB 110) was passed by the House last week. However, this bill does not even remove the progressivity of ACES–the main criticism from detractors. It solely caps the progressivity. In fact, it changes the calculation period for the tax, and it does not account for volatility of oil prices. It is estimated that such a plan could cost the state $100 to $200 million a year. With a constitutionally sound oil taxation structure that has proven to benefit both the Alaskan people and the oil companies, why might Alaskan legislators and Governor Parnell seek to do away with ACES?Are oil companies and crony capitalist Alaskan politicians using the current political climate (and the anti-oil agenda by the current President) as a springboard for altering the oil structure?

A chorus of voices has risen in support of making changes to ACES, but where are these voices coming from? Are these merely echoes of the corruption of the past? Former Republican Alaskan House member, Ray Metcalfe, indicates that this is likely the case. Metcalfe was instrumental in exposing the impropriety between Alaskan legislators and VECO. He highlights that former VECO spokesman, Paul Jenkins, has been given free rein to write op-eds in the Anchorage Daily News (ADN) in support of making changes to ACES; his most recent ad hominem, snark ladden piece was published Saturday. Prior to the exposure of the VECO scandal, Jenkins wrote paid op-ed advertisements in support of VECO in the ADN before the scandal prompted the ADN to stop running the ads. Paul Laird, former BP spokesman, has also been involved. He was general manager of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance until last July. The Alliance has been pushing hard for changes to ACES as well, including pushing an ad campaign that shared the stories of those supposedly negatively affected by ACES. During the 2010 election cycle Laird donate money to three House members’ campaigns. All three of these legislators voted in favor of the new tax structure last week. Current Alliance General Manager, Rebecca Logan, also donated money to a legislator who supported the change to ACES and to Governor Parnell, who also has pushed for changes to the ACES.

Despite supporting ACES while serving as Lt. Governor, Parnell has pushed for changes to ACES since February of 2010. Governor Parnell (while governing conservatively on budgeting, earmarks, and Obamacare, advocating for the 10th amendment, and supporting Governor Palin’s gasline project, AGIA) has a revolving door career between politics and the oil industry. In the early and mid 1990s, Parnell served in the Alaska House of Representatives and Senate. Following his time in the Senate, Parnell became director of government relations for ConoccoPhillips. He then went to work for Governor Murkowski as the director state division of oil and gas from 2003 to 2005. During part of this period time, Governor Palin had served as an oil and gas commissioner until she encountered unethical behavior from another commissioner and Alaska GOP chair,Randy Ruedrich, and she resigned and lodged a complaint against Ruedrich. Prior to running for Lt. Governor in 2006, Parnell worked at Patton Boggs, a law firm that represented ConoccoPhillips and ExxonMobil in the Exxon Valdex oil spill case.

Additionally, Parnell’s 2010 election donations came from those with ties to special oil interests who may have a stake in any changes made to ACES. One of these donors was Kevin Jardell, who had a managerial role in Governor Murkowski’s administration and has worked as a lobbyist for ExxonMobil (as a side note, that linked article also notes that Governor Palin did not allow lobbyists in her office). Jardell, in addition to Camden Toohey, made the highest individual donations to Governor Parnell allowable by Alaska election laws. Camden Toohey has had a revolving door career as well–working as lobbyist, then in President Bush’s Interior Department, and now working as a legal adviser with Shell. With the EPA red tape tying up Shell’s drilling in the Arctic until 2012, would Shell have a particular interest in potential changes to ACES as federal restrictions are reducing their profits?

Governor Parnell is not the only one with donors who may have a vested interested in changes to ACES and have ties to the corrupt oil taxation processes of the past. Rep. Anna Fairclough’s, who headed up the HB 110 efforts, greatest percentage of 2010 election funding came from energy and natural resource industry including BP and ConoccoPhillips. BP and ConoccoPhillips spoke before the House Resource committee in February to advocate for the proposed changes to ACES. Another proponent of this bill is Rep. Mike Hawker ,who is no friend of Governor Palin and is one of the charter members of the Corrupt B*****s Club (CBC), the name corrupt and boastful legislators gave to themselves because of their embrace of their own corruption. Hawker, in addition to Rep.Chenault, were two legislators who voted for HB 110 and who received tens of thousands in campaign donations from VECO executives. Hawker and Chenault voted for Governor Murkowski’s corruption tainted PPT and against Governor Palin’s ACES. Suffice it to say, the CBC is still kickin’ in Alaska politics, perhaps now with some new inductees.

HB 110, touted by Governor Parnell and supported by a majority of Alaskan House members, does not appropriately address the criticism of ACES’s progressivity, does not deal with the volatility of oil prices, and is likely to reduce state revenue by hundreds of millions of dollars. Beyond that, the proponents of this bill have a history of engaging in crony capitalism, corruption, and unethical behavior. While it is unlikely that Senate version of the bill is unlikely to pass, Governor Parnell supports changes to ACES, and there is the potential for such a bill to be taken up again next year. These are the very things that Governor Palin has fought against her entire political career. Governor Palin has called out the unethical behavior of Alaska GOP chair Randy Ruedrich when she was an oil and gas commissioner. She implemented corruption free ACES project that was passed in a transparent manner without the outside influence of oil companies. She championed the AGIA pipeline project that was negotiated in a transparent manner. She has called out the Obama administration on their pervasive crony capitalism. Should she run for President in the future, there’s no doubt she would continue to strive to rid government of corruption; stop the revolving doors between the private sector, lobbying, and government; and end the behind-closed-doors negotiations that have been pervasive for years in Washington. For Governor Palin, phrases like "walking the walk, not just talking the talk" and " no more politics as usual" are not platitudes, they’re the way she’s lived her political career.



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  • unseen1

    good post. I think you meant millions and not billions in the third paragraph.

  • unseen1

    Whitney,

    Do you think any of this is an attempt to create a talking point against Gov Palin in a 2012 run?

    It seems very strange that Parnell and the AK house would put their necks out on the line like this knowing that the Senate wasn’t going to pass it. Why do it now then? They knew or know pretty well if they pass it the AK people might fire them all so why do it?

    I question the timing of this move. I question the motives of the people behind this.

    IMO I think this is nothing but an attempt to damage Gov Palin’s fiscal record in the up coming primaries. If they thought it would pass I would change my view but this is a type of bill you do not vote on unless you know it will pass or you have a overriding goal in mind…

    Just my 2 cents……

    • section9

      No. This is about money. The oils would rather have someone oil-friendly in the WH, and they would much rather see Palin in the WH than Obama, because she would let them drill in the OCS.

      But the bottom line is that the oils controlled the Alaska State Legislature before and, apparently, after she was Governor. It’s about the bottom line.

      Both Parties in Alaska are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Big Three up there. Period. If someone from the Pig Palace comes over here and claims that the Democratic Party is some sort of instrument of reform in Alaska, then they are not only lying to you, they are lying to themselves. They are all owned by the oils.

      The reason why Palin was so despised was that she was one of the few politicians in Alaska who wasn’t bought by the oils.

    • http://www.twitter.com/whitneypitcher Whitney Pitcher

      Section 9 is right. I think that a "perfect storm" is brewing politically for attempts to revamp ACES. Governor Palin is anti-corruption to the core. She doesn’t play the political favors game like others do.

      I think though, the media’s coverage of this debate and anything attached to Governor Palin’s legacy in Alaska will be an attempt to damage her politically. The NYT tried to go after ACES, AGIA, and her strong fiscal record a few weeks ago, and Governor Palin responded with a smackdown of a Facebook post defending her stellar record. There’s no doubt similar hit pieces will continue to emerge.

      • section9

        The point is this: ACES BRINGS A BOATLOAD OF MONEY INTO THE AK TREASURY WITHOUT HARMING ALASKA’S BIGGEST INDUSTRY, AS PALIN INTENDED.

        Can you say, winning?

        I knew you could. But some people in both parties want this thing modified in a way the benefit the oils. Trust me, Frank and Lisa are behind this move to cap ACES. That’s where this is coming from.

        Strangely enough, she’s got more friends in the AK Senate and in the House Democratic Caucus because the House Republicans are all made up of Frank and Lisa’s clients. It’s one of the reasons no one defended her in 2009, they all wanted her gone: the House Republicans were in the pay of the oils (as were the House Dems, they are just in the pay of Conoco and BP, as opposed to Exxon).

        Would the the AK Dems like to see Palin’s rep damaged? Yes. But not at the cost of all that revenue. As far as they’re concerned, Obama can go screw himself. Alaska is swimming in cash because of Palin’s legislation.

    • FlAli

      unseen1, I agree with you that this is an attempt to create points against Gov. Palin. The anti-Palin blogs are running with this with glee. It is ironic that to the left oil companies and corporations should pay more taxes because they are so corrupt, but if it is to hurt a conservative, they are just fine with them not paying taxes. They are looking at is like "she was so proud of it and now they are taking it away". Meanwhile due to ACES and budget cuts implemented by Gov. Palin Alaska has a surplus.

  • WEL2

    Regarding presidential campaign politics, Donald Trump was on Fox and Friends this morning and will continue to be there every Monday morning. He promoted his potential presidential primary campaign. Isn’t this contrary to Fox News’ stated policy? When was the last time Gov. Palin was on Fox and Friends? How often does she appear there? What is Fox News up to?

    • Jean_A

      He is probably doing it for free.

      • WEL2

        So Fox News is giving Trump free time every Monday to promote a potential Trump presidential candidacy? And watch for Trump to use that free time to attack Governor Palin.

        And why is Governor Palin on the popular Fox & Friends so seldom?

        • Jean_A

          Good point.

        • exodus2011

          Remember the timing for ‘live’ interviews on F ‘n F wouldn’t suit Gov Palin in AK though …. 6-9am ET would = 2-5am or even 1-4am in AK?

          • WEL2

            With all due respect, that excuse won’t fly. I remember hearing Governor Palin saying that at least some days she is up that early. And I’m sure she would be glad to get up that early to appear much more frequently than what seems like once per month or every two months on F&F.

  • Right_Wingnut

    It is estimated that such a plan could cost the state $100 to $200 billion a year

    Did you mean "millions?"

  • http://www.twitter.com/whitneypitcher Whitney Pitcher

    Yes, I meant "million", not "billion". My apologies. That was a silly typo on my part. Thank you for the heads up.

    • section9

      Nice piece, Whit. Very reminiscent of some of RAM’s work against the noted thespian, Jay Ramras.

      • http://www.twitter.com/whitneypitcher Whitney Pitcher

        Thank you!

  • section9

    Brutal smackdown. Just brutal. Reminds me, somewhat, of Rebecca Mansour’s mighty smackdown of Jay Ramras and his ties to Conoco while Palin was Governor.

    Were I Palin, I would only republish edited portions of this.

    To republish the whole thing might require her to make a clean break with Sean Parnell, which is a step she doesn’t want to take right now. Parnell has lots of room to make this kind of maneuver because he knows that the Senate won’t pass the House bill, so he can pocket his oil winnings while putting up his hands at the Oil Barons and telling them that the Senate won’t move on HB 110. He can tell Sarah that he’s merely trying to appease the Oils and keep the Republican caucus together and that HB110 will die in the Senate. Palin, knowing that Parnell is lying to her, will let sleeping dogs lie.

    It’s the best of both worlds for Parnell. He gets the oil money, while still maintaining his Palin Reform Seal of Approval. And trust me, Parnell wants that oil income to come into the state treasury; the more money that comes in, the fewer choices he has to make. Alaskans know who passed ACES, and they know who is responsible for the money coming in: Palin. She is not as unpopular as the assclowns over at the Pig Palace or at PPP would have you believe.

    Parnell would love to give Alaskans a bonus payout like Palin did.

    Meantime, maybe, just maybe, someone at the ADN will pick up this angle of the story and run with it.

  • narciso

    Bob Penney, the one who was tied up in that land deal with Lisa, who was going to run for governor, look who he supported, working from the Toohey link

  • narciso

    This is what I meant, btw, can we trust anything written by Robert F. Kennedy jr, in Vanity Far, that’s double secret probation:http://www.followthemoney.org/database/StateGlance/contributor.phtml?d=107556

  • Polarbearpapa

    A lot of Alaskans are a little ticked off about this action by Parnell, first he allowed the theft of a public election, starts pushing money at the education lobby and now he is running this white flag to the oil companies up the pole…

    • Jean_A

      If you have not already, you need to get people to hit the talk radio phone lines, call ADN and other news outlets and voice you opinion about their bias reporting. You need to write op-ed pieces.

      You should pull together a big protest right in front of where Parnell works and tell him enough is enough.

      • Polarbearpapa

        Unfortunately the talk radio hosts are in the pocket of Big Oil(Rick Ridell & Mike Picaro) or have made it clear they have a bias against ACES(Glen Biegel)…they actually pushed and shoved and got about 800 people to support Parnells changes at a rally last week…I do not understand the lack of thought of some Alaskans, in that they allowed themselves to be lied to and used by the old CBC that is trying to bring the state back to the years of Oil Company control…and the cash flow to the people pushing for such control…

        ..

    • saphireak

      I can say the same

  • Jean_A

    Whitney, You should scale this down a bit and try to get it published in the opinion section in some of the news outlets in Alaska.

  • Ryan

    Once Sarah is elected, she can persuade Congress to pass a program like ACES nationally if such a thing will work. It could definitely be part of her energy policy. Then we’ll see which politicians are truly in the pockets of corrupt industrialists!
    Go Sarah 2012!

  • RefudiateGOPe

    Whitney, this needs to be cross-posted at one of the Big sites, maybe Big Government.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_377ED42ISJIFXSCTSQSLO25U4Y Ric

    So, Gov. Parnell has returned to his corrupt roots – sad, but you might like to "Follow the Money" -

    The is in some ways just like Obama, simply "Follow the Money" right back to…"George Soros", NBC/GE, Big Bank, Union, bailout & income tax deals-

    This is what makes Gov. Sarah Palin so vitally needed as President in 2012…

    Integrity and Character!

    • section9

      Well, no. Parnell has been reelected, so now he’s thrown a sop to his contributors. He would not have been such a tool had an ACES cap been likely to pass the state Senate.

      He fully understood that it would not pass the Senate, so he can collect his Thirty Pieces of Silver from the Oils and the VECO crowd, while stiff-arming Palin by telling her that he knew it would never pass the State Senate.

      Yes, Parnell is being a squid, but a smart squid.

      • Firelight

        still a squid.

        At some point on something else this type of character defect will catch up with him and he will find that he has become the corrupt bastard he used to detest.

  • Lipstick

    Whit:
    Great piece. This needs to be everywhere! Surely a big outlet would post it. What a great smack down.

  • Al B.

    Terrific piece, Whitney. Thanks for doing this.

  • Guest

    I’m not sure if ACES would work nationally because of the differences in the AK and the US constitution. The US Constitution does not say that the resources of the country belong to the people of the country. Our founding fathers believed in personal property rights and, in fact, believed that without personal property rights there could be no freedom. Now someone with more knowledge of how ACES works in AK, correct me if I am wrong. In AK, the way I understand it, the oil belongs to the citizens of AK and the oil companies pay a fee to AK for taking it out of the ground, a fee that fluctuates with the price of oil. It sounds as if the oil and mineral rights don’t belong to land owners but are owned collectively. Or maybe that is just the case on state owned land. But, I am sure that SP will have an energy plan for us when she is elected. And, it will be a plan that makes sense. I can’t wait for her to clean out the EPA and Energy Department.

    • Polarbearpapa

      Yes, We do not own our mineral rights(including water) and therefore it was written into our Constitution that we share as a whole the benefits of the production of our resources.

    • mattinak

      ACES probably would work on Federally owned land, slightly different but with the same affect. In AK all subsurface rights are owned by the State. If you buy 20 acres or any amount of land, you own the surface but not any minerals, oil, gas or anything else under the surface. That belongs to the State, or "the people" if you will.

      Alaska entered the USA as a state very much a Democrat stronghold which played a large role in its Constitution make up. Most importantly the Federal government was concerned that the state would never be able to support itself. Collective ownership was the plan that belayed those concerns thus paving the way to statehood. Additionally Hawaii’s entry into the Union at the same time as a Republican stronghold created the perfect storm for both states to come in without changing the balance in the senate.

      ACES could work in say ANWR which is federal land. It is widely believed to hold over 10 billion barrels of oil. Probably a hell of a lot more. It would only take 70 miles of pipeline to connect it to TAPS (trans Alaska pipeline) and production could begin within 3 years if all lawsuits where blocked by Congress as was done to build TAPS. (that’s a major IF)

      With oil at $100+ a barrel, 10 billion barrels generates 1 trillion dollars in sales. Current federal tax rates that oil companies pay for oil produced in Alaska are about 30%. Oil companies have testified they spend about $25 per barrel for what they call lift and ship (cost to get it to a west coast refinery) for north slope oil. That means 225 billion dollars in federal income that would normally go to a foreign nation to say nothing of the jobs involved. To make it a little more personal that means every state in the union would get 4.5 billion without increasing the deficit or debt a dime.

      If that 4.5 billion was used to build a nuclear reactor, a hydro electric dam, or a couple natural gas powered electric plants, the impact on each states cost of energy could be significantly reduced.

      You would have to do the math on how many jobs building the energy plant of your choice would create in your state.

      That 4.5 billion wouldn’t come overnight of course but the promise of future revenue could be used to collateralize a loan payed for by the yearly income generated by the flow of oil just as the great state of Alaska has done for the last 30+ years.

      Of course a state could choose to do anything or many things with those monies. If memory serves Sarah took a billion of our reserves and forward funded the states education fund. Of course you wont hear that from the NEA but I digress.

      ACES works differently in that the tax increases (and decreases) in conjunction with the price. That was to fix what was happening under a tax structure with serious loop holes for certain fields that basically generated oil company profits of about 3 billion a year but jumped to 12 billion while State revenue was unchanged at 2 billion. In short the price of oil owned by the people of Alaska increased 400 percent in a short time yet our slice of the increasing sized pie stayed the same.

      Sarah fixed that.

      • PEC111

        Correct me if I am wrong but ALaska would still get some revenue from ANWR going through TAPs.

        • mattinak

          its probable but not a slam dunk in regards to royalties. There has been some recognition that all federally developed lands share the royalty with the State the land in located in. I think Louisiana started getting a share or a maybe it was a larger share than originally after Katrina as a means of helping them rebuild. I’m out on a limb but I think that was what set the precedent. I remember Ted Stevens talking about that while he was in office.

          Additionally TAPS becomes more valuable as an asset if the volume goes up so many parts of the state would see an increase in revenue from property tax.

          • PEC111

            I thought the State got some revenue for any oil that ran through the Pipeline
            because the Pipeline crosses State land. This was regardless of where the oil
            comes from. Kind of a tariff on the oil in the Pipe in simple terms.

            • mattinak

              when aces was being debated I did a lot of research trying to figure out just where every dollar went to see if aces was indeed clear and equitable. I went through a lot of state web sites and docs showing how the companies were taxed, royalties levied and property tax assessed and I don’t remember the state getting any tariff on oil flow. Not saying its not or wasn’t happening but I never found it.

              The state does pay the TAPS tariff that everyone who ships oil through it pays on our royalty oil.
              We don’t actually pay it but the oil companies payment for the value of the oil that is ours through royalty is reduced by what ever the current tariff is.

              • PEC111

                So it is a shell game. My guess is that "if" Alaska got no revenue from ANWR
                OIL then that tariff from TAPs would be paid by the Company drilling in ANWR
                and the State wouldn’t pick up their tab.

                • mattinak

                  Not sure your meaning of the shell game. ANWR for Alaska even if we got a small slice of the royaties will never save state funding from the declining production on the North Slope except for the following.

                  It keeps the pipeline operating thus allowing the state land oil to continue to flow even at rates of less than 300k barrels a day. If the feds let the millions of barrels be developed we will stave off the actual shutdown of the pipe before all the state land is drained.

                  It will create a short term boom of jobs.

                  As to the shell game perhaps you mean the fact that TAPS is owned by the big three Exxon, BP and Conoco and yes they pay tariffs to TAPS which is to say they charge/pay themselves.

                  Whoever develops ANWR or NPRA if they move oil down TAPS, will pay that tariff to them too.

                  • PEC111

                    The State should be or should have gotten some revenue for the pipeline
                    crossing State land (think Right of Way). Don’t know what the agreement was
                    for that. Often times with Individuals the Cost is up front. Other times it
                    is leased. Heck I know some people that get a nice little check for having a
                    Cell Tower on their property.

                    • mattinak

                      I gotcha, I think any right of ways were probably one timers at construction. The state got what at the time was a huge check for 900 million to start the whole thing off. But what your talking about is being paid as property tax to the different boroughs along the way. Not an insignificant amount to the towns that benefit.

      • Firelight

        so the same concept could be used for natural gas on Federal lands?

        • mattinak

          Yes, as far as Alaska’s ACES law goes, oil and gas are taxed the same in that x amount of gas energy is equal to a barrel of oil energy but the value of that gas is currently much less than the equivalent oil.

          Keep in mind the tax levy that everyone discusses is the rate paid after expenses and before credits for exploration and field development. In some cases the credits are more than half the cost incurred in exploration. I believe Sarah calls it "having skin in the game".

          It is a net tax not a gross so when you hear a base rate of 25%, and oil is at $100 a barrel that doesn’t mean the state is getting $25 for every barrel. It means we get 25% of what ever profit the oil companies report on their taxes.

          As I said before they report a cost of operations at about $25 per barrel once a well head in a field is online and producing. If they explore or build more "things" to increase production then they also get credits, thus reducing that rate by whatever the credit is.

          Those credits have progressivity just as the tax does so its a very dynamic rate that moves along with the price of the commodity. Sarah campaigned on going to a gross tax with credits but was convinced by her folks at Dept of Nat Resources and Revenue that the only way to stay equitable was to have a tax that moved along with the price of the commodity.

          The naysayers like to crow about the marginal rate of the last dollar earned on a barrel of oil or equivalent created by progressivity but only because then they can use numbers like 90% when in fact the actual rate paid at the end of the day on the entire field per barrel is far less.

          On average a barrel of oil contains as much energy or
          heating value as 6,000 cubic feet of gas.

          Since each cubic foot of gas has about 1000 Btu/cf then a
          barrel of oil is equivalent to 6 million Btu or 6 MMBtu

          If priced at parity the oil price in $/bbl divided by 6
          would equal the gas price in $/MMBtu

          For example, at $60/bbl the natural gas would be at parity
          if it were priced at $10/MMBtu.

          As opposed to most of the rest of the world where gas is
          priced against oil, in the US gas prices fluctuate and
          average higher than 6:1

          Currently oil is over 100/bbl and gas is at 4.25MMBtu. That’s why oil companies don’t want to develop gas, its too cheap.

          At the current price of oil, parity would put natural gas prices at 17.66MMBtu.

          Kinda makes you wonder why we aren’t building cars to run on natural gas huh?

          Most of this info is from a report to the legislature in 2009 that showed ACES was doing what it was intended to do in that it was not inhibiting gas development and that the high cost of gas development vs low price (way below parity) was not being impacted by ACES in fact it showed with the many and massive credits for new development incorporated in ACES that
          under certain circumstances the “effective” rate of tax on a higher cost / lower profitability development (such as gas or heavy oil) could be lower than the base rate of 25%

          Sorry for the run on but there really isn’t a simple way to explain oil and gas and the taxes involved. Its a very complex puzzle that has to be looked at and understood in total to be able to make good decisions on it.

          Hmm…… now where could we find someone like that?

          • Kay

            It amazes me when I read things like this and then listen to people say that Palin is stupid.

    • jimb

      We are trying to cut spending, do away with both those depts. I don’t believe either is authorized by the Constitution.

  • Guest

    What’s up with Disqus this morning? It won’t post my replies in the right place and the time frames are all crazy!

    • exodus2011

      Just below the box where you type a comment, there is a ‘sort by’ drop down selection. If you choose ‘oldest first’ all the comments should then realign in chronological order – this may help your problem ….

      • Guest

        Thx….but I know about that. Every time I hit a "like" button the whole page rearranges in a way of its choosing….not mine. I may have had some stuck keys or something this AM. Seems to be OK right now.

  • Western

    Superb analysis.
    Gov. Palin’s political career is embodied in the practical application that an authentic citizen-politician will represent the people rather than succumbing to the corrupt interests of the political machines.

  • unseen1

    follow the money. always follow the money….

  • Jean_A

    I remember what this one guy said about Gov. Palin resigning. I can’t remember his exact words but it went something like this.

    He was mad as hell that she was quitting on the people of Alaska. He didn’t have kind works but the last part was what caught my eyes.

    He said something like:

    Alaska ( or Alaskans, can’t remember) is losing their MOST VALUABLE ASSET and that is Sarah Palin.

    C4P, Alaskans are mad because in Sarah Palin they saw everything that was good in Alaska.

    We have to wait and see how this works out with the people of Alaska.

    I think they will come around and remember why her approval ratings were in the 80s and disapproval in single digits.

    • friskyness

      The people should have supported her, instead of letting her approval ratings go down. Too bad Alaska, you should have supported her!

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