Monthly Archives: February 2012

Why Marginal Tax Rates Matter to the “Average Guy”

In an article responding to recent columns by Andrew Halcro and me, the Alaska Dispatch’s Amanda Coyne concludes that “Alaska’s oil tax myths, surprise, remain busted.” In reaching the conclusion, the Dispatch’s Coyne argues that “[b]y standards of the average guy — the one who isn’t getting rich working for the oil companies, the one who doesn’t have future political aspirations, and the one who, in fact, makes up nearly all of our majestic state — the oil-tax myths we busted remain busted.”

While I didn’t get the reference at first, a friend pointed out that the Dispatch’s Coyne apparently was attempting to be insulting at the same time as she was summing up her argument. Because I never have – and never will – run for office (heck, I couldn’t even get elected to the Board of the Alliance), I suppose I am the “one” she references who is “getting rich working for the oil companies.” Given the level of my contributions to, among others, the University of Alaska Anchorage, I am not sure my tax accountant would agree, but whatever. Continue reading

2.19 – 25.2012 Perkins Coie’s Weekly Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter

‎2.19-25.2012 Perkins Coie’s Weekly Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter,   http://ow.ly/9iyDy. Recap of the week’s events goes final. Lead, “US approves Shell oil spill response plan for Alaska offshore wells.” For daily news, see the “Daily Articles & News” column (lower right side) at https://bgkeithley.com/. Daily headlines and links from Upstream Online, Oil & Gas Journal, Petroleum Economist, Platt’s, LNG World News, Fuel Fix, plus.

Busting the “Myth Busters”: Where the Alaska Dispatch Went Wrong

[Please also read the Addendum following the article added Feb. 28, 2012.]

In a highly-promoted two part series last week titled “Myth-busting claims in Alaska’s oil tax debate,” the Alaska Dispatch identified what they “consider the most duplicitous oil-tax myths being perpetrated surrounding the oil-tax debate raging in Juneau.”  Part 1 of the Dispatch piece is published here; part 2 is here.

The series doesn’t attempt to address “myths” existing on both sides of the debate – and there are.  Unabashedly, the Dispatch focuses only on what the authors identify as those “myths that have arisen, one way or the other, from the oil industry and their allies.”  So much for balanced reporting.

Later in the week, Andrew Halcro took on the Dispatch’s alleged myths one-by-one in his blog in a piece titled, “C’mon.”  Interestingly, while the Dispatch has run other of Halcro’s pieces on its pages, to date it has not published this rebuttal.  For those interested in balance, Halcro’s piece is a good beginning. Continue reading

Perkins Coie’s Daily Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter Becomes Perkins Coie’s Weekly

We have received a great deal of positive response over the course of the last several months as we have published Perkins Coie’s Daily Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter. The time required to edit and publish the daily edition, however, takes its toll on the ability to offer periodic, deeper commentary on the significance of the news items flashing daily across the screen and more importantly, taking a deeper cut at offering commentary – and solutions – on the problems that increasingly are confronting the development of Alaska’s oil and gas resources.

For that reason, effective this week we are converting the daily newsletter to a weekly. The newsletter will be refreshed each Sunday, with articles from the prior week, and then populated as the week goes along with additional articles from the current week. If we do it right, the result each Sunday will be a magazine, of sorts, capturing the most important stories and events from the week. And along the way during the week will be an evolving edition, capturing the most significant stories as the week progresses. We will tweet at PerkinsCoieAKOG periodically during the week when we have added a new set of stories we think are worth reviewing, and on Sunday when the new edition is ready to start the week.

For those of you interested in continuing to stay abreast of developments on a daily basis, we would suggest sometime during each day reviewing the headlines from various oil & gas and Alaska news services that are contained down the lower right side of the front page of “Thoughts on Alaska Oil & Gas.” Those feeds have been the source of many of the articles that have appeared in another form in the daily newsletter. The only difference is that the articles are not ordered and edited for significance as the daily newsletter has been. A quick glance down the column will give you a sense of the same thing, however – the news and analyses that are driving the day. Continue reading

2.14 – 15.2012 Perkins Coie’s Daily Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter

‎2.14 – 15.2012 Perkins Coie’s Daily Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter,   http://ow.ly/963xG (permalink). Lead, “State oil industry in harvest mode at maximum rate consultant argues.” For more news, see the “Daily Articles & News” column (lower right side) at https://bgkeithley.com/. Daily headlines and links from Upstream Online, Oil & Gas Journal, Petroleum Economist, Platt’s, LNG World News, Fuel Fix, plus.

Dermot Cole: Legislators should reverse course on bill to limit access to campaign finance reports

From Dermot Cole’s blog today, Legislators about to pass bill to limit access to campaign finance reports,” Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Feb. 15, 2012.:

Our legislators are racing to make it more difficult for the public to follow the money at election time.   In the last two weeks, a bill to ease the electronic reporting requirements of candidates with the Alaska Public Offices Commission has been introduced and moved to the verge of final passage in both houses. …

There are onerous tasks associated with running for state office, but electronic filing with the APOC is not one of them. …  Legislators should reverse course on this bill.  They should focus instead on working with the APOC …. 

As someone who has (attempted to) follow campaign finance reports in the past, I agree with Dermot.  The current law, which requires electronic filing for the first time this year, creates transparency and openness — good things.  This proposed change goes in the wrong direction.

For APOC’s views on the bill, see Casey Kelly, “APOC Blasts Bill Changing Campaign Disclosure Rules,” KTOO Juneau, Feb. 14, 2012.

2.13.2012 Perkins Coie’s Daily Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter

2.13.2012 Perkins Coie’s Daily Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter,   http://ow.ly/93Svg (permalink). Lead, “Consultant says state needs new approach to attract oil investment;” “Coastal Management bill remains possible.” For more news, see the “Daily Articles & News” column (lower right side) at https://bgkeithley.com/. Daily headlines and links from Upstream Online, Oil & Gas Journal, Petroleum Economist, Platt’s, LNG World News, Fuel Fix, plus.

Oil, Gas & Juneau

The appearance before Senate Resources last Thursday was interesting.   The slide deck for my testimony is here.   As I said to the Committee, the “August 9” date on the cover is likely because it was snowing (again) the day I did the slide and my subconscious was wishing for another season.  The actual date, of course, was February 9.

The video of the hearing is here.  My appearance begins at 35:35.  There were several questions and comments by members of the Committee.  The most extensive comments came from Senator Stedman.  Part of my presentation contained a series of slides and discussion around recent forecasts made by the Office of Management of Budget (“OMB”).  The forecasts come from the most recent OMB 10-year plan and  compare the level of state expenditures against revenues over the ten year period beginning with Fiscal Year 2012.

Due to declining oil production, the OMB report clearly shows and my testimony reflects that Alaska government starts running a deficit (expenses exceed revenues) sometime this coming decade under all of the scenarios addressed in the plan.  Under OMB’s most probable scenario, the deficits start in FY 2016 — a little over three years from now — and continue to deepen through the remainder of the decade.   But that scenario assumes the continuation of very robust oil prices, ranging from an average of roughly $109/bbl in FY 2012 to $120/bbl in FY 2022. Continue reading

2.12.2012 Perkins Coie’s Daily Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter

2.12.2012 Perkins Coie’s Daily Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter,   http://ow.ly/92gFT (permalink). Leads, “Panel tackles Alaska oil production, taxes;” “TAPS: a brighter future than critics say.” For more news, see the “Daily Articles & News” column (lower right side) at https://bgkeithley.com/. Daily headlines and links from Upstream Online, Oil & Gas Journal, Petroleum Economist, Platt’s, LNG World News, Fuel Fix, plus.

2.09 – 11.2012 Perkins Coie’s Daily Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter

2.09 – 11.2012 Perkins Coie’s Daily Alaska Oil & Gas Newsletter,  http://ow.ly/91c95 (permalink). Today’s lead, “Alaska lawmakers debate tax cut for oil companies,” and “Room in the pipeline, but ….” For more news, see the “Daily Articles & News” column (lower right side) at https://bgkeithley.com/. Daily headlines and links from Upstream Online, Oil & Gas Journal, Petroleum Economist, Platt’s, LNG World News, Fuel Fix, plus.