Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bob and Mark: AK Gov Parnell Wants to Gut ACES & AGIA

The Palin family's 15-year friends and sole supporters on the Alaskan airwaves - Bob and Mark - this week devoted over a half hour of one of their shows to Gov. Parnell's naked attempts to undermine and undo two of Gov. Palin's most significant accomplishments.


Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) is a graduated tax system, whereby taxes on oil and gas revenues increase as the value of the resource increases - in the case of oil above $52 per barrel. A portion of this money goes into state savings and another portion is distributed to all Alaskans via the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). Another point often missed when discussing ACES is that it contains a built-in incentive to explore and drill by levying little or no tax when these operations are being conducted. Tax credits are given to develop new infrastructure and reinvest in existing infrastructure.
ACES was developed with strong bi-partisan support to supplant the Petroleum Profits Tax. Governor Palin signed ACES into law on December 19, 2007. It is one of her signature accomplishments.
Gov. Parnell made a prior attempt to scuttle ACES during this year's legislative session. Despite his attempts to extort passage the repeal, the attempt died in the Alaskan State Senate. Governor Parnell - who literally thinks Alaskans and the state surplus are benefiting too much from ACES - is gearing up for another attempt in next year's legislative session according to Bob and Mark. On April 7, 2011 he bizarrely asked, “Really, how much [money] is enough?” referring to the money going into Alaska’s state surplus from taxes on oil and gas revenues derived from ACES.
Yes, unlike most other states in the union, thanks to Gov. Parnell's predecessor - Sarah Palin - Alaska has a surplus. In Bizarre: AK Gov. Parnell asks "How much $ is Enough" for Surplus, I wrote:
He operates on the fanciful notion that by doing away with ACES, the top three oil companies will drill and explore in Alaska. Those shilling for the oil companies rail about what a “horrible” place Alaska is to do business, yet Alaska has some of the lowest taxes and much better working conditions than most of the nations these companies find preferable. Since ACES became law in 2007, Alaska has seen an increase in the amount of energy industry jobs....
Gov. Parnell - who US for Palin supported under the mistaken notion that he would continue the Palin mandate - wants to forgo an estimated $8 billion in guaranteed income over five years on the fantasy that big oil companies will ramp up exploration. Meanwhile, the small independent operators who want to drill then ship through the pipeline are charged prohibitive tariffs by the pipeline owners - the big three oil companies.


The Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) is an initiative to build a 1,715-mile pipeline that would bring North Slope natural gas to Alberta, Canada for continued transport down to the Lower 48. The project was to be completed in 2019 and estimated to cost between $32 and $41 billion as of January 2010. It is to be the largest infrastructure project in the Western Hemisphere. For 30 years, this pipeline was nothing more than a pipe dream. As with ACES, Democrats and Republicans worked together under Gov. Palin's leadership to develop AGIA and make the pipe dream a pipeline.
Gov. Palin signed AGIA into law on August 27, 2008 - two days before she was announced to the world as John McCain's VP candidate. The license was signed in December 2008, a month after the McCain campaign ended. TransCanada announced its open season in January 2010.
Nearly all Palin supporters agreed that the Obama administration was AGIA's worst enemy. US for Palin carries a graphic that illustrates the concern. Virtually no one considered that Gov. Palin's successor would be the one most actively trying to undermine her accomplishments. According to Bob and Mark, Gov. Parnell resurrected a three-decade-old hare-brained scheme and took "credit" for it being his own. The scheme involves building a pipeline to a southeastern Alaska seaport, liquifying the natural gas, loading it on tankers and selling it to countries on the Pacific Rim. Because in his mind apparently, we don't need our own energy resources. Better to depend on other countries and sell ours off to his way of thinking.
When Obama tries to destroy projects like AGIA, we are not surprised, because he is a leftist, he is anti-energy independence and he is Gov. Palin's mortal enemy. Thus, we expect this behavior from him and his administration. In theory, Gov. Parnell was supposed to be a quiet Transactional Leader tasked with maintaining and preserving the Palin legacy if she were to become incapacitated or leave office prematurely. In Alaska, the campaign for Lieutenant Governor is separate from the gubernatorial candidate's. This means a governor might have a lieutenant with a different agenda and has no say in the selection of the lieutenant. As Gov. Palin's lieutenant, Parnell more or less functioned as her silent partner, but when he elevated office, then was elected to a full term, things changed.
Now, Gov. Parnell appears to be a man on a mission to destroy everything Gov. Palin has accomplished, return Alaska to the days of the Corrupt Bastards Club, and put the government back in the pockets of the big oil companies and against the citizens who elect officials to serve. With friends like Gov. Parnell, who needs enemies?
Bob and Mark often refer to Gov. Parnell as "Governor Jellyfish."
Jellyfish indeed.

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