Support of HB110 - Cheri Gillian
March 25 via email to all House Finance Committee Members
Dear Rep. Doogan,
My job, the jobs of my husband and son, and the value of the home I own is dependent on a healthy Alaska economy. Not just this year, but next year, the year after that and for years to come.
I am very afraid that without significant immediate and continued investment in Alaska by the oil industry, Alaska’s economy will decline and job opportunities will disappear, private business will struggle, home values will crash and young Alaskans will leave Alaska for greener pastures.
I was here in the mid-80s when the low price of oil—an economic factor completely out of our control—played a key role in a devastating economic crash. Nearly 10% of Alaska’s population left the state and housing foreclosures skyrocketed—because jobs declined and the mass exodus from the state left no one to purchase the existing homes!
Now, oil prices are high and are masking the alarming decline in the flow of oil down Alaska’s pipeline. And the State of Alaska’s existing fiscal policies are stifling the continued exploration, development and investment by the oil industry—and other resource development industry—so critical to Alaska’s current and future economic stability.
The owners of Alaska’s private businesses—the ones who meet the payrolls for tens of thousands of Alaskans—are uncertain and cautious, contracting their operations and/or moving them outside Alaska. When that happens, we lose the ripple effect of those dollars, further weakening our economy in all industries and aspects across Alaska. My husband’s small business and the non-profit on whose board I serve have already suffered from those unfavorable effects in the most recent 12-18 months.
Alaska is simply not competitive when it comes to vying for the continued investment of oil producers around the world.
Unlike the mid-80s, this time the economic factor threatening to tear apart the fabric of Alaska’s economy is within our control. That is, this time it’s declining production resulting from investment reluctance under the present tax regime. The oil is there. The investors are interested in leveraging the investments they’ve already made in Alaska. But the price tag is too high when there are other oil basins that pencil out better for their shareholders.
That’s why I must urgently request that you thoughtfully reform ACES, the State’s oil taxation and incentive policy during the 2011 session. We do not have time to wait. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the diversification of industry in Alaska. But we can only work toward that with the support of the oil and gas industry sustaining our economy for many more years.
Please also consider that I will carefully consider your action or inaction on this issue the next time I am in the voting booth. I am a “super voter.” This issue is so important to I will also spread the word to my family, friends and co-workers, many who also vote each and every time.
I look forward to hearing how you intend to act on this matter.
PS. It's NOT taking $2 billion of MY money from me, it's ensuring that billions of dollars continue to circulate through Alaska's private businesses and our state's economy to provide jobs for Alaskans for many years to come.
Return to HB110 letters of support