Alaska oil bill draws early fire

April 1, 2011 at 9:29 AM
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JUNEAU, Alaska, April 1 (UPI) -- An Alaska lawmaker introduced an amendment Friday that would give oil companies a tax break provided they pledged to increase production.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, a Republican, unveiled plans for 1 million barrels of oil production per day through the Trans-Alaska pipeline system within the next decade.

Parnell said he was proposing a tax break for oil companies to encourage investments and to erase declines in state oil production.

"The time to reduce oil taxes is now and I am asking all Alaskans to send a clear message to legislators in Juneau that a 'do-nothing' strategy is unacceptable because Alaska's future is at stake," he said in a statement.

But state Rep. Bob Miller, D-Fairbanks, introduced an amendment that would put certain restrictions on oil companies.

Under Miller's plan, companies would get a tax break until January 2017. After that, they would need to have increased production by 10 percent of current levels to continue getting a break and increase production by another 2 percent each year beyond 2017.

"We want to be sure that they are earning the breaks that we are giving," Miller said in a statement. "This amendment says here's the benefit. If you do not make certain metrics for the benefit of Alaska, we withdraw those benefits."

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