Just cause the guy’s a greasy thug and you’re scared doesn’t mean you’ve got to grab the tab. You bet Alaska is a tough place to drill for oil — hundreds of miles from a road, with temperatures that turn oil into sludge, where crews are remote and cold.
But if you’re an oil executive you pick the politics, you choose the infrastructure, you pick your battles with the insurgencies, you choose your chance of hitting oil, you pick what you pay in royalties. Go ahead pick:
Taxes less than Alaska
(46% includes federal and state royalties)
New Zealand (43%)
Falkland Islands (45%)
Taxes more than Alaska (46% includes federal and state royalties)
South Africa (51%)
Cote d’Ivoire (78%)
United Arab Emirates
They need a tax break? Why is Conoco Phillips drilling in Malaysia? Russia? Indonesia? Norway? They can go elsewhere and have their assets seized — like Libya and Ecuador.
Alaska, you are a tax break in a sea of turmoil. You’ve no need to sell yourself cheap.
Gordy Vernon writes that he “is unemployed and homeless in the summer, in a tent somewhere between the Pacific and the Bering Sea, in the land he loves to be.”