Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 4:27 PM on Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Senators did right by Alaskans

I have to disagree with the recent criticism House Speaker Rep. Mike Chenault, Rep. Kurt Olson and Sen. Tom Wagoner had for certain members of the Alaska Senate during their speeches to the Kenai and Soldotna chambers of commerce (The ugly, the bad, and the good: Governor, legislators share highs and lows from legislative session in the May 31 Homer News).

These legislators claimed that the senators who refused to pass Governor Parnells oil tax plan this past session put Alaskas economic future in jeopardy. They are hoping Alaskans will believe that the senators refusal to give $20 billion with no strings attached to the richest corporations in human history without any clear explanation of how this would lead to more jobs or oil production is somehow putting the state in grave danger.

Chenault, Olson and Wagoner are trying to distort the fact that the senators did exactly what anyone entrusted with public office should do: They asked tough questions about a plan that could cripple the state budget, potentially costing Alaskans our PFDs and resulting in the need for an income tax to fund basics like roads and schools.

The governor and his Revenue commissioner could not answer even the most basic questions about their oil wealth giveaway plan, and they told the senators to ask the oil industry for answers to their questions. Gov. Parnells own OMB director testified that this plan would have us running a deficit in its first year.

Contrary to what Wagoner, Chenault and Olson want to claim, the senators who opposed Parnells oil tax plan stopped a massive handout that would have cost the state dearly. Its clear that the next election is about whether or not Parnell gets the rubber-stamp Republican legislators he needs to give away $20 billion to oil companies over the next decade.

Nathan Zencey