Columnists at Alaska Dispatch such as Alex DeMarban, and Pat Fogey have been at the forefront of defending Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) against Alaska Governor Sean Parnell’s attacks which have been ongoing for the past three years. Then, there is the erstwhile Palin Derangement Syndrom (PDS) – afflicted Craig Medred, who devotes his entire journalism career to developing Alinsky-esque memes with which to attack her.
Medred is well-known in our Palinista community for his low lights, which yesterday reached a new nadir in Sarah Palin transforms conservatism into communism. At CPAC, as reported by Barbara Haney in A Note on Craig Medred’s Joe McCarthy Style Attacks on Gov. Palin, Gov. Palin said:
“Read your Constitution Alaskans. Realize that the natural resources that God has created for mankind’s use, are not owned by the big multinational conglomerates and the monopolies. They’re owned by The People. They don’t own them, so don’t let them own you. You have a right for those resources to be developed for our use.”
Medred ridiculously asserted that Gov. Palin is a communist. He called ACES “a Venezuela style” oil tax. He reiterated the “quitter” meme. Gov. Palin, “rolled out communism as the model for resource development,” Medred absurdly wrote.
Though I disagree with her position on ACES, Haney rose to Gov. Palin’s defense on Medred’s drivel. Further, Haney provided a solid and skillful take-down of Medred’s absurd musings, based on actual historical record. Here are two paragraphs extracted from her post:
The provision in the Alaska Constitution for the use of resources to benefit Alaskans has its grounding in the body of organic law established by the founding fathers. The founding fathers did not want state and local governments to be burdened with the problem that plagued the Continental Congress: How to fund government. The solution that arrived at was a “set aside” program of land grants. This was originally posited in the Northwest Ordinances, and the notions were carried into other areas of statehood law, or organic law as it is commonly called. Particularly noteworthy is the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. As each state entered the union, “land grants” were established so that government could use these lands to generate revenue to fund state government functions.
Now, I have never met Governor Palin, and I have never discussed her CPAC speech with her. However, I am quite certain she was correctly referring to the state and the nation’s founding documents, and not the Communist Manifesto or any other writings of Karl Marx. Most of Marx’s work was contemporary with the Civil War, not the American Revolution. Indeed, I kind of suspect that Governor Palin’s comments were grounded in the work of Thomas Jefferson, for that is who laid the framework for what would ultimately be organic law in the United States. I sort of suspect that the Governor was thinking about the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 that was the basis of the Alaskan Constitutional Provision on resource use to which she referred. In case Medred has not read it, it can be located here.
On March 24, Alex DeMarban, who also writes for the Alaska Dispatch reported that oil companies in Alaska would have to produce 82,000 more barrels of oil per day to offset the losses that would result from dismantling ACES.
DeMarban documented the huge gamble, the Parnell administration is changing. Alaska has already suffered two decades of declining production. Parnell’s give-away could short state coffers up to $900 million per year or even more, and he wants to provide these give-aways without even so much as a promise of increased production.
The proposed tax break, now in the House after passing the Senate last week, could hasten the day of reckoning if enough new oil isn’t produced. Add the unwillingness of big oil companies to commit to new projects, and the massive tax break appears to be a huge “gamble,” a word even proponents have use to describe the bill.
Hiring on the North Slope is at record levels, meanwhile, AK Sen Cathy Giessel claims “the new tax structure’s ‘gross revenue exclusion’ feature, which eliminates taxes on 20 percent of new oil produced, will encourage all kinds of development: ‘heavy oil, shale oil, viscous oil, pockets of oil in legacy areas, coiled-tube drilling, all those hi-tech innovative areas.’ Asked for specific projects, the senators mostly provided projects already underway thanks in part to subsidies under the current tax system.” In other words, the Senators, who along with Gov. Parnell want to destroy ACES can only provide examples of exploration and development being performed under ACES.