Alaska oil tax initiative has enough signatures for ballot, its supporters say

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline runs alongside the Dalton Highway near the Toolik Field Station on June 9, 2017, in the North Slope Borough. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/Alaska’s Energy Desk)

An initiative that would raise taxes on Alaska’s largest oil fields has enough signatures to go before voters this year, its supporters say.

In a statement Tuesday, the group supporting the initiative announced it had collected more than 43,000 signatures from across the state. That pushes it beyond the requirement to get on a statewide ballot: 28,501 signatures.

The group, called “Vote Yes for Alaska’s Fair Share,” says it plans to turn the signatures over to election officials on Friday for certification.

The ballot initiative would raise the minimum tax and eliminate oil tax credits for Alaska’s largest legacy fields: Prudhoe Bay, Kuparuk and Alpine. It would also require oil companies to publicly report their revenues and costs from those fields.

Related: Industry, legislators and signature gatherers ready for another big oil tax fight

Anchorage-based oil and gas lawyer Robin Brena, a primary sponsor of the initiative, has said the state is receiving a smaller share of gross oil sales than it has historically.

“Right now we are not getting our fair share,” said Jane Angvik, a former Anchorage Assembly chairwoman who’s also a sponsor of the initiative.

Angvik said the initiative could bring in another $1 billion in production taxes.

But Kara Moriarty, president of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, has said the initiative would hurt the industry, and make investing in the state less attractive.

BP Alaska has said the initiative could cost oil companies up to an additional $2 billion, and those costs would stunt investment.

The group OneAlaska was formed last year to oppose the initiative. By early January, it had raised about $255,000 from the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, the Resource Development Council and oil companies, according to its quarterly report.

Vote Yes for Alaska’s Fair Share filed its last quarterly report in October and had raised about $45,000, mostly from Brena himself.

Earlier this month, supporters of an initiative that would overhaul Alaska’s election laws also announced they had gathered enough signatures for the ballot.

Related: Alaska election reform initiative smashes signature requirements on way to November ballot

Previous articleAlaska News Nightly: Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020
Next articleRecord summer heat that killed Kuskokwim salmon wiped out at least 100,000 fish in Bristol Bay, scientists say