EDITOR, Daily News:

Oil tax “risks” are the same old partisan line. Don’t fall for it.

Former Governor Murkowski says that Ballot Measure 1, The Fair Share Initiative, is risky to the Alaska economy. He believes it will scare away investment in Alaska because he says it makes Alaska an unstable place to do business. I disagree. It will put the oil industry on notice that Alaska is no longer a place where politicians can be bought and influenced to put the oil industry’s interest first, because the Fair Share Act is an initiative from the people, not politicians or outside interests.

Governor Murkowski further states that Ballot Measure 1 is a disincentive to “hundreds of small operators.” This is blatantly false. Ballot Measure 1 only applies to oil production on state land in fields north of Latitude 68 that produced more than 40,000 barrels per day during the last year and more than 400 million barrels in total. That excludes small and new operators entirely. In fact, it only applies to the three largest fields, Prudhoe Bay, Alpine and Kuparuk, all of which have been producing oil for decades. It does not apply to small operators.

The governor appears worried that environmental groups will urge an end to oil and gas leases on federal lands, including the National Petroleum Reserve (NPRA) where ConocoPhillips is now developing new fields. Ballot Measure 1 does not apply to leases on federal lands. Any revenue share from federal leases is restricted and cannot be used to solve Alaska’s budget deficit or financial crisis.

The governor is using an old trick of confusing citizens with facts that do not apply to the issue. Ballot Measure 1 does not apply to leases on federal land, new/small fields or to any state fields except the three largest ones on the North Slope.

The bottom line is that Ballot Measure 1 is a citizen’s initiative to sell our valuable oil, our own asset, for a higher price, in order to support our Alaskan way of life. Buyers and sellers do this all the time. Negotiating a better price for a fair outcome is just business, and it’s time we as citizens get down to business. If we do not, we might as well just turn over our state to the oil companies and let them run things. In the past I have said “don’t be fooled by big oil” and now I am saying don’t be fooled by politicians who only speak the partisan rhetoric that supports big oil over Alaska’s citizens. Vote yes for Ballot Measure 1.