Legislature(2015 - 2016)BILL RAY CENTER 230

05/15/2016 09:00 AM FINANCE

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09:02:13 AM Start
09:03:22 AM HB247
09:03:23 AM Public Testimony
11:46:57 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Heard & Held
-- Public Testimony --
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to the end of
the allotted time period or testimony will close
If you are a member of a group with the same
message, in the interest of time, please select
a spokesperson to testify for the entire group.
You may send your written testimony to the
Senate Finance Committee via:
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
2d CS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 247(RLS) am                                                                                          
     "An Act  amending the powers  of the board  of trustees                                                                    
     of the Alaska Retirement  Management Board to authorize                                                                    
     purchase   and   sale   of  transferable   tax   credit                                                                    
     certificates issued in  conjunction with the production                                                                    
     tax on oil and gas;  relating to interest applicable to                                                                    
     delinquent tax; relating to the  oil and gas production                                                                    
     tax,   tax   payments,   and   credits;   relating   to                                                                    
     exploration incentive credits;  relating to refunds for                                                                    
     the  gas storage  facility  tax  credit, the  liquefied                                                                    
     natural  gas  storage  facility  tax  credit,  and  the                                                                    
     qualified   in-state    oil   refinery   infrastructure                                                                    
     expenditures tax  credit; relating to  the confidential                                                                    
     information   status  and   public  record   status  of                                                                    
     information  in the  possession  of  the Department  of                                                                    
     Revenue;  relating to  oil and  gas lease  expenditures                                                                    
     and  production  tax  credits for  municipal  entities;                                                                    
     requiring  a  bond  or cash  deposit  with  a  business                                                                    
     license  application  for  an   oil  or  gas  business;                                                                    
     establishing a  legislative working group to  study the                                                                    
     fiscal regime and  tax structure and rates  for oil and                                                                    
     gas produced  south of 68  degrees North  latitude; and                                                                    
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
9:03:22 AM                                                                                                                    
^PUBLIC TESTIMONY                                                                                                             
9:03:23 AM                                                                                                                    
JON  COOK, CFO,  AIRPORT EQUIPMENT  RENTALS, FAIRBANKS  (via                                                                    
teleconference),   opposed  the   current  version   of  the                                                                    
legislation.  He stated  that  his company  was the  largest                                                                    
heavy and light duty equipment  rental company in the state,                                                                    
including  branches in  Deadhorse  and  Kenai. He  announced                                                                    
that  the company  was a  Fairbanks family-owned  based with                                                                    
125 employees. He understood that  there were many difficult                                                                    
choices  currently  facing  the legislature.  He  understood                                                                    
that there would be some  reform necessary. He stressed that                                                                    
the state  was experiencing problems paying  the earned past                                                                    
credits,  and struggling  to issue  certificates for  moneys                                                                    
owed. He remarked that the  certificates would be able to be                                                                    
sold in the secondary  financial markets and allow customers                                                                    
to  pay their  bills.  He stressed  that  there was  current                                                                    
uncertainty in the supplier and  contractor community in the                                                                    
financial departments  related to  changes to programs  on a                                                                    
retroactive  basis. He  stated  that there  were $7  million                                                                    
that the  state had yet  to pay  in past liabilities,  so he                                                                    
did not  feel that there should  be a new credit  regime. He                                                                    
shared that  his company, and  others like it,  had invested                                                                    
millions  of  dollars  a year  for  credit-funded  projects.                                                                    
Without the  credits, the companies would  cease investment.                                                                    
He  did not  feel that  retroactive changes  were the  wrong                                                                    
choice,  because  it would  be  detrimental  to the  state's                                                                    
reputation  and bond  rating.  He did  not  feel that  there                                                                    
should  be arbitrary  payments to  the state.  He felt  that                                                                    
there were  some perceptions that  the credits  only related                                                                    
to  Wall  Street  hedge  funds   and  the  three  major  oil                                                                    
producers. He stressed that he  had a small company, and the                                                                    
change would  negatively affect his business.  He reiterated                                                                    
that there were many small  Alaskan business affected by the                                                                    
change in the regime.                                                                                                           
9:07:31 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Dunleavy  queried the number of  statewide employees                                                                    
in Mr.  Cook's business.  Mr. Cook replied  that he  had 120                                                                    
Senator Dunleavy  queried the  specific negative  impacts to                                                                    
the company, should the credit  program be changed. Mr. Cook                                                                    
responded  that his  company would  be able  to weather  the                                                                    
change, but he  stated that many other  companies would have                                                                    
a difficult time adjusting to a change.                                                                                         
Senator Dunleavy  noted that many people  in Alaska believed                                                                    
that the credits  only affected the large  oil companies. He                                                                    
wanted  to understand  how many  support  services would  be                                                                    
affected by the change in the oil tax credit system.                                                                            
9:09:43 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:10:13 AM                                                                                                                    
9:10:20 AM                                                                                                                    
AT EASE                                                                                                                         
9:12:05 AM                                                                                                                    
9:12:31 AM                                                                                                                    
KARA  MORIARTY,   CEO,  ALASKA  OIL  AND   GAS  ASSOCIATION,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),  read  from   a  prepared                                                                    
     Good  Morning   Co-Chairs  MacKinnon  and   Kelly,  and                                                                    
     members of  the Committee. For  the record, my  name is                                                                    
     Kara Moriarty  and I'm the President/CEO  of the Alaska                                                                    
     Oil  and  Gas  Association,  commonly  referred  to  as                                                                    
     Thank  you  for  the  opportunity  to  testify  on  the                                                                    
     Committee Substitute (CS) for  HB 247. I have unanimous                                                                    
     consent of my  diverse group of members  to offer these                                                                    
     brief thoughts today.                                                                                                      
     In  listening  to  your  discussion  yesterday,  I  was                                                                    
     encouraged several  of you  were asking  very important                                                                    
     questions  such   as,  "What   will  the  bill   do  to                                                                    
     production and  jobs?" We would  also encourage  you to                                                                    
     ask, "How will state revenues  be impacted by this bill                                                                    
     next  year  or even  five  years  from now?  What  will                                                                    
     Alaska's economy  look like  following the  adoption of                                                                    
     this bill?"                                                                                                                
     HB 247 is  a dramatic shift in oil tax  policy for both                                                                    
     Cook Inlet and the North  Slope, and it will definitely                                                                    
     result  in  less  production,  less  investment,  fewer                                                                    
     Alaskans   working,   and  ultimately,   and   somewhat                                                                    
     ironically, less revenue for the State.                                                                                    
     In my  limited time this  morning, it is  impossible to                                                                    
     go  through  every  section of  the  bill  that  causes                                                                    
     concern, especially when industry  did not see the full                                                                    
     60 page amendment to HB  247 until it was introduced on                                                                    
     the House floor. There was  no opportunity for industry                                                                    
     or  the  public  to  fully vet  some  of  the  concepts                                                                    
     contained in the bill before  you. There have also been                                                                    
     claims that  industry was okay with  the amendment. Let                                                                    
     me be clear,  all AOGA members believe  the bill before                                                                    
     you is the worst committee substitute to date.                                                                             
     Unfortunately, in  this low  price environment  we have                                                                    
     seen a  dramatic cutback  in industry.  Most painfully,                                                                    
     Alaskans  have lost  jobs. We  recognize the  operating                                                                    
     budgets are not  final, but there could  be 50-75 state                                                                    
     employees that will lose jobs  too. But for the oil and                                                                    
     gas industry, the  job loss has been  even more severe,                                                                    
     with  over 1,000  Alaskans no  longer working  directly                                                                    
     for industry as  compared to a year ago.  This does not                                                                    
     include the contractor workforce.                                                                                          
     As a  reminder, the  McDowell Group has  estimated that                                                                    
     for every  direct job the industry  provides another 20                                                                    
     jobs  are   created  throughout  the   broader  Alaskan                                                                    
     economy. I  know of no  other private  sector industry,                                                                    
     or state  government agency that creates  such economic                                                                    
     growth,   so  we   would  respectfully   disagree  with                                                                    
     comments  that suggest  cutbacks from  the oil  and gas                                                                    
     industry  would  not  be  as  harmful  to  the  Alaskan                                                                    
     economy   as   reductions   in  other   industries   or                                                                    
     There was  also a  suggestion that  the state  can't do                                                                    
     anything  about   the  current  downturn  in   the  oil                                                                    
     industry because the decisions  have been driven by the                                                                    
     price of oil. That is  partially true. While there will                                                                    
     be impacts  due to  price that are  out of  the state's                                                                    
     control,  state policies  can  exacerbate the  problem.                                                                    
     Will the  state have policies that  drive investment to                                                                    
     Alaska when prices go up?                                                                                                  
     Under this bill  the answer is no.  Instead, it creates                                                                    
     policies that will not drive  investment to Alaska from                                                                    
     explorers  and  producers  alike   when  prices  go  up                                                                    
     because it  will now take  a much higher oil  price for                                                                    
     industry investment  to return  or increase  in Alaska,                                                                    
     if it returns at all.                                                                                                      
     As  the  state grapples  with  low  prices, and  budget                                                                    
     shortfalls, ironically,  the State is  actually setting                                                                    
     the stage for an  inevitable loss of revenue regardless                                                                    
     of what credits it removes or taxes it raises.                                                                             
     Under this bill,  the State will see lower  oil and gas                                                                    
     production, which  will then drain State  finances. For                                                                    
     example, the  owners of Prudhoe Bay  just updated their                                                                    
     plan of development and  have estimated that production                                                                    
     will decline about 20,000 -  60,000 barrels per day due                                                                    
     to the  shut-down of  3 rigs.  This lost  drilling time                                                                    
     could result in a 10-30  percent decline in Prudhoe Bay                                                                    
     Utilizing the Department  of Revenue's Spring Forecast,                                                                    
     we  have examined  what  production  decline will  look                                                                    
     like over the  next five years. I believe  you have the                                                                    
     charts we have developed.  If production estimates stay                                                                    
     where they  were in April,  production in FY  2021 will                                                                    
     be about  418,600, about a 4  percent decline. However,                                                                    
     if  the  proposed  legislation is  enacted,  the  DOR's                                                                    
     production  estimates will  become far  too optimistic.                                                                    
     In reality,  increased taxes  and omitting  tax credits                                                                    
     will accelerate production decline.                                                                                        
     If we  had a 10 percent  decline per year for  5 years,                                                                    
     production would be about 307,000  barrels per day, and                                                                    
     in  terms  state  revenue,  a  10  percent  decline  in                                                                    
     production  will   result  in  $793  million   less  in                                                                    
     royalties alone for the State.                                                                                             
     The technical  aspects of operating TAPS  are made more                                                                    
     challenging  with less  production. Alyeska  has stated                                                                    
     that TAPS  faces a significant operational  obstacle at                                                                    
     throughputs at  around 300,000  barrels per  day, which                                                                    
     is about the  10 percent decline mark.  Despite some of                                                                    
     the  best and  most innovative  people in  the industry                                                                    
     focused on  this scenario, an operational  solution has                                                                    
     not yet  been identified  to sustain TAPS  operation at                                                                    
     this level.                                                                                                                
     It is fair  to say, that this 6th change  in tax policy                                                                    
     in 11  years makes  several fundamental  alterations to                                                                    
     SB 21  and to the  tax system  in Cook Inlet.  This new                                                                    
     policy will not attract  investment or new independents                                                                    
     to  Alaska, causing  exciting projects  to be  shelved.                                                                    
     The bill  spells doom  for Cook  Inlet as  some credits                                                                    
     will  be  removed  in  less   than  6  weeks  which  is                                                                    
     basically a retroactive tax  increase as companies have                                                                    
     made  investments for  the  calendar  year expecting  a                                                                    
     credit system to  remain in place for  a longer period.                                                                    
     Additionally  in  Cook  Inlet, the  companies  will  be                                                                    
     faced  with  extremely  high   tax  rates,  which  will                                                                    
     invariably  be passed  onto South  Central natural  gas                                                                    
     consumers in the near future.                                                                                              
     This  bill sends  a  strong signal  to  the world  that                                                                    
     Alaska is constantly  changing tax policies, regardless                                                                    
     of oil price, and  regardless of the economic condition                                                                    
     of the industry.                                                                                                           
     In  closing,  the industry  is  not  asking for  a  tax                                                                    
     decrease or  for tax  or royalty relief.  But it  is my                                                                    
     job to  let you know  what impacts your  decisions will                                                                    
     or Cook Inlet.                                                                                                             
     Alaska,  and will  likely drive  companies  out of  the                                                                    
     We understand  the politics associated with  this issue                                                                    
     are  challenging. We  get  it. And  yet,  to my  member                                                                    
     companies, the  politics are largely irrelevant  to the                                                                    
     core  of  what  drives  decision-making,  and  that  is                                                                    
     economics.   My  member   companies  will   not  pursue                                                                    
     projects that don't  pencil out. I can  assure you that                                                                    
     HB 247 just made  project economics worse for producers                                                                    
     and explorers  alike, and  the decisions  the companies                                                                    
    will make in response will not be good for Alaska.                                                                          
     Thank  you for  the opportunity  to testify  today, and                                                                    
     I'm happy to take any questions you may have.                                                                              
9:20:07 AM                                                                                                                    
PETE  STOKES, PRESIDENT,  ALASKA SUPPORT  INDUSTRY ALLIANCE,                                                                    
ANCHORAGE  (via   teleconference),  testified   against  the                                                                    
current version of  the bill. He stated that  the members of                                                                    
his  organization had  recently experienced  2000 lost  jobs                                                                    
due to the recent downturn in  oil price. He felt that there                                                                    
was  lack of  understanding  of the  fiscal  impacts of  the                                                                    
bill. He  stressed that the  amendments passed on  the House                                                                    
floor  were not  properly vetted  by testimony  or committee                                                                    
process. He stated that the  forecast assumed that the price                                                                    
of oil  would be $40 per  barrel by FY 17.  He remarked that                                                                    
there  could  be  an updated  oil  revenue  forecast,  which                                                                    
assumed a  higher price of  oil. He stated that  an increase                                                                    
in oil  tax at a  low price of  oil would be  detrimental to                                                                    
future investment and production.  He stressed that the bill                                                                    
would  case  additional  job loss  and  opportunities  as  a                                                                    
result of  increased oil taxes.  He urged the  committee not                                                                    
to pass HB 247.                                                                                                                 
Vice-Chair Micciche  stressed that the committee  would take                                                                    
the time to vet the bill  and any changes that may occur. He                                                                    
queried  any specific  problems  with the  bill. Mr.  Stokes                                                                    
replied  that  every  change  to  the  fiscal  terms  had  a                                                                    
multitude  of  components.  He  agreed  to  provide  further                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Micciche  stressed  that he  was  interested  in                                                                    
specific problems with the legislation.                                                                                         
Co-Chair MacKinnon  shared that industry members  were given                                                                    
five to seven minutes, and  public testimony was given three                                                                    
9:27:08 AM                                                                                                                    
MAYNARD  TAPP, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), urged                                                                    
the committee to  focus on increasing production  in the oil                                                                    
pipeline.  He did  not believe  that revenue  would be  from                                                                    
taxes.  He felt  that taxes  and credits  only confused  the                                                                    
industry, and how they want to invest in Alaska.                                                                                
CARL  PORTMAN, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against  the   current  version   of  the   legislation.  He                                                                    
testified  against  increasing  taxes  on the  oil  and  gas                                                                    
industry. He stressed that the  industry was losing millions                                                                    
of dollars in the current  environment. He remarked that the                                                                    
current oil and gas policy had encouraged production.                                                                           
9:30:35 AM                                                                                                                    
SCOTT    JEPSEN,     VICE-PRESIDENT,    EXTERNAL    AFFAIRS,                                                                    
CONOCOPHILLIPS,   ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),   spoke                                                                    
against the  legislation. He  shared that  ConocoPhilips had                                                                    
increased development  and production since the  most recent                                                                    
oil and gas  tax reform legislation [SB 21].  He shared that                                                                    
ConocoPhilips was  one of the  most active investors  in the                                                                    
oil  and   gas  industry   in  Alaska.  He   shared  various                                                                    
activities  that ConocoPhilips  had engaged  in to  increase                                                                    
production  and investment  in  the state.  He  read from  a                                                                    
prepared statement:                                                                                                             
     COP has historically been one of the state's most                                                                          
     active investors and that is especially true since                                                                         
     passage of SB21.                                                                                                           
          o We  have funded and constructed  the first drill                                                                    
          site in Kuparuk in 13 years.                                                                                          
          o We have increased our  rig count from 3 pre-SB21                                                                    
          to 4  to 5  and as high  as 6  during exploration.                                                                    
          This compares to  our current L48 rig  count of 3,                                                                    
          down from 20+ several years ago.                                                                                      
          o We  are also pursuing  new developments  in NPRA                                                                    
          (GMT-1   and   GMT-2)   as  well   as   additional                                                                    
          development  of the  viscous oil  resource in  the                                                                    
          Kuparuk River Unit.                                                                                                   
          o  We have  been  a net  severance  tax payer  and                                                                    
         continue to be a net severance tax payer.                                                                              
          o  We  continue  to  be  an  active  explorer  and                                                                    
          investor,  but detrimental  changes in  SB21 could                                                                    
          negatively impact  our investment plans  both near                                                                    
          term and long term.                                                                                                   
          o With that  as background, I will  now talk about                                                                    
          the  elements  of  the   House  bill  that  impact                                                                    
          ConocoPhillips.  I  will  not  be  addressing  the                                                                    
          reimbursable  tax  credits   because  COP  is  not                                                                    
          eligible for those credits.  In case the committee                                                                    
          is interested,  we have  put together  a one-pager                                                                    
          that  summarizes   ConocoPhillips'  position  with                                                                    
          regard  to  the various  tax  credits.  It is  our                                                                    
          estimate that we will  receive very little benefit                                                                    
          from any of the tax  credit provisions in the next                                                                    
          fiscal year.  For the sake  of time today,  I have                                                                    
          chosen  not to  go through  the one-pager,  but if                                                                    
          there is  interest, we would  be happy  to provide                                                                    
          it to the Committee.                                                                                                  
     With regard to the elements of the bill that affect                                                                        
          o  GVR -  The changes  in  the GVR  will make  new                                                                    
          field  economics   less  competitive   with  other                                                                    
          investment  opportunities.  Developing new  fields                                                                    
          like  GMT-1  and  GMT-2  is  more  expensive  than                                                                    
          drilling in  the L48 simply  because we  need more                                                                    
          infrastructure  to  bring  the wells  on  line.  A                                                                    
          three year  GVR does little to  help the economics                                                                    
          of these  new developments  and even a  seven year                                                                    
          GVR is  only marginally helpful. Changing  the GVR                                                                    
          as described in  the bill passed in  the House may                                                                    
          negatively  impact the  likelihood of  funding for                                                                    
          these types of projects.                                                                                              
          o Changes to the gross  minimum tax - Changing the                                                                    
          gross  minimum  tax  rate  from  4  percent  to  5                                                                    
          percent,  even  as a  function  of  oil price,  is                                                                    
          simply sending the wrong  signal to investors. One                                                                    
          of the  key things Alaska  can do to  maintain its                                                                    
          competitive  edge is  to at  least keep  the basic                                                                    
          tax structure  in place. This change  represents a                                                                    
          fundamental change  in the  tax structure  and one                                                                    
          that will  cause investors like  ConocoPhillips to                                                                    
          be much more wary about investing in the state.                                                                       
          o Monthly versus yearly use  of the per barrel and                                                                    
          other  credits -  There is  also  language in  the                                                                    
          bill that  attempts to change  the use of  the per                                                                    
          barrel and other credits from  a yearly basis to a                                                                    
          monthly  basis.  This   change  is  reportedly  to                                                                    
          address  Director  Alper's theory  of  "migrating"                                                                    
          tax credits.  If one  reads the  SB21 legislation,                                                                    
          it  is clear  that the  intent of  the legislation                                                                    
          and the  regulations that  were drafted  from SB21                                                                    
          was  to   make  estimated  monthly   payments  but                                                                    
          finalize  payments  based   upon  yearly  results.                                                                    
          There is no  ability for the tax  payer to "shift"                                                                    
          tax credits  from one  month to  another -  we are                                                                    
          simply following  the regulations laid out  by the                                                                    
          State. Attempting  to restrict the per  barrel and                                                                    
          other  credits to  monthly  results versus  yearly                                                                    
          results essentially  turns the tax into  a monthly                                                                    
          tax  which in  the  end will  make tax  compliance                                                                    
          more  difficult  with  more  complex  audits.  DOR                                                                    
          already has  issues with completing audits  in the                                                                    
          six  year time  frame they  have available  - this                                                                    
          will make  it even  harder to complete  audits and                                                                    
          is clearly is reformulation  of the intent of SB21                                                                    
          without  any  overarching   tax  policy  framework                                                                    
          other  than to  increase  State take  in times  of                                                                    
          price volatility.                                                                                                     
          o NOLs  - While we  do not envision that  the NOLs                                                                    
          by  a   company  like   COP  are   as  potentially                                                                    
          significant  as  Director  Alper has  claimed,  it                                                                    
          does not  make sense  to limit  NOLs by  the large                                                                    
          producers to  just one  year while  continuing the                                                                    
          NOL  provisions  for  the  small  producers,  non-                                                                    
          producers  and non-tax  payers in  perpetuity. The                                                                    
          long term  investors who have been,  and depending                                                                    
          upon  the tax  framework, may  continue to  invest                                                                    
          billions  in  the  North   Slope,  are  the  large                                                                    
          producers like  ConocoPhillips. The  philosophy of                                                                    
          continuing  NOLs for  the small  and non-producers                                                                    
          and  eliminating   a  recovery  of   NOLs  against                                                                    
          severance  tax liability  for the  large producers                                                                    
          is   not   consistent   and  has   a   potentially                                                                    
          differential, negative impact  on the State's most                                                                    
          consistent investors.                                                                                                 
          o Interest rate on amounts  owed - The increase in                                                                    
          interest rate for payments owed  to the State does                                                                    
          not  seem  reasonable  given the  very  long  time                                                                    
          frame it  takes for the state  to finalize audits.                                                                    
          We  typically  do  not get  audit  results  for  6                                                                    
          years,  and then  it  can  take 3  to  4 years  to                                                                    
          finally  resolve the  points  of disagreement.  We                                                                    
          believe  the  interest  rate  provisions  in  SB21                                                                    
          should be  left standing until the  state can turn                                                                    
          around  and finalize  its audits  in a  reasonable                                                                    
          time frame (for example 3 years).                                                                                     
          o Tax  credit disclosures - Based  upon our review                                                                    
          to date,  we do  not see any  issues with  the tax                                                                    
          credits disclosure provisions  as described in the                                                                    
          House bill.                                                                                                           
     Concluding comments                                                                                                        
          o  Any  changes  that  increase  the  tax  burden,                                                                    
          especially  in  times  of   low  prices  when  the                                                                    
          industry  is  cash   flow  negative,  will  likely                                                                    
          result  in   adversely  impacting  ConocoPhillips'                                                                    
          current and future investments.                                                                                       
          o  Significant  changes  in   the  tax  law  would                                                                    
          validate  concerns regarding  the State's  ability                                                                    
          to implement  a stable oil and  gas fiscal policy.                                                                    
          It  has only  been  about 20  months since  voters                                                                    
          ratified SB  21. Long  term investment  requires a                                                                    
          durable, reasonable fiscal  framework. We have had                                                                    
          six changes in Alaska's  oil and gas tax framework                                                                    
          in the  last 11 years. Another  significant change                                                                    
          will negatively  impact investor's view  of Alaska                                                                    
          and  could adversely  impact long  term investment                                                                    
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  requested   the  analysis  and  written                                                                    
comments. Mr. Jepsen agreed to provide that information.                                                                        
9:37:46 AM                                                                                                                    
BILL ARMSTRONG, PRESIDENT AND OWNER,  ARMSTRONG OIL AND GAS,                                                                    
NEW  ORLEANS  (via  teleconference), testified  against  the                                                                    
current legislation.  He announced that his  company was the                                                                    
largest independent  oil and  gas company  in the  state. He                                                                    
stated that  the most  recently developed  fields originated                                                                    
in  his office  in Denver.  He shared  that Armstrong  had a                                                                    
recent  new discovery,  which would  be one  of the  largest                                                                    
fields in  the history of the  North Slope. He felt  that it                                                                    
would possibly  produce 120,000 barrels  a day,  which would                                                                    
be a significant  percentage of the oil  in the Trans-Alaska                                                                    
Pipeline System  (TAPS). He stressed that  had "brought more                                                                    
players"  and "more  money to  the state  than anybody."  He                                                                    
felt that  he was  a "walking,  talking chamber  of commerce                                                                    
for the state  of Alaska oil and gas players."  He felt that                                                                    
Alaska had a positive future on the North Slope.                                                                                
9:44:40 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator  Bishop  noted  the  felt that  the  state  and  the                                                                    
producers were partners. He announced  that he had worked in                                                                    
the oil and  gas industry in the past, and  remarked that he                                                                    
had  experienced  a  wage  reduction   at  another  time  of                                                                    
business strife. He wondered if  there was room to index the                                                                    
credits,  in  order  to protect  the  state.  Mr.  Armstrong                                                                    
replied that  there was  some potential  with that  idea, if                                                                    
there was  a way to make  it work for both  parties. He felt                                                                    
that  the  state always  wants  more  revenue regardless  of                                                                    
whether the price of oil was high or low.                                                                                       
Co-Chair MacKinnon wondered  whether Armstrong produced oil,                                                                    
or only drilled wells. Mr.  Armstrong responded that the two                                                                    
projects  created  by  Armstrong were  producing  almost  10                                                                    
percent of the capacity in TAPS.  He stated that there was a                                                                    
new field  that was currently under  an environmental impact                                                                    
study,  and he  hoped that  it  would come  online soon.  He                                                                    
stated that the  production on that new  field would provide                                                                    
almost 50  percent of TAPS.  He stated that his  company was                                                                    
also drilling new wells.                                                                                                        
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  wondered   if  Armstrong  produced  the                                                                    
wells, or  whether it was  in partnership.  She specifically                                                                    
wondered  if Armstrong's  oil  was in  TAPS,  or if  another                                                                    
company had purchased the  unit post-drilling. Mr. Armstrong                                                                    
replied that  that there  were partners  that he  had worked                                                                    
with  to  produce the  barrels.  He  stressed that  his  new                                                                    
development would be Armstrong's development.                                                                                   
9:50:26 AM                                                                                                                    
JEFF  HASTINGS, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), read                                                                    
from a prepared statement:                                                                                                      
     Good Morning;                                                                                                              
     My name is  Jeff Hastings. I am  the Executive Chairman                                                                    
     for SAE Exploration, a  managing member of Kuukpik/SAE,                                                                    
     our Joint  Venture with the native  village of Nuiqsut.                                                                    
     My  family has  lived and  labored in  the state  since                                                                    
     1987. Our  companies employ an average  of 400 Alaskans                                                                    
     I  would like  to start  by extending  our appreciation                                                                    
     for  the long  hours  that have  been  clocked and  the                                                                    
     efforts of legislators and  their staff. We acknowledge                                                                    
     that these  are difficult  times and  there is  no easy                                                                    
     or,  single  solution to  the  fiscal  gap we  Alaskans                                                                    
     currently face.                                                                                                            
     Today we would like to  draw attention to the condition                                                                    
     and  state  of  many   of  the  prime  contractors  and                                                                    
     subcontractors   that  are   being   effected  by   the                                                                    
     uncertainty and  lack of confidence in  the current tax                                                                    
     credit  program  and  the  provisions  in  the  current                                                                    
     version of HB247.                                                                                                          
     Over the  past 7-8 months  we have seen the  erosion of                                                                    
     third  party lenders  willing  to  project finance,  or                                                                    
     lend against outstanding  tax certificates. The State's                                                                    
     tax certificates,  once regarded  as AAA  credit worthy                                                                    
     are now wrought with  enough uncertainty that even high                                                                    
     risk  lenders and  factoring firms  will not  entertain                                                                    
     lending against the program. Our  clients, who have had                                                                    
     program financing  at the  closing table,  have watched                                                                    
     the money  needed to fund  or continue  their programs,                                                                    
     vaporize  as  the  uncertainty  of  monetization  under                                                                    
     current programs increases.                                                                                                
     The  timing of  the  audit  and certification  process,                                                                    
     which   is  now   a   "first   application  in,   first                                                                    
     certificate  out"  process,   is  an  unknown  variable                                                                    
     adding to  the inability  to finance the  receivable of                                                                    
     the state.                                                                                                                 
     Once  a certificate  is awarded  there is  no schedule,                                                                    
     current  funding, or  apparent  plan for  the state  to                                                                    
     fund and pay  for those credits that  have already been                                                                    
     This  lack  of  a  viable   plan  to  pay  the  State's                                                                    
     obligation  under the  current  tax  credit program  is                                                                    
     causing  a  trickle  down of  financial  distress  that                                                                    
     extends from the explorer, to  the prime contractor, to                                                                    
     the  subcontractors that  depend on  the state  to meet                                                                    
     its obligation timely.                                                                                                     
     The  latest version  of  HB247  has several  provisions                                                                    
     that  will  cause further  stress  on  a long  line  of                                                                    
    Alaskan companies who employ thousands of Alaskans.                                                                         
     This version of the bill  further restricts a holder of                                                                    
     a  certificate  from  assigning those  certificates  to                                                                    
     "The  Secondary Market",  those entities  who currently                                                                    
     pay production tax.                                                                                                        
     This version of the bill  also provides for purchase of                                                                    
     the tax  certificates by the  pension fund at  the rate                                                                    
     of 60 percent.  The fund can then turn  around and cash                                                                    
     the  certificate back  into the  Department of  Revenue                                                                    
     for 100 percent  of the face value. When  did the State                                                                    
     of  Alaska  get into  the  factoring  business? Is  the                                                                    
     State and  expecting Alaskan companies who  have earned                                                                    
     and  are  now owed  the  funds  to  take a  40  percent                                                                    
     haircut and  in the same  motion provide a  windfall to                                                                    
     another  group   of  Alaskans  that   are  participants                                                                    
     through the pension fund?                                                                                                  
     In   essence,  the   State,  through   the  months   of                                                                    
     uncertainty  of how  currently earned  credits will  be                                                                    
     treated  and new  provisions contained  in the  current                                                                    
     version   of  HB247,   has  all   but  eliminated   the                                                                    
     opportunity  for  third  party lending,  restricted  or                                                                    
     nominalized  the secondary  market to  trade or  assign                                                                    
     certificates and appears to be  taking advantage of the                                                                    
     distress  this  situation  has  caused  by  offering  a                                                                    
     factoring  facility  that  will cause  damage  to  many                                                                    
     Alaskans  families  while   providing  a  windfall  for                                                                    
     We  all know  change is  needed  in many  areas of  our                                                                    
     spending.  However,  to  claw  back  monies  earned  by                                                                    
     Alaska companies, or not  to provide payment visibility                                                                    
     on  obligations of  the State  is negatively  effecting                                                                    
     thousands of families  in the State. There has  to be a                                                                    
     better way  to fund the program  and provide visibility                                                                    
     to  allow companies  to help  themselves and  the State                                                                    
     through this trough.                                                                                                       
     Thank you for  your time this morning. If  there is any                                                                    
     information or, support  we can provide to  you or your                                                                    
     staff we are available anytime.                                                                                            
Senator  Bishop wondered  how many  employees were  directly                                                                    
employed by  Mr. Hastings'  company. Mr.  Hastings responded                                                                    
that he employed an average of 400 employees a year.                                                                            
Senator Bishop  queried the number of  contractors annually.                                                                    
Mr.  Hastings stated  that there  were approximately  100 to                                                                    
150  sub-contracts  per  year,  which did  not  include  the                                                                    
Senator  Bishop queried  the  annual  payroll. Mr.  Hastings                                                                    
replied responded that the  monthly Alaskan payroll averaged                                                                    
just above $1.2 million.                                                                                                        
9:56:55 AM                                                                                                                    
MICHAEL ERSTROM, SELF,  SOLDOTNA (via teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against the legislation.  He remarked that there  would be a                                                                    
direct  effect  on  the community,  should  the  tax  regime                                                                    
change.  He  shared  that  he  had  seen  several  companies                                                                    
retreat from business  in Alaska, when the price  of oil was                                                                    
better than the  current price. He stressed  that there were                                                                    
companies  that  were  attempting  to work  in  the  current                                                                    
environment, and  actively losing money in  the meantime. He                                                                    
felt  that  changing  the  rules would  make  it  much  more                                                                    
difficult  for  those  companies to  conduct  business,  and                                                                    
would make Alaska less appealing for business investment.                                                                       
9:58:44 AM                                                                                                                    
MARLEANNA  HALL,  EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,  RESOURCE  DEVELOPMENT                                                                    
COUNCIL, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), spoke  against the                                                                    
current   version  of   the  bill.   She  stated   that  her                                                                    
organization was a statewide  trade association comprised of                                                                    
individuals  and  companies  from   Alaska's  oil  and  gas;                                                                    
mining; forest products;  fisheries; and tourism industries.                                                                    
She  stressed  that  her members  were  the  "lifeblood"  of                                                                    
Alaska's  economy. She  believed that  the best  approach to                                                                    
expand the economy  and generate new revenues  for the state                                                                    
was  to produce  more  oil; attract  more tourists;  harvest                                                                    
more fish; and  mine more minerals. She  stated that raising                                                                    
taxes on  companies that were  reporting record losses  in a                                                                    
negative cash flow  was not sound fiscal  policy. She echoed                                                                    
Ms. Moriarty's comments.                                                                                                        
Vice-Chair Micciche  wondered if there was  an aspect within                                                                    
tax  credit  policy  that was  appropriate,  without  deeper                                                                    
changes to the policy itself.  Ms. Hall replied that she was                                                                    
not  a tax  expert, and  agreed to  provide a  more detailed                                                                    
answer. She  reiterated that increasing or  changing the tax                                                                    
policy would  jeopardize investment.  She stressed  that the                                                                    
tax structure change would result  in less oil in the Trans-                                                                    
Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).                                                                                                  
Vice-Chair Micciche pointed out  that it was appropriate for                                                                    
the committee  to evaluate the current  status, and stressed                                                                    
that there should be a  focus on production that resulted in                                                                    
a better bottom  line to state. He stressed  that he equally                                                                    
evaluated all companies. He understood  that he had asked an                                                                    
unfair question, because it was not her area of expertise.                                                                      
Senator  Bishop wondered  whether any  member companies  had                                                                    
done  a  wage  reduction  with  their  employees  to  remain                                                                    
competitive. Ms. Hall responded that  there had been a large                                                                    
number of  layoffs over the  previous 18 months.  She stated                                                                    
that  she  did   not  know  if  there  had   been  any  wage                                                                    
reductions, but restated that there were many layoffs.                                                                          
10:05:08 AM                                                                                                                   
DAN  SECKERS,  EXXONMOBIL,  JUNEAU,  testified  against  the                                                                    
legislation. He  stressed that raising taxes  on an industry                                                                    
that was  losing money  would not  lead to  more production,                                                                    
but rather it would do  the exact opposite. He remarked that                                                                    
the committee substitute would not  lead to more production,                                                                    
more  investment,  more   jobs,  nor  long-term  sustainable                                                                    
revenues. He addressed some detail  as related to Vice-Chair                                                                    
Micciche's concerns  about the  taxes. He looked  at Section                                                                    
80,  which would  raise the  interest rate  on tax  over and                                                                    
under payments.  He stressed that  the problem  with Section                                                                    
80 was that  it did not address the core  issue. He remarked                                                                    
that it was not the interest  rate, but rather the length of                                                                    
time  the department  was allowed  to do  audits. He  shared                                                                    
that  ExxonMobil had  received its  2009 tax  assessment six                                                                    
years after  they filed the  return; with  interest accruing                                                                    
that  entire span  of  time. He  stressed  that raising  the                                                                    
interest  rate would  only provide  more  incentive for  the                                                                    
department,  so the  interest could  continue to  accrue. He                                                                    
looked at Section 14 would  raise the gross minimum tax from                                                                    
4 percent  to 5  percent. Raising the  minimum tax  on gross                                                                    
revenue  was  a  regressive  tax increase,  and  would  have                                                                    
significant  adverse  impacts   on  future  investments.  He                                                                    
believed that  BP had  shared that a  1 percent  increase in                                                                    
the minimum tax  would equate to a shutdown of  a rig for at                                                                    
least  one-half year.  The loss  of any  drilling rig  meant                                                                    
lost production, lost jobs, and  lost revenues. He felt that                                                                    
it  would send  the wrong  message to  companies looking  to                                                                    
invest  in  Alaska. He  looked  at  Section 4,  which  would                                                                    
eliminate the  recovery of future operating  losses for most                                                                    
companies.  It would  represent a  substantial and  negative                                                                    
change  to  the overall  balanced  reform  that was  brought                                                                    
forth  in  previous oil  and  gas  legislation [SB  21].  He                                                                    
stated that  SB 21 raised the  base tax rate to  35 percent.                                                                    
As  part  of the  tax  rate  increase,  it allowed  for  net                                                                    
operating losses to  be carried forward or  be determined at                                                                    
that  rate.  He  stressed   that  recovering  net  operating                                                                    
losses, when a company earned  a profit into the future, was                                                                    
a  cornerstone of  any net-based  tax system.  He reiterated                                                                    
that  the tax  had more  net  income based  features than  a                                                                    
gross  tax.  The  deductibility  of costs  and  losses  that                                                                    
differentiated a net system from  a gross system. Allowing a                                                                    
company,  regardless  of  its  production  levels  to  carry                                                                    
forward losses that could not  be deducted in a current year                                                                    
was critical to  the concept of a net-based  tax system, and                                                                    
the concept  of balancing  revenues and expenses.  He stated                                                                    
that the allowing  of the recovery of  losses represented an                                                                    
immediate  and  significant  tax   increase.  He  looked  at                                                                    
Section 41, which would further  raise the production tax by                                                                    
changing the way the gross  value at the point of production                                                                    
was determined  and applied, by  preventing the  gross value                                                                    
from dropping  below zero. He  stated that it seemed  like a                                                                    
reasonable  provision.  He   explained,  however,  that  the                                                                    
provision  represented  a  disguised   tax  increase  and  a                                                                    
substantive change  to the production tax  law. He explained                                                                    
that, under  the law,  a producer did  not file  a field-by-                                                                    
field  or unit-by-unit  tax return.  He  announced that  the                                                                    
producer filed by segment. He  explained that the production                                                                    
tax  would be  based on  the  true economics  of the  entire                                                                    
operations and investment of that  entire segment. He stated                                                                    
that,   if  the   administration  intended   to  limit   the                                                                    
termination and application of the  gross value at the point                                                                    
of  production to  a field-by-field  or unit-by-unit  basis,                                                                    
then it changed the substance  of the production tax law. It                                                                    
changed  the  consolidated  way in  which  investments  were                                                                    
evaluated,   and  how   a  producer's   tax  liability   was                                                                    
Mr.   Seckers  addressed   a   provision,   which  was   not                                                                    
technically in the committee  substitute, but rather alluded                                                                    
to by  Commissioner Hoffbeck the  previous day:  the concept                                                                    
of migrating tax credits.                                                                                                       
10:12:28 AM                                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Micciche  felt that  it was  awkward to  point at                                                                    
other business models, but felt  that the testimony referred                                                                    
to  the industry  as  a whole.  He looked  at  the past  tax                                                                    
liability interest  rate, and understood that  the length of                                                                    
time had been  difficult. He queried a  position regarding a                                                                    
change  that would  take into  an account  the extension  of                                                                    
time that  put an equal impact  on the state that  would not                                                                    
penalize  the  companies.  Mr.  Seckers  replied  that  most                                                                    
companies filed  its returns as  accurately as  possible. He                                                                    
stated  that ExxonMobil  had licenses  who were  required by                                                                    
law to file  the returns accurately, and  had zero tolerance                                                                    
who  took  exception to  the  rule  within the  company.  He                                                                    
stressed  that the  concern  was about  six  years to  audit                                                                    
based on a law that had been  in place for over a decade. He                                                                    
felt that the  administration had an incentive  to wait with                                                                    
the  results,  because the  interest  accrued  could not  be                                                                    
reduced. He  felt that mitigation  to that problem  would be                                                                    
helpful.  He  remarked  that the  state  could  shorten  the                                                                    
statute of limitations to three  years, as was previously in                                                                    
Co-Chair   MacKinnon  shared   that  a   conversation  about                                                                    
interest  may be  best with  the Tax  Division present.  She                                                                    
stressed  that some  tax payers  were more  forthcoming with                                                                    
their information  request, and  others were less  likely to                                                                    
be  forthcoming.  As a  result,  some  information would  be                                                                    
exchanged several times.                                                                                                        
Vice-Chair Micciche  queried regimes that would  go negative                                                                    
on tax liability for ExxonMobil.  Mr. Seckers responded that                                                                    
any net income  base system has the  possibility of allowing                                                                    
the tax liability to go  to zero with losses carried forward                                                                    
or  backward.  He  urged   a  conversation  with  enalytica,                                                                    
because that  company had  experience throughout  the world.                                                                    
He  shared that  most production  taxes were  not net-based,                                                                    
which  is why  the state  had many  deductions. He  stressed                                                                    
that the system was set  up specifically for Alaska, because                                                                    
it was  expensive to conduct  business in  remote locations.                                                                    
He  stressed  that  a  net-based   system  allowed  for  the                                                                    
equalization of  marginal fields  and large fields.  He felt                                                                    
that  a  gross  tax  would   cause  a  disadvantage  to  the                                                                    
independent  companies.   He  stressed  that  a   gross  tax                                                                    
structure  taxed  phantom  income,  because  companies  were                                                                    
losing money and getting taxed at a higher rate.                                                                                
10:17:01 AM                                                                                                                   
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  wondered  if  ExxonMobil  continued  to                                                                    
conduct business as  usual after the price  of oil declined.                                                                    
Mr. Seckers  responded that ExxonMobil continued  to operate                                                                    
Point  Thompson   as  it  always   had.  He   remarked  that                                                                    
ExxonMobil had shares in other  fields, so there was a focus                                                                    
on what  was best  for the  field at any  point in  time. He                                                                    
shared   that   ExxonMobil   had   four   decision   points:                                                                    
efficiencies; activity  levels; discretionary  spending; and                                                                    
layoffs. He  stated that ExxonMobil had  not yet experienced                                                                    
layoffs as a result of the lower oil price.                                                                                     
Co-Chair  MacKinnon queried  efforts  to  reduce costs.  Mr.                                                                    
Seckers replied that he was  focused on taxes in ExxonMobil,                                                                    
so it was difficult to  answer that question. He shared that                                                                    
the company was  examining a broad perspective  to bring the                                                                    
highest   value    share   to   Alaskans    and   ExxonMobil                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon shared that  Alaskans were also examining                                                                    
efficiencies.  She   announced  that  the   legislature  had                                                                    
reduced  costs,  and had  proposed  an  almost $1.5  billion                                                                    
reduction.  She  stated that  there  had  been a  change  in                                                                    
activity  levels, reduced  discretionary spending,  and were                                                                    
examining possible layoffs. She  wondered if the contractors                                                                    
hired by  ExxonMobil were currently  employed, or  were some                                                                    
contracts discontinued.  Mr. Seckers  replied that  that the                                                                    
industry was  not interested in  any change in the  law, and                                                                    
stressed  that no  one wanted  any  job loss.  He agreed  to                                                                    
provide further information.                                                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon  stressed that  Alaska was  attempting to                                                                    
respond to a shortfall in  the same manner that the industry                                                                    
was responding to the shortfall.                                                                                                
Senator  Hoffman   queried  comments  on  the   Alaska  Hire                                                                    
provisions,  and promoting  those  individuals  in order  to                                                                    
receive  the credits.  Mr. Seckers  replied that  ExxonMobil                                                                    
had never  qualified for the  refundable credit  section. He                                                                    
furthered  that ExxonMobil  did  its best  to  hire as  many                                                                    
Alaskans as  possible. He announced that  Point Thompson had                                                                    
80  percent Alaskans  working. He  stressed that  ExxonMobil                                                                    
supported the hiring of Alaskans.                                                                                               
Senator Bishop  recalled that ExxonMobil  had 91  percent of                                                                    
Point   Thompson   employed   by  Alaskans   including   all                                                                    
contractors and subcontractors. He  felt that ExxonMobil had                                                                    
sustained its  agreement, and thanked Mr.  Seckers for their                                                                    
Co-Chair MacKinnon wondered  whether ExxonMobil had adjusted                                                                    
its dividend program. Mr.  Seckers responded that ExxonMobil                                                                    
had maintained its dividend program  exactly how it had been                                                                    
for the previous number of years.                                                                                               
10:24:10 AM                                                                                                                   
BARBARA HUFF TUCKNESS,  DIRECTOR, LEGISLATIVE AND GOVERNMENT                                                                    
AFFAIRS,   TEAMSTERS  LOCAL   959,  JUNEAU,   spoke  against                                                                    
legislation, because  she felt the bill  negatively impacted                                                                    
the development of current and  future oil. She testified in                                                                    
support  of  efforts  made  to  examine  additional  revenue                                                                    
sources,  adjustments  to  the  Permanent  Fund,  and  sound                                                                    
reductions  to  the  state's  budget.   She  felt  that  the                                                                    
legislature  should  make  the   flow  of  oil  through  the                                                                    
pipeline  a  high  priority.  She  stressed  that  more  oil                                                                    
production  meant  more  revenue. She  furthered  that  more                                                                    
production  also meant  more jobs  for the  citizens of  the                                                                    
state.  She  remarked  that  the   oil  industry,  up  until                                                                    
recently,  had paid  90  percent of  the  state budget.  She                                                                    
stressed that  billions of dollars  of oil revenue  had been                                                                    
used to  improve statewide  infrastructure; paid  for public                                                                    
schools;  paid  for  public safety;  and  paid  for  capital                                                                    
projects  such as  convention  centers,  sports arenas,  and                                                                    
hospitals.  She felt  that there  would  be no  conversation                                                                    
about the adjustment of oil taxes,  had the price of oil not                                                                    
decreased  greatly. She  urged  the  committee to  carefully                                                                    
consider  the  impact  of  current  and  future  production,                                                                    
especially in the time of  low oil prices. She stressed that                                                                    
the industry  had continued to  invest in more  new projects                                                                    
as  a result  of  the  recent passage  of  oil  and gas  tax                                                                    
legislation.  She  understood  that  there  had  been  fewer                                                                    
members  working  in  the  oil   industry,  because  of  the                                                                    
downturn of  the oil price.  She stressed that  stability in                                                                    
the oil industry was critical  to future investment, because                                                                    
investment led  to new development  and jobs.  She testified                                                                    
in support  of the  Alaska Hire provision  in the  bill. She                                                                    
felt that any  changes to the bill be conducted  in a manner                                                                    
that  would  assure  that the  industry  would  continue  to                                                                    
invest in the state.                                                                                                            
Senator Bishop  queried any contract negotiations  to reopen                                                                    
any  parts  of  the  North Slope.  Ms.  Tuckness  agreed  to                                                                    
provide that information.                                                                                                       
Co-Chair  MacKinnon  encouraged  the  testifiers  to  submit                                                                    
written testimony.                                                                                                              
10:30:23 AM                                                                                                                   
ANDY BOND,  SELF, ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), testified                                                                    
against the legislation.  He felt that the  future of Alaska                                                                    
looked so "bleak", that he  did not think his children would                                                                    
be able  to stay and  raise families in Alaska.  He remarked                                                                    
that  the  recent  downturn  in the  oil  price  had  caused                                                                    
massive layoffs  in the oil  industry across  all companies.                                                                    
He  also stressed  that capital  investments for  Alaska oil                                                                    
exploration  and development  had been  greatly reduced.  He                                                                    
felt that adding additional taxes  on the oil industry would                                                                    
further  reduce investment  and  require  higher oil  prices                                                                    
before many companies could return  to business. He had seen                                                                    
many  changes in  tax policies;  companies; oil  prices; and                                                                    
other  impacts.  He  felt  that   tax  policies  were  often                                                                    
overreactions  to oil  price changes  and other  factors. He                                                                    
remarked that the current tax  structure was very beneficial                                                                    
to the  state, and  had attracted significant  investment in                                                                    
recent  years.  He  felt  that  the  tax  credits  countered                                                                    
Alaska's  high-cost environment,  and allowed  the state  to                                                                    
compete  with   other  international  oil   investments.  He                                                                    
stressed   that  higher   taxes   would  discourage   future                                                                    
investment.   Companies   were   currently   nervous   about                                                                    
additional changes  to the tax structure.  He announced that                                                                    
tax policy  stability was a  key factor for  many companies.                                                                    
He stressed that  the state should first  reduce the deficit                                                                    
by  making   substantial  cuts   to  state   government  and                                                                    
services.  He also  encouraged the  committee  to use  funds                                                                    
from  the   state's  savings   accounts,  and   reducing  or                                                                    
eliminating the Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD).                                                                                  
Co-Chair   MacKinnon   wondered   if   the   testimony   was                                                                    
specifically for the  North Slope, or if  the comments could                                                                    
also be applied to Cook Inlet.  Mr. Bond replied that he was                                                                    
speaking  specifically  to the  North  Slope,  but also  the                                                                    
Southcentral gas supply situation.                                                                                              
10:34:09 AM                                                                                                                   
MICHAEL HEIRING, REPRESENTATIVE,  UDELHOVEN OIL FIELD SYSTEM                                                                    
SERVICES, ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke against the                                                                    
legislation.  He  felt  that the  governor  appeared  to  be                                                                    
"oblivious  to the  impact it  will  have on  the future  of                                                                    
Alaska." He  did not  believe that there  had been  proof of                                                                    
the benefit  of the legislation.  He was not  convinced that                                                                    
the state had reduced the state budget.                                                                                         
10:35:36 AM                                                                                                                   
DALE  HOFFMAN, SELF,  ANCHORAGE (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against the bill.  He announced his history  working for the                                                                    
oil industry. He remarked that  he had witnessed many recent                                                                    
changes to the  oil and gas tax structure.  He stressed that                                                                    
generating  cash  for  the industry  provided  most  of  the                                                                    
state's  revenue. He  shared that  the  industry was  losing                                                                    
money,  because of  the decline  in the  oil price.  He felt                                                                    
that the state  needed a robust oil and  gas industry, which                                                                    
would    continue   invest    capital,   exploration,    and                                                                    
development. He  stated that the  investment would  fund the                                                                    
current economy  and provide  oil and  gas for  the upcoming                                                                    
decade. He shared that he had  seen recent layoffs in all of                                                                    
the companies  in the industry,  including the  company that                                                                    
he worked for,  which laid off 25 percent  of its personnel.                                                                    
He  reiterated that  increasing  taxes on  the oil  industry                                                                    
would  reduce  future  investment  and  require  higher  oil                                                                    
prices before many Alaskans could  return to work. He shared                                                                    
that he  had worked in  California, the Gulf of  Mexico, the                                                                    
Rocky  Mountains, and  Alaska. He  stressed that  Alaska was                                                                    
the most difficult of those places to do business.                                                                              
10:38:56 AM                                                                                                                   
GEORGE PIERCE, SELF, KASILOF  (via teleconference), spoke in                                                                    
favor of the bill. He  felt that scheduling public testimony                                                                    
on Sunday  morning was sneaky,  because many people  were in                                                                    
church. He  felt that the  legislators wanted the  public to                                                                    
believe  that  the  $64  billion in  the  oil  industry  was                                                                    
achieved  through  tax  credits,  but  disagreed  with  that                                                                    
notion.  He shared  that the  state had  given more  than $7                                                                    
billion  from 2007  to 2015,  but  the majority  of the  $64                                                                    
billion came from  the state with zero  credits. He remarked                                                                    
that  the oil  industry was  provided every  possible credit                                                                    
from  the state  and federal  government. He  encouraged the                                                                    
committee to  increase taxes  on oil  companies in  the Cook                                                                    
Inlet and  the North Slope. He  felt that Cook Inlet  was 60                                                                    
percent  of the  credit problem.  He wanted  the credits  to                                                                    
expire, and  spoke against  extensions to  expiration dates.                                                                    
He remarked that  the oil industry was using  the credits to                                                                    
inflate the size of the operating credit.                                                                                       
10:45:15 AM                                                                                                                   
PAT   FOLEY,   CAELUS    ENERGY   ALASKA,   ANCHORAGE   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  testified against  the current  version of                                                                    
the bill.  He believed  that the bill  would result  in less                                                                    
activity, exploration,  and production  which would  lead to                                                                    
less jobs  and dramatically less  revenue for the  state. He                                                                    
explained  that  the  bill  "stripped   away"  many  of  the                                                                    
incentives  created  by  the   current  tax  structure.  The                                                                    
incentives  specifically encouraged  Caelus to  come to  the                                                                    
state and make significant  investments in various projects.                                                                    
He felt  that the  damaging aspects of  the bill  focused on                                                                    
the sunset of the refundable  net operating loss credits. He                                                                    
disagreed  with  the  application  of the  five  dollar  per                                                                    
barrel,  and  its  limits.  He felt  that  the  entire  bill                                                                    
represented  a significant  tax increase  on all  companies,                                                                    
whether those companies  were new, old, large,  or small. He                                                                    
stressed  that  the  refundable net  operating  loss  credit                                                                    
allowed more  work to  occur. He  shared that  every company                                                                    
had limited amounts of capital,  so the credits were used to                                                                    
add to  the existing capital  which accelerated the  pace of                                                                    
the projects.  The bill  was only  favorable with  regard to                                                                    
the cashable  credit, but  was terribly  unfavorable because                                                                    
it  excluded any  exploration activity.  He  hoped that  the                                                                    
committee understood that exploration  was the "lifeblood of                                                                    
the  oil  industry",  because it  was  essential  to  future                                                                    
development. He shared that, since  2007, over $6 billion in                                                                    
credits had been  paid. Those credits could  be divided two-                                                                    
thirds  in  the form  of  avoided  taxes, and  one-third  in                                                                    
actual  refundable credits.  He  shared that,  to date,  the                                                                    
state had received over $60 billion in revenue.                                                                                 
Senator Bishop queried the price  per barrel number in order                                                                    
to conduct  new exploration. Mr. Foley  replied that between                                                                    
$60  and  $70  per  barrels   was  a  level  to  incentivize                                                                    
activation in the North Slope and pursue new exploration.                                                                       
Co-Chair MacKinnon looked at the  document provide by Caelus                                                                    
to  the   committee  (copy  on   file),  which   showed  the                                                                    
variability  of price  ranges and  potential revenue  to the                                                                    
state. She  wondered if that  was the lifetime  numbers. Mr.                                                                    
Foley replied in the affirmative.                                                                                               
Co-Chair   MacKinnon   queried    how   the   state   should                                                                    
differentiate between the loss  of production in response to                                                                    
the  commodity price  and its  volatility versus  tax credit                                                                    
reform. Mr. Foley responded that  Caelus was recently forced                                                                    
to discontinue its  operation on the island,  because of the                                                                    
low oil price.  He shared that there needed to  be oil price                                                                    
recovery  and confidence  in a  healthy oil  tax environment                                                                    
before the operation could reopen.                                                                                              
10:54:07 AM                                                                                                                   
MIKE COONS,  SELF, PALMER (via teleconference),  queried the                                                                    
version of the bill.                                                                                                            
Co-Chair MacKinnon  stated that  the version was  passed out                                                                    
of the House as amended on the House floor version C.A.                                                                         
Mr.  Coons testified  against the  legislation. He  spoke to                                                                    
the amendment that  was passed on the House  floor, and felt                                                                    
that the amendment was not  properly vetted in the committee                                                                    
process. He shared  that he was in favor of  the current tax                                                                    
structure.  He   felt  that  the  legislation   had  serious                                                                    
negative impact on the state.                                                                                                   
Co-Chair MacKinnon handed the gavel to Vice-Chair Micciche.                                                                     
10:57:23 AM                                                                                                                   
GRETCHAN  STODDARD,  SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
felt that she  did not have representation in  the House, so                                                                    
she was  counting on  the Senate  to represent  her family's                                                                    
interest.  She spoke  against  the  legislation. She  stated                                                                    
that  she and  her  husband  worked in  the  Cook Inlet  gas                                                                    
production industry.  She shared that her  husband's job was                                                                    
currently in flux, and she  did not know whether her husband                                                                    
and son's  health insurance would remain  intact. She shared                                                                    
that she  had benefitted from  oil and gas tax  credits. She                                                                    
shared that  she was a contractor  to plan how to  shut down                                                                    
platforms and waste disposal. She  understood that there may                                                                    
be a  change in the  oil and  gas tax structure  change, and                                                                    
that the state  may not be able to continue  to write checks                                                                    
at its  current level. She  was concerned about  the changes                                                                    
to the production taxes. She  remarked that there was a very                                                                    
recent change to  the production tax structure,  and did not                                                                    
feel that  there should  be an  additional change.  She felt                                                                    
that there may  be a change in Cook Inlet  production tax in                                                                    
2019,  but  she expressed  concern.  She  remarked that  the                                                                    
state  had  high health  care  costs,  which affected  every                                                                    
aspect of  the state. She  stressed that the  increased cost                                                                    
to  health care  caused  an additional  budget reduction  in                                                                    
other aspects of  the state. She felt that  the state needed                                                                    
to control  the high  cost of health  care. She  shared that                                                                    
she currently  had a high-deductible  health care  plan. She                                                                    
remarked  that her  husband sold  supplies to  the industry,                                                                    
and his  company would be  merging with a company,  so there                                                                    
was uncertainty regarding that merger.                                                                                          
11:01:49 AM                                                                                                                   
PAMELA THROOP,  SELF, FAIRBANKS (via  teleconference), spoke                                                                    
against  the   current  version  of  the   legislation.  She                                                                    
announced that  she supported the original  version from the                                                                    
governor. She  felt that  the oil and  gas industry  was the                                                                    
most profitable industry in the  world, as were able to hire                                                                    
the   best   attorneys,    accountants,   negotiators,   and                                                                    
lobbyists.  She remarked  that the  state did  not have  the                                                                    
same  money and  expertise as  the oil  companies. She  felt                                                                    
that everything  seemed to be  skewed in the  oil companies'                                                                    
favor. She  stressed that there was  a current "trickle-down                                                                    
distress"  to the  communities of  Alaska.  She shared  that                                                                    
many professors in  Alaska were worried for  their jobs. She                                                                    
understood  that it  was expensive  to  conduct business  in                                                                    
Alaska,  but  stressed  that it  was  expensive  to  conduct                                                                    
business  in third-world  countries. She  remarked that  the                                                                    
oil  companies  were   conducting  business  in  third-world                                                                    
countries,  but  it  was a  more  volatile  government.  She                                                                    
shared that  it was projected  to be 13,300  monthly average                                                                    
jobs in the oil and gas  industry, as outlined in the Alaska                                                                    
economic trends in 2016. She  stated that in 2014 there were                                                                    
14,100 jobs,  and in 2015  there were 14,300 jobs.  She felt                                                                    
that the  passage of  SB 21  had cost  the state  1000 jobs,                                                                    
rather than  increasing the  number of  jobs in  Alaska. She                                                                    
believed that the  legislature, administration, and citizens                                                                    
of  the state  must impose  restraint in  order to  keep the                                                                    
state  from continuing  to waste  money.  She remarked  that                                                                    
there  were   credits  to  encourage   South-central  Alaska                                                                    
receive  gas, but  stressed that  there were  no efforts  in                                                                    
Fairbanks  to  bring  gas  to  Fairbanks.  She  requested  a                                                                    
comparison   between  Alaska's   tax  structure   and  other                                                                    
sovereigns  in  the  world.  She   wondered  if  Alaska  was                                                                    
competitive  with  those  other  countries.  She  felt  that                                                                    
Alaska was paying too high of oil and gas tax credits.                                                                          
Vice-Chair   Micciche  requested   an  explanation   of  her                                                                    
perspective. Ms. Throop stated  that she wanted to eliminate                                                                    
the credit  in the  way that the  governor had  requested of                                                                    
the legislature.                                                                                                                
11:08:25 AM                                                                                                                   
STEVE  SUTHERLIN,  SELF,   ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke against the  bill. He shared that he  worked to advise                                                                    
companies that  wanted to come  to Alaska to do  business in                                                                    
the oil and gas industry. He  shared that he had worked with                                                                    
a  company that  wanted to  do  business in  Cook Inlet.  He                                                                    
shared  that he  had worked  with a  company that  wanted to                                                                    
drill  off-shore  in  the  Arctic,   but  those  plans  fell                                                                    
through. He hoped  that more small companies  and deals with                                                                    
state lands to keep the  pipeline operating into the future.                                                                    
He felt  that the tax  issues had been represented  by those                                                                    
that were  most affected, but  he wanted to address  the tax                                                                    
incentives. He felt that there should  not be a focus on the                                                                    
cash  tax  credit,  because  those  credits  would  be  paid                                                                    
eventually.  He stressed  that the  smaller companies  often                                                                    
looked  to   the  larger   companies  when   establishing  a                                                                    
strategy.  He  shared that  the  regulations  placed on  the                                                                    
companies  were a  greater burden  on the  smaller producers                                                                    
than on the larger producers.                                                                                                   
Vice-Chair Micciche  queried the  position on the  bill. Mr.                                                                    
Sutherlin responded that  he was against the  bill. He urged                                                                    
the committee to keep the structure the same.                                                                                   
11:15:58 AM                                                                                                                   
LINDA LEARY, SELF, EAGLE  RIVER (via teleconference), shared                                                                    
that she  knew of many  small businesses that  were impacted                                                                    
by the  claw back  provisions. She stressed  that businesses                                                                    
conducted  their  work  based  on  money  that  was  already                                                                    
committed  and  promises  made   to  ensure  the  work.  She                                                                    
stressed  that there  would be  small companies  struggling,                                                                    
and  even filing  bankruptcy. She  stressed  that the  state                                                                    
should  pay  the money  owed  to  the businesses  to  ensure                                                                    
proper business and maintain the  state's credit rating. She                                                                    
felt that the state should  meet its past obligation without                                                                    
hurting the existing businesses.                                                                                                
Vice-Chair  Micciche queried  the claw  back provision.  Ms.                                                                    
Leary  replied that  there was  a provision  that discounted                                                                    
what was owed from a previous tax credit.                                                                                       
Vice-Chair Micciche felt  that she was referring  to the ARM                                                                    
Board provision.                                                                                                                
11:19:00 AM                                                                                                                   
JAVEN OSE, SELF, ANCHORAGE  (via teleconference), echoed the                                                                    
remarks of Mr.  Pierce and Ms. Throop.  He testified against                                                                    
"giving away  half the farm."  He understood that  there may                                                                    
need to be  an adjustment to the tax  structure, and smaller                                                                    
companies  could see  a 5  or 10  percent increase.  He felt                                                                    
that the  credits in Cook  Inlet were "absurd."  He stressed                                                                    
that  Alaska did  not need  to  face the  hardship of  other                                                                    
third-world  countries. He  spoke in  favor of  reducing the                                                                    
oil company tax credits.                                                                                                        
11:21:03 AM                                                                                                                   
JEFFREY  HAM,   SELF,  KENAI  (via   teleconference),  spoke                                                                    
against the  bill. He explained  that investing money  in an                                                                    
industry  where the  rules  and  regulations was  incredibly                                                                    
hard. He stressed that, back  in 2009, 2010, 2011, there was                                                                    
testimony  about  the   probability  of  facilities  getting                                                                    
closed down  and gas  would be imported  into the  state. He                                                                    
felt  that  the  tax  credits  had  a  huge  impact  in  the                                                                    
development of  Cook Inlet gas.  He shared that there  was a                                                                    
profound difference between the gas  industry of 8 years ago                                                                    
and the current time. He  felt that many people forget about                                                                    
the past, and  only acted when faced with a  crisis. He felt                                                                    
that  reacting  by  changing the  structure  was  the  wrong                                                                    
approach. He urged the committee  to examine how the dollars                                                                    
were  spent in  prosperous and  impoverished times.  He felt                                                                    
that the  state should  not punish  the companies  that were                                                                    
currently losing money.                                                                                                         
Vice-Chair Micciche  surmised that  Mr. Ham was  against the                                                                    
bill. Mr. Ham agreed.                                                                                                           
11:25:30 AM                                                                                                                   
DEBORAH  BROLLINI,  SELF,  ANCHORAGE  (via  teleconference),                                                                    
spoke  against the  bill. She  stressed that  TAPS was  shut                                                                    
down in 2011,  but the state was lucky  that the contractors                                                                    
were able  to bring it back  online in a number  of days and                                                                    
not weeks  and months.  She stressed  that there  were great                                                                    
challenges  to operate  the pipeline  below 500,000  barrels                                                                    
per  day.  She  shared  that  the  cost  of  operating  TAPS                                                                    
declines as oil production declines.                                                                                            
11:27:28 AM                                                                                                                   
DANIEL   DONKEL,   DONKEL   OIL  AND   GAS,   ORLANDO   (via                                                                    
teleconference),  spoke  against  the legislation.  He  felt                                                                    
that the  state would be better  served to not act  in haste                                                                    
in  response  to  the  Saudi Arabian  flooding  of  the  oil                                                                    
markets, which  he felt  was designed to  put Alaska  out of                                                                    
business. He remarked that Saudi  Arabia was enough money to                                                                    
put Alaska  out of business,  because they had a  reserve of                                                                    
$600 billion with  a burn rate of $100 billion  per year. He                                                                    
felt  that  Alaska was  smart,  and  was grateful  that  the                                                                    
legislators cared about Alaska.  He pointed out that Senator                                                                    
Bishop and Co-Chair MacKinnon had  done a remarkable job. He                                                                    
stressed that Prudhoe Bay was  discovered with one oil well,                                                                    
but was currently  supplying 80 percent of  the state's oil.                                                                    
He stated  that the credits  provided was the  smartest move                                                                    
by the state. He felt  that established credits was intended                                                                    
to  allow the  independents  compete against  the major  oil                                                                    
companies who  controlled 99 percent  of the oil  market. He                                                                    
remarked that  after the  Valdez oil  spill, there  was bond                                                                    
that  restricted   the  small  independent   companies  from                                                                    
bringing the oil to California.                                                                                                 
11:34:48 AM                                                                                                                   
MARY  TOUTONGHI,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
stated that  she was testifying with  five other individuals                                                                    
from District 30,  and she announced their  names. She spoke                                                                    
against  the legislation.  She expressed  concern about  the                                                                    
subsidies  for  the oil  companies.  She  remarked that  the                                                                    
state was making  a large number of donations to  a group of                                                                    
oil  companies who  were not  obliged to  offer anything  in                                                                    
return.  She shared  that  the  state was  paying  up to  $7                                                                    
million  to  $8 million  per  year  in  addition to  the  $6                                                                    
billion  offered  in the  previous  year.  She felt  that  a                                                                    
number  of elderly  people were  not able  to receive  eight                                                                    
dollars' worth of food stamps  per month for several months.                                                                    
She  stressed that  the world  was entering  a new  stage of                                                                    
development, and  the state was  behind the  other developed                                                                    
Vice-Chair Micciche  wondered if  the testifier  was against                                                                    
the  legislation.  Ms. Toutonghi  replied  that  she was  in                                                                    
favor of raising the taxes on the oil companies.                                                                                
11:39:21 AM                                                                                                                   
WILLIAM  REINER,   SELF,  ANCHORAGE   (via  teleconference),                                                                    
testified in favor  of halting the credits as  of June 2016.                                                                    
He felt that  there would be a  lag time to pay  off some of                                                                    
the  credits  over  time.  He   understood  that  there  was                                                                    
additional legislation  required to accomplish  the personal                                                                    
agendas.  He announced  that he  had provided  a 10-K  about                                                                    
Donkel Oil  and Gas.  He shared  that he  had worked  at Ted                                                                    
Stevens International  Airport, so he  was an "end  user" of                                                                    
the oil and  gas industry. He felt that the  state moved too                                                                    
quickly to  respond to the collapse  of the price of  oil by                                                                    
raising the  taxes of  the end users.  He remarked  that the                                                                    
end  user was  subjected to  the  business end  of the  free                                                                    
market enterprise.                                                                                                              
Vice-Chair  Micciche queried  a  position on  the bill.  Mr.                                                                    
Reiner replied  that he wanted  to halt tax credits  by June                                                                    
Vice-Chair  Micciche appreciated  the testimony.  Mr. Reiner                                                                    
wondered if the bill was the best option.                                                                                       
Vice-Chair  Micciche  stressed  that public  testimony  only                                                                    
related to the bill before the committee.                                                                                       
Vice-Chair Micciche CLOSED public testimony.                                                                                    
2d  CSHB 247(RLS)am  was  HEARD and  HELD  in committee  for                                                                    
further consideration.                                                                                                          

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
HB 247 AOGA Slides for SFIN 05 15 16.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Caelus North Slope Exploration and Development Program SFC 051516.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Coyle.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Reiner.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Gaedeke.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Heebner.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Race.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Testimony SAExploration.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Duffy.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Willis.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Pubic Testimony Boyle.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Williams.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Treider.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 05 15 16 AOGA Testimony SFIN HB 247 FINAL.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony DuBrock.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Petrie.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Jepsen ConocoPhillips Testimony.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Alaska Chamber.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Kramer.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Glowa.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 Public Testimony Waisanen.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247
HB 247 AOGA Analysis for SFIN HB 247 FINAL.pdf SFIN 5/15/2016 9:00:00 AM
HB 247