"HB 28 sets forth an understandable modification formula; protecting the public's interest in such proceedings and maintaining the public's ability to comment on the preliminary findings and determination made by the Commissioner."
- Rep. Kohring
"An Act relating to adjustments to royalty reserved to the state to encourage otherwise uneconomic production of oil and gas; and providing for an effective date."
House Bill 28 will take a royalty adjustment system that has not been used and put in its place an understandable and usable adjustment method for fields that might otherwise prove to be uneconomic. It will provide a usable system for reduction of royalties belonging to Alaska so that the State can encourage production of oil and gas fields that might be marginal or not economically feasible were it not for such reductions.
As has been pointed out so many times, in this global market, Alaska needs to remain competitive in order to encourage development of its oil and gas resources. Development of these resources will provide a broader economic base, more employment for Alaskans and a safer, more stable environment for all concerned.
The 19th Alaska Legislature amended AS 38.05.180(j) and put in place, the current system. Unfortunately, the calculation contained in the current law is arguably unintelligible to many. The implementation of the current statute is too limiting in the flexibility allowed to the Commissioner to craft a deal acceptable to individuals and in the best interest of Alaska. Additionally, the process review put forth in the 1995 legislation is too burdensome and costly for the private sector and thus discourages people from making application. The end result is that oil is left in the ground that could be extracted and adding to the State's economic base.
Although the idea behind HB 28 is not new, it sets forth an understandable modification formula; protecting the public's interest in such proceedings and maintaining the public's ability to comment on the preliminary findings and determination made by the Commissioner. This legislation further maintains the involvement of the Legislature through the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, a committee that holds meetings year round. HB 28 is consistent with the Governor's goal of increasing oil and gas production and increasing Alaska's resource revenue.