Don’t blame Gov. Bill Walker for cutting the dividend; blame Mike Dunleavy and State Senate Majority who let the piggy bank run dry. They’ve been milking oil companies for campaign contributions for decades while refusing to make oil companies pay what they pay other countries all around the world.
Empty piggy banks can’t pay dividends.
Here is something Alaska’s voters need to think about. The country of Norway has saved up a Permanent Fund 20 times larger than Alaska’s from the production only of four times as much oil. Their oil came from deep water. There oil was therefore more expensive to produce and their net profit per barrel was therefore less.
The difference is they keep between 80 and 90 percent of the net profits leaving 10 to 20 percent of net for the oil companies. We do close to a 50/50 split.
No other major oil producer in the world lets oil companies walk away with such a large share of net profits. If we had kept and saved the same share of profits as Norway, our permanent fund, and your dividend, would both be about five times bigger today; around ten thousand for every man, woman, and child in Alaska.
Blame Dunleavy, and the Senate Majority. Not Walker.
• My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.