By Chris Klint
Channel 2 News
6:15 PM AKDT, April 25, 2012
Gov. Sean Parnell has removed oil taxes from his call for a special session Wednesday, leaving the Legislature to consider only bills for the possible construction of a small-diameter natural gas pipeline.
Parnell's supplemental proclamation removes oil and gas production taxes as a topic for the Legislature's consideration during the special session.
In his announcement, made on the Channel 2 Newshour, Parnell cited the irreconcilable positions of some members of the state Senate, who have opposed Parnell’s efforts to extend a 30-percent tax break to both existing oil fields as well as new production.
“Given the hardline position of some in the Senate against increasing production from both existing and new fields, the Senate appears incapable of passing comprehensive oil tax reform,” Parnell said. “Accordingly, I am removing consideration of oil and gas taxes at this time.”
Parnell blasted opposition to his proposal, saying it was in the best interests of the state.
“Stemming Alaska’s production decline and growing our economy through increased oil production is extremely important, both now and in the long term,” Parnell said in a statement. “But there are some in the Senate who believe that Alaska’s oil production decline is a myth. This is an irresponsible disregard for the facts and Alaskans deserve much better.”
The House and Senate have already passed one of Parnell’s original three priorities for the special session, a bill to strengthen penalties for human trafficking. Parnell’s removal of his proposal from consideration leaves only a gas line on the table before legislators in the remaining three weeks of the special session.
This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.
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