Capitol Brief by Senator Bill Wielechowski

Keeping In Touch

Representing Northeast Anchorage Neighborhoods and Elmendorf AFB

September 11, 2015
 
Senator Bill Wielechowski
Senator
Bill Wielechowski

716 W 4th Suite 409
Anchorage, AK 99501
907.269.0120
fax  269.0122

sen.bill.wielechowski@
akleg.gov

State Capitol, Rm 419
Juneau, AK 99801
800.550.2435
907.465.2435
FAX: 907.465.6615

Contact the Governor
Governor Walker's Anchorage office may be reached at 269-7450, or e-mail him at gov.alaska.gov

Visit the state website
alaska.gov

 ________________

Contact your
Congressional Delegation

Senator Dan Sullivan,
DC Office:
202-224-3004
Sen. Dan Sullivan

Senator Lisa Murkowski,
Anchorage Office:
907-271-3735,
Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Congressman Don Young,
Anchorage Office:
907-271-5978
don.young@mail.house.gov

 

P.S. if you would like to get more regular updates about what I am doing you can follow me on Twitter using the link below.


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Fighting to Cut Gasoline Prices

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Plummeting oil prices have crushed our state budget, but at least Alaskans had the hope of lower gasoline prices. Unfortunately, Alaskans are instead paying the highest fuel prices in the nation.  While many states have gas below $2 per gallon, our prices are 98 cents above the national average - and we have the lowest gas taxes in the nation. I've fought this fight before, and gas prices have come down after scrutiny. 

This time is even worse though. In the past, the refiners have said the higher Alaska prices were because Alaska oil was much more expensive than Lower 48 oil, and because oil production had dropped in Cook Inlet. Now though, oil production has doubled in Cook Inlet, and the price gap between Alaska oil and West Texas oil has dropped. And Tesoro is bringing in low cost oil from North Dakota to refine. 

But the worst part of it is a bill the legislature passed just last year to give away up to $150 million in tax credits to the refiners in the state. I voted against this bill because at least one refiner, Tesoro, which provides most of the retail gasoline in the state, told us they didn't need these credits and never asked for them. I sought to include legislation ban fuel price gouging as part of this bill, but unfortunately my Republican colleagues have blocked these attempts.

If the refiners in Alaska want to keep charging Alaskans the highest gasoline prices in the nation, and the legislative majority refuses to ban price gouging, Alaskans should not sit by and then give them tens of millions in tax breaks.

That's why this week I wrote a letter to the Governor and Attorney General Craig Richards to request an investigation into the issue and to repeal $50 million in unnecessary and unsolicited refinery tax credits.

I had the honor of attending meetings at the White House this week to address economic issues for working families. 
I had the honor of attending meetings at the White House this week to address economic issues for working families. 
 

Oil Tax Credit Working Group

As we grapple with a $3.7 billion dollar deficit and painful budget cuts, we also face a fundamental flaw in our oil tax structure. Over this year and next, our State will pay the oil industry $642 million MORE in oil tax credits than we receive in production taxes.  This is simply unsustainable.

As part of a newly formed Oil Tax Credit Working Group, I have joined Senate colleagues to review our current credit structure and produce concrete recommendations to fix this issue for Alaskans.  This past Tuesday marked the first in a series of weekly workshops scheduled to continue through December 1st.

After years of bringing this issue to the forefront, I am encouraged to finally see bi-partisan discussions on improving our oil tax structure underway.  I look forward to what the Working Group can accomplish through open dialogue and will do my best to ensure the best interest of Alaskans always has a seat at the table.

Spirit of Muldoon Picnic

It’s that time of year again!  Join the neighborhood this Saturday, 11am-3pm for the Spirit of Muldoon Picnic, hosted by the Northeast Community Council. Enjoy a BBQ with free hamburgers and hotdogs, family-fun activities, face-painting, prizes and a chance to gather with friends.

Stop by the picnic and let me serve you a burger hot off the grill!
Stop by the picnic and let me serve you a burger hot off the grill!

WHAT: Spirit of Muldoon Picnic

WHEN: 11am-3pm this Saturday, Sep. 12th 

WHERE: Grass area next to WalMart on Debarr (7405 Debarr Road)

You are always welcome to contact me directly with thoughts, ideas and concerns. I am here to represent you!

Warmly,

[signed]

Bill Wielechowski
Alaska State Senator
District H - Anchorage

http://senatorbill.org