1-1-08 by dugan
Starting the year on the lighter side, an angry Alaskan sees oil companies as reptilian aliens who’ve just dropped their human masks and declared their true foul intentions for Earth.
Anchorage Daily News, Jan. 1, 2008:
"An old science fiction movie goes like this: A group of seemingly benign extraterrestrials visit Earth and establish themselves as benefactors. They help humans cure disease, invent useful technologies and establish peace. The alien visitors all appear as beautiful and handsome humans, which help to inspire earthling trust. They rapidly rise to control the centers of political power. One evening, the hero of the film uncovers a plot of exploitation and enslavement by stumbling upon a secret meeting in which the aliens shed their human masks to reveal their true reptilian nature.
"I have been thinking about that scene a lot lately, with the oil companies playing the role of the seemingly benign occupational alien force. The smiling human masks have slipped from the faces of Big Oil in Alaska and reptilian faces of cold appetite are now revealed for all to see."
This imaginative Sci-fi fan and plenty of other Alaskans are ticked off at oil companies because of their threats to cut exploration, and their overall presence in the state, because of a modest new tax passed by the state Legislature and approved by Gov. Sarah Palin:
"Jim Bowles of Conoco Phillips said early last month that his company is reviewing planned investment in development in 2008 in light of the tax increase. Not to be outdone, the human spokesperson for the British reptiles announced that BP will do the same. In a comment that inspired rolling eyes around the state … BP’s Steve Rinehart said that the change in taxation will ‘lessen the amount of money BP has to invest and will likely have a significant impact on the company’s work plan.’ "
"These actions constitute economic blackmail. Statements of both oil companies linked their internal business decisions to the new tax law."
The amusing part is that halfway around the world from Alaska, in Ireland, the Irish Times reports that six oil companies including Exxon are leaping to get new North Sea drilling rights, despite a really significant tax bite.
"Six oil companies have sought exploration licences to drill for oil and gas off [Ireland’s] west coast under the Government’s new licensing round, even though taxes on discoveries have been substantially increased.
"Up to now, energy companies have paid 25 per cent in taxes to the State after all costs have been deducted, but Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan has increased this to 40 per cent."
So the the major oil companies are just seeing how far they can push Alaska over the tax. Or they’re using the tax as a cover for decisions they planned to make anyway.
Either way, it’s a pea-brained reptilian PR move. It’s also a familiar one, like oil companies’ refusal to expand or modernize their refineries in California because of (pick one):
*The ‘threat’ of biofuels
*High construction costs
All of which are eye-rolling when the same companies are spending tens of billions of dollars in windfall profits on nothing but buying back their own stock. No wonder the Alaskans aren’t falling for the woe-is-us line.
P.S. So what movie was this guy watching?
It sounds most like the 80’s TV series "V"