WASHINGTON - July 12 -
In a little noticed, but extraordinary show of political pressure, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Energy Secretary Bodman, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency have all personally intervened with the Alaska Legislature, pushing them to accept an oil company deal that would net the companies hundreds of billions of dollars. The deal is being championed by Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski in a special legislative session that opens today.
In regular session the Republican-controlled Legislature refused to approve the package. Two opponents of Murkowski's in the GOP gubernatorial primary are opposed to the deal as is the Republican speaker of the House and most Democratic members.
The deal would change the way Alaska taxes oil from a gross production tax, which all other states impose, to a net profit tax, which only a few third world countries have agreed to. The deal would also freeze the tax rate for 30 years for oil production and 45 years for gas production.
The Internet Product Development Group's U.S. Politics Today is following these developments with hourly updates during the session. See:
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