Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Short Takes| Well, at least I have one reader ...

The second hour of today's Casey Reynolds Show contains an engaging -- and often humorous -- interview with Senator Hollis French.  The segment is available here; the interview with Senator French begins at about the 13:00 mark.

Casey had suggested I listen to the interview and a little over 15 minutes in (at the 30:15 mark) it became apparent why.  Invoking my name for the second time in the interview (the other was in response to Casey's mention of my name around the 27:15 mark), Senator French started taking issue with my recent column in the March 2013 edition of the Alaska Business Monthly -- Alaska Oil Policy|  "Maximum Benefit".  He was suggesting that the decline curve I used in that piece as the optimum (3%) was, in fact, what Alaska was experiencing, and thus, there was no reason to adjust taxes.

As Lisa Demer pointed out in a recent piece in the Anchorage Daily News, there was a lot of discussion in the closing days of the debate on SB 21 over decline curves.  Indeed, one of the last presentations made before House Finance by EconOne, the Administration's consultant, was entirely about the effects of the bill under a broad range of decline curve scenarios.

Suffice it to say that Senator French and others took one view, but as Lisa Demer's article points out the Administration, supported by recent state production forecasts, took another.  The point that Senator French overlooked in the course of discussing my article, however, is that the decline curves I used better fit both recent history since the passage of ACES and the long-term state forecasts made both before and during the debate began on SB 21.

But, hey, I am just happy to know that someone reads the pieces I write.  And Senator French isn't always a critic.  During the first Senate floor debate on SB 21, Senator French used another presentation I made during the session as support for one of the amendments he offered at the time.  (The floor debate is available here.  Senator French's comments begin at 5:45pm (18 minutes into the segment) and extend to 5:53pm (or 26:30 of the segment)).  Maybe I will get a Christmas card from him after all, Casey.