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Shell’s disastrous tax dodge

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Photo Courtesy Mark Meyer / Greenpeace

Extracts from an article by Jim Paulin, Dutch Harbor Fisherman, published 23 March 2014 by AlaskaDispatch under the headline: Southwest Alaska municipalities want bigger share of oil royalties 

Impacts are already being felt from the arrival of Royal Dutch Shell in Alaska. The arctic-class oil rig Kulluk grounded in the Kodiak archipelago New Year’s Eve, as the rig left on a schedule designed to avoid a potential tax bill of $6 million in Unalaska, raising serious concerns of damage to the environment. None of those fears were realized in that incident, though it clearly showed the potential for harm. The cost to Shell in responding to the near-disaster makes $6 million seem small by comparison. In addition, Alaska’s government says the rig is exempt from local taxes because it wasn’t drilling in state waters, which extend up to three miles from shore. Shell has suspended exploration this year, to give it time to fix its drill rigs.

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