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Political tussle over swearing-in of oil executives unfolds on Senate floor

Screen Shot 2012-09-19 at 09.13.48Extracts from an article by RICHARD MAUER published 9 April 2014 by Anchorage Daily News

JUNEAU — A request by a Democratic senator that a Republican committee chairwoman require oil industry officials to be sworn before testifying Wednesday about the effects of last year’s tax cut erupted into a sharp personal battle between the two. The verbal confrontation started in committee and moved to the Senate floor. French cited the Coast Guard investigation into the grounding of Shell’s drilling rig Kulluk as a reason for putting the company officials under oath. Referring to a recent Daily News story on the investigation, French noted that a Shell official once denied to a reporter that there was any connection between Shell’s decision to move the Kulluk in early winter and the property tax the company would have to pay if the rig remained safely in Dutch Harbor. But under oath to the Coast Guard, the Shell official admitted the pending tax payment was one of the considerations for beginning the rig’s tow into a fierce Gulf of Alaska storm.

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