- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Gov. Sean Parnell has put forth a proposal that may assist the state’s three refineries in providing lower cost fuels to in-state customers.

Parnell’s proposal is a new tax credit that the three state refineries may use for infrastructure upgrades and investments for the purpose of increased production, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Tuesday (https://bit.ly/1lAiymY) .

The proposed tax credit may also be used in developing low-sulfur fuels as well as expanding storage capacity.

“By creating a more favorable tax climate, we have the opportunity to keep an industry strong that provides jobs for Alaskans, adds value to Alaska’s oil, secures our military’s source of fuel, and helps make Alaskan resources accessible to Alaskans,” Parnell said in a statement.

The goal is making the cost of fuel for Alaskans as inexpensive as possible, he said.

The proposal comes on the heels of Flint Hills Resources announcing February it plans shuttering its North Pole refinery, with 80 employees losing their jobs. Alaska’s three remaining refineries are in Valdez, North Pole and Nikiski.

The proposal could bring in millions of dollars of investments in the construction of a healthy in-state refinery industry, Parnell said.

Arctic Slope Regional Corp., whose subsidiary Petro Star owns a refinery in North Pole, welcomed the proposal.

“The economic climate in the refining industry has hamstrung in-state facilities for years,” Petro Star President Doug Chapados said in a statement.

The governor’s office said the tax credit proposal was developed after talks with Interior lawmakers.

Petro Star owns two of the three state refineries, in North Pole and Valdez. Built in 1993, the Valdez refinery is the newest in the U.S., producing primarily aviation fuel. Petro Star’s North Pole refinery produces diesel, aviation fuel, heating oil and kerosene.

Tesoro’s Nikiski refinery was built in 1969 and produces gasoline, diesel, heating oil, propane and asphalt.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com

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