You are hereGrist: Surprise: Shell’s rig ran aground in Alaska because the company was trying to avoid taxes

Grist: Surprise: Shell’s rig ran aground in Alaska because the company was trying to avoid taxes


-By Philip Bump

January 4, 2013- On New Year’s Eve, in the middle of a storm, Shell was trying to tow its Kulluk drilling rig from Alaska to Seattle. Why then? Why risk the bad weather, which, as it turned out, caused the rig to break free from its tugboats and run aground on Kodiak Island?

To avoid paying state taxes, of course. From Alaska Dispatch:

A Shell spokesman last week confirmed an Unalaska elected official’s claim that the Dec. 21 departure of the Kulluk from Unalaska/Dutch Harbor involved taxation.

City councilor David Gregory said Shell would pay between $6 million and $7 million in state taxes if the Kulluk was still in Alaska on Jan. 1.

Ah, but the weather had other plans, sorry to say. Shell will end up having to pay that money after all, and then some.

Gregory said the departure of the Kulluk took money away from local small businesses servicing the rig. He predicted the maritime mishap will prove very costly to the oil company.

“It will cost them more than that $6 million in taxes. Maybe they should have just stayed here,” Gregory said.

The Kulluk grounding is costing taxpayers too. The 630 people working on the unified relief effort include employees of the state of Alaska and the U.S. Coast Guard. Twenty-one vessels are on the scene or nearby, and that doesn’t include aircraft.

FULL STORY HERE:

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