Monday, March 28, 2011

Palin on the Issues: Energy Independence


There's been a lot of discussion about energy policy on Right Speak over the past two days. Since this will be a defining issue in the upcoming campaign, it's certainly a worthy topic. Earlier today, my good friend Doug produced a brilliantly written piece highlighting Mitt Romney's views on energy, referencing Romney's book, No Apology. While I didn't find much to disagree with in Doug's post, I thought it would be fair to briefly highlight Sarah Palin's experience with energy, and provide a reference for our readers to research her positions.

Prior to being elected Governor of a state which receives more than 80% of it's revenues from oil producers, Palin served as Chairwoman of the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, a regulatory body with jurisdiction over oil exploration in the state of Alaska. This hands-on experience alone puts her head and shoulders above any of the other potential candidates on energy issues.

Over the past two years, Palin has been a persistent advocate for energy independence - frequently prescribing detailed solutions to our dependence on foreign oil. The following is a very long list of op-eds and Facebook posts, relating to energy, written by Palin over the past two years. Following each link, is a brief excerpt from each article. In addition to her writings, she routinely discusses energy policy in her speeches and television interviews. I apologize for the length of the post. It just so happens that Palin discusses energy more than any other topic. This post does not discuss the entirety of her record on energy. I would need to write a book to cover it all. In fact, people have.

Op-eds (3):

The 'Cap And Tax' Dead End (6-14-2009)
...There is no denying that as the world becomes more industrialized, we need to reform our energy policy and become less dependent on foreign energy sources. But the answer doesn't lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive! Those who understand the issue know we can meet our energy needs and environmental challenges without destroying America's economy.

Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs....
Stall, Baby, Stall (3-31-2010)
...Today the president said he’ll “consider potential areas for development in the mid and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic.” As the former governor of one of America’s largest energy-producing states, a state oil and gas commissioner, and chair of the nation’s Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, I’ve seen plenty of such studies. What we need is action — action that results in the job growth and revenue that a robust drilling policy could provide. And let’s not forget that while Interior Department bureaucrats continue to hold up actual offshore drilling from taking place, Russia is moving full steam ahead on Arctic drilling, and China, Russia, and Venezuela are buying leases off the coast of Cuba.

As an Alaskan, I’m especially disheartened by the new ban on drilling in parts of the 49th state and the cancellation of lease sales in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. These areas contain rich oil and gas reserves whose development is key to our country’s energy security. As I told Secretary Salazar last April, “Arctic exploration and development is a slow, demanding process. Delays or major restrictions in accessing these resources for environmentally responsible development are not in the national interest or the interests of the State of Alaska.”...
Drill (10-16-2009)
...My home state of Alaska shows how it’s possible to be both pro-environment and pro-resource-development. Alaskans would never support anything that endangered our pristine air, clean water, and abundant wildlife (which, among other things, provides many of us with our livelihood). The state’s government has made safeguarding resources a priority; when I was governor, for instance, we created a petroleum-systems-integrity office to monitor our oil and gas infrastructure for any potential environmental risks.

Alaska also shows how oil drilling is thoroughly compatible with energy conservation and renewable-energy development. Over 20 percent of Alaska’s electricity currently comes from renewable sources, and as governor I put forward a long-term plan to increase that figure to 50 percent by 2025. Alaska’s comprehensive plan identifies renewable options across the state that can help rural villages transition away from expensive diesel-generated electricity — allowing each community to choose the solution that best fits its needs. That’s important in any energy plan: Tempting as they may be to central planners, top-down, one-size-fits-all solutions are recipes for failure...
Facebook Posts (18):

FLASHBACK: What We Were Saying One Year Ago About Obama’s Failed Energy Policy (3-30-2011)
...offshore drilling in Brazil and purchasing energy from them, instead of drilling ourselves and keeping those dollars circulating in our own economy to generate jobs here. The President said today, “There are no quick fixes.” He’s been in office for nearly three years now, and he’s about to launch his $1 billion re-election campaign. When can we expect any “fixes” from him? How high does the price of energy have to go?...
NYT, There You Go Again (3-18-2011)
...“The number of oil companies filing with the Alaska Department of Revenue has doubled indicating that competition has indeed increased. Alaska has the second most business friendly tax set-up — up two spots since the passage of ACES. Additionally, a report from Governor Parnell’s Department of Revenue indicated that 2009 yielded a record high in oil jobs. Even more recently, the newest employment numbers from Alaska show that oil job numbers were higher in January 2011 than in January 2010, indicating that jobs are growing at the seasonal level. Parnell argues that state revenues are in jeopardy, but it is estimated that his proposal would reduce revenues by $100-200 million.”...
The $4 per Gallon President (3-15-2011)
...Before we saw any protests in the Middle East, increased global demand led to a significant rise in oil prices; but the White House stood idly by watching the prices go up and allowing America to remain increasingly dependent on imports from foreign regimes in dangerously unstable parts of the world....
Obama’s Message to America: The Era of Big Government is Back, Now Help Me Pay For It (1-27-2011)
...When it comes to energy issues, we heard more vague promises last night as the President’s rhetoric suggested an all-of-the-above solution to meeting our country’s energy needs. But again, his actions point in a different direction. He offers a vision of a future powered by what he refers to as “clean energy,” but how we will get there from here remains a mystery. In the meantime, he continues to stymie the responsible development of our own abundant conventional energy resources – the stuff we actually use right now to fuel our economy....
Drill, Baby, Drill and Mine, Baby, Mine; Serious Consequences (10-21-2010)
...Although the Left chooses to mock the mantra of “drill, baby, drill,” and they ignorantly argue against the facts pertaining to the need for America to responsibly develop her domestic supply of natural resources, surely they can’t argue the national security implications of relying on foreign countries to extract supplies that America desperately needs for industry, jobs, and security. Some of the countries we’re now reliant upon and will soon be beholden to can easily use energy and mineral supplies as a weapon against us...
Energy Producing and Manufacturing States Must Send Job Creators to D.C. (10-19-2010)
...I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think cap-and-tax could potentially be more disastrous to our economy than Obamacare because it would devastate our businesses and cripple our energy and industrial sectors. Cap-and-tax would put the nail in the coffin for our manufacturing jobs and our resource development...
Fuel America with Terrorist-Tarred Oil Instead of Drilling Our Own, Baby? (6-13-2010)
...There’s an obvious common sense answer to our need for security and energy independence, but don’t hold your breath waiting for common sense to surface in Washington – it’s an endangered species there. Obviously we must responsibly develop our God-given domestic oil and gas reserves right here, right now; we must conserve energy; and we must develop renewables that are based on sound science, not snake oil and favors for political pals...
Less Talkin’, More Kickin’ (6-8-2010)
...I learned firsthand the way these companies operate when I served as chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC). I ended up resigning in protest because my bosses (the Governor and his chief of staff at the time) wouldn’t support efforts to clean up the corruption involving improper conflicts of interest with energy companies that the state was supposed to be watching....
Extreme Enviros: Drill, Baby, Drill in ANWR – Now Do You Get It? (6-2-2010)
...Extreme deep water drilling is not the preferred choice to meet our country’s energy needs, but your protests and lawsuits and lies about onshore and shallow water drilling have locked up safer areas. It’s catching up with you. The tragic, unprecedented deep water Gulf oil spill proves it. We need permission to drill in safer areas, including the uninhabited arctic land of ANWR. It takes just a tiny footprint – equivalent to the size of LA’s airport – to tap America’s rich and plentiful oil and gas up north. ANWR’s drilling footprint is like a postage stamp on a football field...
Domestic Drilling: Why We Can Still Believe (4-30-2010)
...This was the position I took as an oil and gas regulator and as Governor of Alaska when my administration ramped up oversight of the oil industry and created a petroleum-systems-integrity office to monitor our oil and gas infrastructure for potential environmental risks. I took a lot of heat for the stand I took “against the oil industry” (which is how political adversaries labeled my actions). But we took tough action because there was proof of some improper maintenance of oil infrastructure which I believed was unacceptable. We instituted new oversight and held British Petroleum (BP) financially accountable for poor maintenance practices. We also filed a Friend-of-the-Court brief against Exxon’s interests for its decades-old responsibility to compensate Alaskans affected by the Valdez spill, and I took other actions “against” the industry which ultimately helped hold it accountable...
Nonstop D.C. Nonsense: Drilling Down on Energy Doublespeak (3-15-2010)
...According to a study by the American Energy Alliance, opening the OCS to drilling could create as many as 1.2 million new jobs and add hundreds of billions of dollars annually to the US economy. Those are real American jobs – and great American opportunities – that can’t be outsourced. Offshore drilling would provide billions in revenue for our states, allowing them to reduce their budget deficits without raising taxes. It would help reduce our trade deficit, which spikes with each rise in the price of oil because we’re so reliant on foreign sources of energy. And because we have some of the best environmental standards in the world, we should be drilling for our own oil instead of buying it from countries with less stringent standards...
“Global Warming” – More Like a Snow Job (2-17-2010)
...And though I applaud the President’s newly declared interest in nuclear power, it should be noted that he’s merely following through on loan guarantees authorized during the prior administration. What’s more, while the White House now touts the building of new nuclear power plants, its budget inexplicably calls for cutting funding to the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. A real nuclear energy plan requires a strategy for dealing with nuclear waste storage and recycling...
Alaska Steps Forward Towards Energy Security (2-10-2010)
...Congratulations are due Exxon and the State of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources for completing the first development well at Point Thomson in northern Alaska. This is a huge field full of domestic crude, and it’s time to drill for it! This week we’ve witnessed great progress toward more energy security for Alaska and our entire nation. What began as hefty trucks and hard working men and women heading up an ice road last year, to the commencement of drilling at Point Thomson, this progress has finally led to Exxon’s announcement today of completion of its first development well to produce oil and gas. Our “tough stance” with big oil and perseverance in insisting that Alaska’s resources be developed instead of warehoused while foreign countries are busy developing their oil and gas reserves has paid off to the benefit of everyone involved....
Drillgate (2-9-2010)
...Many of us appreciated the President mentioning in his State of the Union address that “tough decisions” had to be made regarding offshore drilling. People have had doubts about his seriousness in regards to domestic energy policy because our Department of the Interior is dragging its feet on Virginia’s offshore oil and gas leases. Still, we’ve held out hope that America’s voice will be heard on energy...
Where’s the Oil in Our National Energy Policy? (1-24-2010)
...America’s energy challenges are getting more and more serious every day, and yet the Obama administration just doesn’t get it. Please see this informative article that sheds light on one aspect of the president’s problem. It starts by explaining our energy demand will increase, and oil will be part of that demand...
Drill, Baby, Drill... Even Off-Shore (12-7-2009)
...The international community recognizes the potential of Arctic off-shore drilling; it’s about time our government allowed us to compete with them by developing these rich reserves in an environmentally responsible way. As I said last April in my testimony before the Secretary during a federal hearing in Anchorage, “Alaska’s oil and gas resources can and should be a major part of the implementation of any creditable energy plan for our nation. Alaska has proven that these resources can be developed safely, but Arctic exploration and development is a slow, demanding process. Delays or major restrictions in accessing these resources for environmentally responsible development are not in the national interest or the interests of the State of Alaska.”...
Response to Vice President Biden's Comments Today About My Position On Energy Independence (11-2-2009)
...As the vice president knows, I have always advocated an all-of-the-above approach to American energy independence. Among other things, my alternative energy goal for Alaska sits at 50 percent because Alaska reached more than 20 percent during my term in office. The Obama-Biden administration, on the other hand, recently announced a renewable goal of only 25 percent. However, domestic drilling should remain a top priority in order to meet America’s consumption and security needs...
Further Proof of the Need for Energy Independence (10-6-2009)
...The British newspaper The Independent reported today that Gulf oil producers were negotiating with Russia, China, Japan and France to replace the dollar in pricing oil with a basket of currencies.[1] According to the Wall Street Journal, Arab oil officials have denied the story, but even the possibility of such a talk weakens the dollar and renews fears about its continued viability as an international reserve currency.[2] In fact, today a United Nations official called for a new global reserve currency to replace the dollar and end our “privilege” to run up huge deficits.[3] We can see the effect of this in the price of gold, which hit a record high today in response to fears about the weakened dollar.[4] All of this is a result of our out-of-control debt. This is why we need to rein in spending, and this is also why we need energy independence. A weakened dollar means higher commodity prices. This will make it more difficult to pay our bills – including the bill to import oil....

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

ROMNEY 2012!!!!

Anonymous said...

RW, thanks for writing this. I didn't see your request to me until late last night. Now as to the article, first I must commend you on a very well written article. As I scrolled down and saw the title of the piece and Palin's picture...I assumed you had written it, then as I read the article, I wasn't too sure. You took a very prudent stance without too much praise. In fact, I thought that this might have been written by someone else due to the unbias tone of the piece.

So they asked for it...now I imagine there will be a whole lot of silence.

jerseyrepublican

Right Wingnut said...

Thanks, JR.

I still think you should write some posts. You're a much more talented writer than I am.

Right Wingnut said...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2696191/posts

Anonymous said...

RW, thanks and I would like to...I have been thinking about an idea for a piece but I think it might be too presumptuous until/if Palin runs. If she does run, I will write the piece.

jerseyrepublican

BTW - congrats on the Free Republic...

BOSMAN said...

Thanks for posting this RW!

Lots of information for people to absorb.
It's clear that Palin does have several ideas related to energy and ending our dependency from foreign oil.

BTW, EXCELLENT POST!

Anonymous said...

I agree, RW. Good post, and good info. I read almost all of your links. I wouldn't say she has detailed plans for energy, but I do think she's on the right page.

However, I don't think her defense of ACES was convincing, nor do I believe AGIA is going anywhere fast. If ACES is so great, why is Parnell and many in the legislature trying to dump it? It's largely democrats who want to keep in in place. Contrary to her claim, it was a windfall profit tax on business.

I also don't agree with the her renewable energy goals in Alaska. Right now, I don't think we can't really afford new fantasy power options. They always end up costing more than they are worth.

-Martha

Revolution 2010 said...

Excellent post!
Thanks for posting this RWN.

I don't have a chance yet to read the info (st work) and links, but I'm looking forward to it.

JerseyRepublican,

PLEASE, accept Bosman's invite. You would be a great asset to this site as a contributor. It has to be hard for RWN, to hold all the weight on this site when it comes to Palin.

RWN's doing an excellent job of it but I'm sure he would relish your help and input as a FP.

Anonymous said...

Martha, I am reposting my response to your ACES claim from an earlier post. At the time you didn't respond...I'm sure you'll do the same this time...because when presented with facts about Palin, as opposed to the trash that you push, you tend to get silent.

ACES is no more of a tax than Romney raising the prices of fees and closing tax loopholes...probably loopholes that he took advantage of while at Bain...is a tax. ACES is a profit sharing program based upon the Alaskan Constitution, she didn't write the Alaskan Constitution. The program received bi-partisan support based on the fact that the Alaskan Constitution states that the oil is the property of the citizens of the state...just because the oil companies lease the land...does not give them sole ownership to what sits below it.

The oil companies weren't exploring and developing half the land that they leased in Alaska, prior to ACES and it wasn't due to financial constraints.

Again, the oil companies post bigger profits every single quarter...ACES barely puts a scratch on their bottom line. Why Parnell and a minority of the Alaskan legislature wants to overturn it now is beyond me...my guess is that the lobbyists got to the legislators.

We are a nation of laws and Alaska has a Constitution that outlines theirs. Do I have pity for the oil companies because they have to share a minute portion of their multi, multi billion dollar profits with the citizens who actually own the oil....NO.

jerseyrepublican

Right Wingnut said...

Parnell seems like a good guy, but he never struck me as a strong leader. The oil lobby in AK is very powerful and corrupt. Ask the former state legislators and oil executives who ended up in prison.

....“The number of oil companies filing with the Alaska Department of Revenue has doubled indicating that competition has indeed increased. Alaska has the second most business friendly tax set-up — up two spots since the passage of ACES. Additionally, a report from Governor Parnell’s Department of Revenue indicated that 2009 yielded a record high in oil jobs. Even more recently, the newest employment numbers from Alaska show that oil job numbers were higher in January 2011 than in January 2010, indicating that jobs are growing at the seasonal level. Parnell argues that state revenues are in jeopardy, but it is estimated that his proposal would reduce revenues by $100-200 million.”....

Anonymous said...

Jersey, I didn't see your comment, I was not ignoring it.

I can see how you might compare ACES to user fees, but I don't think it fits very well. The fees were to bring government services into line with actual costs.

Great that the Alaska constitution made the law legal. However, that doesn't mean the law makes sense. Let's face it, the new tax on oil was a great way to gain popularity with voters, but it was shortsighted, and now just a few short years later, reality is hitting.

The oil companies said it would make developing and producing oil more difficult, and now that appears to be playing out, otherwise, Parnell and the legislators would not be re-visiting it. It is only the democrats who want to keep it in place, that ought to tell you something.

Oh sure, RW. Everyone but Palin can be bought by big oil--even her own hand-picked successor! Ha ha. That is a very weak answer, my friend.

Perhaps they have done their homework, and found that the tax is too oppressive and needs to be scaled back.

-Martha

Anonymous said...

Martha, of course the oil companies do not want to pay one red cent but the facts are the facts...the law is the law...the citizens own the oil. Oil companies are recording record profits quarter after quarter and the people who own the oil are supposed to bend over and say thank you for paying more in energy costs as compared to almost anywhere in the nation when that energy flows beneath there feet and under the land they own?

jerseyrepublican

Anonymous said...

Revolution, thanks for the vote of confidence but Bosman has never formally asked me to contribute to the site. As of now, I am actually pretty busy with my own writing(I'm an amateur writer but hoping to someday be a professional) I have a few ideas for some posts but some would be premature until Palin announces if she is going to run. If she does run, I will definitely write at least one post...if I am allowed to and probably a few more. If she doesn't run, I'm not really sure who I will support for the nomination...unless Rudy runs...then I'm 110% behind him...if he does not I might just wait to see who the nominee is and support that person.

jerseyrepublican

Right Wingnut said...

Bosman needs your email address to "formally" send you an invitation.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how a conservative can defend ACES. It implemented one of the highest tax rates in the industry, and made it progressive, to boot! So it starts at 25% and goes up. The result has been lost jobs, and less oil flowing from Alaska--less exploration, development and production. It is simply too cost prohibitive, and the companies are moving elsewhere to places with more favorable tax structures.

1000 job losses in the past 18 months. In a state that depends almost solely on oil for revenue, it is vital to make sure that industry is strong. What is wrong with tweaking the details to make sure oil starts flowing again, and the jobs come back?

Parnell simply wants to reduce the rate from 25 to 15, grant businesses incentives to hire Alaskans, and provide tax incentives--one of which ACES took away. The roadblock to passing reform seems to be that the oil companies have not yet issued a commitment to increase activity.

---
I think it's time for Palin to admit she was dead wrong on ACES, and apologize. She needs to support Parnell's effort to get the oil flowing and the jobs back. I thought she was all about what is best for Alaska???

-Martha

BOSMAN said...

JR,

I'd love to have you as a contributor. There would be no pressure to put up posts, just when you feel like it and get the urge.

And besides, I won't have to listen to RWN saying he's the only Palin supporter FP on RS.

Email me at: bosman.rightspeak@gmail.com

Bill589 said...

I can not believe that Martha is finding and voicing faults of Sarah Palin! (again)
Right.
However, you do get an ‘A’ for imagination.
Just work on your research skills.

Can we have another February?

Anonymous said...

Martha, Maybe you should read "NY There you go Again" over and over again. Here is a piece of it.

"The number of oil companies filing with the Alaska Department of Revenue has doubled indicating that competition has indeed increased. Alaska has the second most business friendly tax set-up — up two spots since the passage of ACES. Additionally, a report from Governor Parnell’s Department of Revenue indicated that 2009 yielded a record high in oil jobs. Even more recently, the newest employment numbers from Alaska show that oil job numbers were higher in January 2011 than in January 2010, indicating that jobs are growing at the seasonal level. Parnell argues that state revenues are in jeopardy, but it is estimated that his proposal would reduce revenues by $100-200 million.”

Anonymous said...

Anon, I did read it, along with a bunch of other articles. There is conflicting info about jobs. The article I read said that there have been job losses in the past 18 months.

But some things are not in dispute: The tax is 25%--one of the very highest in the industry, and progressive as well (I thought conservatives didn't like progressive taxes?), and the fact that production is down.

The other thing is that Parnell would not be pursuing reform if there were no indications that the law is bad. He is Palin's right hand man.

-Martha