Palin Disparages Environmentalist ‘Fear Mongering’ Yet Warns of a ‘World of Hurt’ if We Don’t Drill
[social_buttons]On Friday, presumptive GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin did an interview on CNBC that focused largely on American energy oil policy. Most of the discussion was about drilling in ANWR and when Bartiromo asked about the specific steps Palin would take to mitigate environmental impacts, she answered by talking about how the naysayers and fear mongers didn’t get it, and that drilling was critical to Alaska’s economy, essentially dodging the crux of the question, and alienating herself from the other 49 states.
I don’t want you to get the idea that Bartiromo was tough, because she wasn’t. In fact, Bartiromo repeated Palin’s assertion that ANWR’s footprint would only be 2,000 acres on this past Sunday’s Meet the Press four times – a claim that has been called out as a myth – as if she was a surrogate for the governor. But what struck me most was not Palin’s support for increased oil development in Alaska, but that she simultaneously criticized fear mongering tactics and employed them herself.
“LET ME GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON REALLY THE CONSEQUENCES. WHAT THEN ARE THE MAJOR CONSEQUENCES OF DRILLING IN ANWR? I WAS READING A PIECE EARLIER THAT SAID, LOOK, IT WILL IMPACT THE BREEDING OF CARIBOU, THE BREEDING OF POLAR BEARS. GIVE ME YOUR SENSE. WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES?”
“WELL, LET’S LOOK AT LESSONS LEARNED OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS WHEN THE TRANSALASKA OIL PIPELINE WAS FINALLY ALLOWED TO BE BUILT AND THERE WERE THE THREATS THEN AND THE FEARS THAT THE CARIBOU HERDS WOULD DIMINISHAND DIE OFF. NO, THE CARIBOU HERDS ARE ACTUALLY THRIVING. THEY’RE FLOURISHING. THERE HAVE NOT BEEN THE ADVERSE IMPACTS ON THE CARIBOU HERDS. SO WE ANTICIPATE THE SAME THING AS WE TAP MORE ENERGY SUPPLIES UP ON THE NORTH SLOPE IN ANWR. AND AS WE BUILD A NATURAL GAS PIPELINE ALSO THAT’S UNDER WAY AT THIS POINT. WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE NAYSAYERS, THE FEAR MONGERS, 30 YEARS AGO BEFORE THE TRANSALASKA OIL PIPELINE WAS BUILT — AND REMEMBER, THAT PIPELINE HAS SUPPLIED 15 BILLION BARRELS OF OIL INTO OUR DOMESTIC SUPPLIES HERE IN AMERICA. AND BY THE WAY, BIDEN, JOE BIDEN WAS ONE WHO VOTED AGAINST THAT TRANSALASKA OIL PIPELINE 30 YEARS AGO. HE WAS FEARFUL OF ALLOWING RAMPED UP DOMESTIC SUPPLIES OF ENERGY EVEN THEN. SO OF COURSE I FEAR THAT IF HE’S OF THE SAME MIND TODAY WE’RE IN A WORLD OF HURT THERE.
When Bartiromo pressed Palin (and I use the term ‘pressed’ very loosely) about what she would do to protect the environment, Palin didn’t really answer the question, in stead she talked about what would happen if we didn’t drill there.
HOW WILL YOU DO THAT? HOW WILL YOU PROTECT ALASKANS’ HOMES, THEIR ENVIRONMENT? WHAT ARE YOU THINKING AS WE APPROACH THIS DEBATE WHERE ON THE ONE SIDE PEOPLE SAY DRILL, DRILL, DRILL, ON THE OTHER SIDE PEOPLE ARE SAYING LOOK, WE NEED TO KEEP THIS AREA PRISTINE?
“WE NEED TO DRILL, DRILL, DRILL. OTHERWISE, I CANNOT BELIEVE A DOMESTIC SOLUTION IS ANY PART OF A NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY IF THEY’RE NOT GOING TO LET ALASKANS DRILL ON OUR OWN LANDS AND ON FEDERAL LANDS WITHIN OUR OWN STATE. AND IF A DOMESTIC SOLUTION ISN’T PART OF A NATIONAL ENERGY PLAN, THEN OUR NATION IS IN A WORLD OF HURT, WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE RELIANT ON FOREIGN DANGEROUS REGIMES TO FEED OUR HUNGRY MARKETS…
“OUR NATION IS AT A CROSS-ROADS ALSO. WE’D EITHER BETTER BE MAKING DECISIONS TO ALLOW THIS AMERICAN SUPPLY OF ENERGY TO BE TAPPED OR WE’RE GOING TO BECOME MORE AND MORE BEHOLDEN TO THESE FOREIGN REGIMES. AND AGAIN, OUR NATION’S GOING TO BE IN A WORLD OF HURT WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT NATIONAL SECURITY, WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT EVER REACHING POTENTIAL TOWARD ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, IF WE CANNOT IMPLEMENT A DOMESTIC SOLUTION FOR THIS NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY.
“AND THIS IS ALSO WHAT KIND OF SCARES ME ABOUT BIDEN AND OBAMA ALSO, IS IT SEEMS TO BE ALMOST A NAIVE NOTION OF THEIRS THAT WE CAN AUTOMATICALLY JUST JUMP RIGHT INTO A RENEWABLE SUPPLY OF ENERGY TO FEED HUNGRY MARKETS ACROSS OUR NATION WHEN THESE RENEWABLES ARE NOT YET PROVEN TO BE ECONOMIC NOR RELIABLE. WE’RE GOING TO BE IN A TRANSITION PERIOD FOR QUITE SOME TIME WHERE WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO CONTINUE TO BE RELIANT ON CONVENTIONAL SOURCES OF ENERGY AS WE’RE WORKING ON THE RENEWABLES, AND WE CERTAINLY HAVE TO HEAD IN THAT DIRECTION ALSO. BUT IT’S GOT TO BE DOING EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING THAT WE CAN TO ALLOW THE DOMESTIC SUPPLIES, RENEWABLE AND NON-RENEWABLE, TO BE TAPPED, SOLUTIONS PLUGGED IN FROM BOTH THOSE ENDS, AND NOT JUST SKIP THE OIL AND THE GAS DEVELOPMENT AND THE COAL DEVELOPMENT ALSO THAT WE HAVE TO HAVE AS PART OF A COMPREHENSIVE PLAN. IT’S NAIVE TO THINK WE CAN GO RIGHT TO RENEWABLES AND THINK THAT’S EVER GOING TO WORK FOR OUR NATION TODAY AT THIS TIME.”
So I think I’m starting to get the Rovian posturing here; when environmentalists raise important issues about the ecological impact of drilling in ANWR, they are fear mongers, but if others warn us about the threats of dangerous foreign regimes, and that we will be “in a world of hurt,” they are just patriotic Americans interested in our national security.