Can You Find One Accurate Statement from McPalin on the Environment? You Win!

  • Published on October 16th, 2008

Find one accurate, un-contradicted, and consequential statement from team McPalin on energy and the environment and win a free book!Writing Tuesday in the Huffington Post, Sierra Club president Carl Pope laid down a challenge to his readers to “catch McCain/Palin getting it right”.

Pope refers specifically to the ticket’s statements and record on energy and the environment. Pope is apparently frustrated enough with John McCain and Sarah Palin getting basic facts about these issues “wrong so consistently” that he’s offered a signed copy of his new book Strategic Ignorance to the first person that submits at least one “consequential energy or environmental statement that McCain and Palin have gotten right.”

To McCain and Palin’s credit, Pope identifies one accurate statement (and so this doesn’t count in the challenge): The Republican ticket is correct in asserting that John McCain stood up to the Senate’s GOP leadership, sponsoring, with Joe Lieberman, the Climate Stewardship Act that calls for a cap and trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

That’s it?  Surely they’ve said something else about energy or the environment that isn’t wrong?

Find one statement and get a free book!

Consequential and not contradicted

To meet the challenge the statement from McCain/Palin about energy and/or the environment must be both true and consequential. So while “Alaska produces energy” is a true statement that even Palin gets right (though she falls down a bit over the exact percentages of domestic energy her state produces), it isn’t consequential enough to meet the challenge. Nor is a statement like “We support an expansion of nuclear power”.

It must also be a statement that has uttered from the lips of John McCain or Sarah Palin since McCain won the nomination (we’re talking about candidate McCain here), and it must not have been contradicted by the ticket since then. Pope says that website postings don’t count, but ads do, since McCain officially “approves this message”.

And that’s it! Shoudn’t be a problem getting a free signed copy of Carl Pope’s book, right? We’ll see. Send your suggestions to Carl at carl.pope[at] He will post the results on the HuffingtonPost next week. If two people send in the same correct statement, the first one to do so wins.

In the meantime, Pope offers the following “dirty dozen” fundamental untruths from the McPalin camp:

  1. Drill, baby drill: That offshore oil leasing now  will yield additional oil supplies in the near term.
  2. That when oil begins to flow from these leases it will flow in a sufficient volume to reduce gasoline prices. (McCain himself has conceded that this claim, central to his advertising and his convention, was false.)
  3. That Palin was opposed to the “Bridge to Nowhere.”
  4. That Palin declined to seek earmarks as Mayor of Wasilla and Governor of Alaska.
  5. That polar bear populations in Alaska are abundant and unthreatened by human activities.
  6. That the McCain-Lieberman global warming bill was “voluntary” and did not establish “mandatory” limits on carbon emissions. (This bizarre claim was made by McCain himself during the primaries.)
  7. That McCain has cast no important votes against renewable energy. (In fact he has cast more than 20.)
  8. That Palin was the first governor to appoint a state commission to look at global warming.
  9. That Alaska’s environmental regulations adequately protect waterways from having mining waste dumped into them.
  10. That hurricanes Katrina and Rita whipped through the Gulf of Mexico without causing any major oil spills.
  11. That John McCain’s energy policy differs fundamentally from George Bush’s.
  12. That the McCain-Palin ticket believes that windfall-profit taxes, as proposed by Senator Obama, would cut oil production. (Palin actually imposed one herself.)

Photo Credit: Flickr – masonvotes

About the Author

is an online publisher, editor, and freelance writer. He is the founder of and the History Blog Project, as well as publisher and site director for the Tom also contributes to numerous environmental blogs, including TriplePundit, Ecopolitology, Sustainablog, and Planetsave.   Tom's work has led him to Europe, Africa, Latin America, Canada, the South Pacific, and across the United States. His home base is San Francisco, California.