As oil and gas prices rise, it’s clear that energy will soon emerge as the topic that everyone in America is concerned about. Americans will want to know which one of the potential Republican presidential candidates has the experience, knowledge, and ability to deal with an energy crisis that the Obama administration is ignoring. Anyone who knows anything about politics would have to objectively conclude that Governor Palin is the only potential Republican presidential candidate with the credibility on energy issues to make the case that Obama has failed miserably when it comes to freeing us from our dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Since energy will likely return as a key issue for the 2012 election, we plan on occasionally posting flashback articles that discuss the credibility that Governor Palin brings when it comes to the topic of energy. You’ll notice that these flashback articles that we plan on referencing do not come from conservative media outlets, nor are they editorials. They are news articles from “mainstream media” sources. It goes to show you that the one thing the “mainstream media” cannot distort about Governor Palin is her vast experience in dealing with energy issues.
A Houston Chronicle article titled “McCain’s VP pick Palin no stranger to energy industry: Governor’s oil dealings reveal an ‘independent’ side” kicks off our flashback series (emphasis added):
In an election where energy has moved to the top of the agenda, Republican vice-presidential pick Sarah Palin arguably brings more credibility on the topic than anyone else on the two major tickets….
She’s the governor of Alaska, where close to 85 percent of the budget comes from oil revenue. It’s second only to Texas among the states in oil production.
She’s the previous head of the state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and is married to a North Slope oil production operator.
Since taking office in 2006 she has thrown out the previous administration’s plans for a North Slope natural gas pipeline, which had been criticized as too generous to oil producers, and has bolstered state coffers through an overhaul of the state’s oil and gas tax structure.
“Between Biden, Obama and McCain, Palin is the only one who can spell ‘energy.’ The rest of these guys are completely clueless,” said David Pursell, an analyst with Houston-based Tudor Pickering Holt & Co., an energy investment and research firm.
Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said Palin knows the energy industry, “warts and all,” and understands the importance of energy policy.
“She has shown an independent streak and has been anything but a patsy in dealing with the oil industry in Alaska,” Bullock said….
Soon after, she dismantled a plan for a long-awaited pipeline to move natural gas off the North Slope because of concerns that the deal, which Murkowski negotiated behind closed doors, gave the producers too much.
She created an open bidding process for a state license to build the multibillion project and just this week signed off on the deal with Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada…
Palin also helped push through a revision of state oil and gas taxes that increased state revenue. North Slope producers opposed her initial plan, but the parties eventually reached a compromise that the Legislature passed.
And her administration has continued an effort started late in Murkowski’s administration to take away oil company leases at the Point Thomson field east of Prudhoe Bay, arguing Exxon Mobil Corp. has failed to develop the field decades after oil and gas were first discovered.
Amy Myers Jaffe, an energy fellow at Rice University’s James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, said Palin represents a departure from past Alaskan politicians in how she has motivated the oil industry.
“She’s taken much more of a ‘knocking-heads’ approach,” Jaffe said. “She has stood up to the big players when she didn’t like the process, and I don’t think it’s played well with the industry.”
But there’s no doubt Palin is clearly pro-oil production, said Robin West, chairman of energy strategy firm PFC Energy.
But her record, however, also suggests that being pro-production doesn’t necessarily mean she’s reliably pro-industry, West said.
“The agenda of Alaska and the agenda of Exxon are not always the same,” West said. “They may both want more production but it may not be under the same terms.”