Alaska Governor Sarah Palin issued press releases pertaining to ANWR, a clean coal power plant, the pending stimulus package and a notice of Alaska’s intent to file a lawsuit against the Federal government for its decision to list Cook Inlet beluga whales as “threatened.”
These releases are extracted and distilled below with a general commentary following all of them.
On January 14, 2009, some members of Congress introduced a bill to forever prohibit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) (ANWR, 2009, Â¶1). “Let’s not forget: Only six months ago, oil was selling for nearly $150 per barrel, while Americans were paying $4 a gallon and more for gasoline. And today, there is potential for prices to rebound as OPEC asserts its market power, and as Russia is disrupting needed natural gas to Europe, for the second time in three years,” (ANWR, 2009, Â¶3) Governor Palin said.
Drilling would require but 2,000 acres out of the 20-million acre plot (ANWR, 2009, Â¶7); development does not harm wildlife — in fact, caribou herds have grown (ANWR, 2009, Â¶8); development would create hundreds of thousands of jobs (ANWR, 2009, Â¶9); reduce dependence on foreign oil and gas and decrease our trade deficit (ANWR, 2009, Â¶10); and reduce price volatility and the national debt, while circulating petro-dollars here in the US (ANWR, 2009, Â¶11).
Further, “[t]he development of oil and clean-burning natural gas isn’t a panacea. However, this development should be authorized in comprehensive legislation that includes alternative fuels, fuel efficiency, and conservation” (ANWR, 2009, Â¶13).
“Americans know that gasoline and other refined crude oil products will keep fueling our transportation system for the foreseeable future. Further, the soaring prices of food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and other products illustrate the importance of petroleum to the health and well-being of America” (ANWR, 2009, Â¶14).
“Another important reality is that the location and quantity of oil production are drastically changing world geopolitics. Energy-producing countries are rapidly gaining world power. Several of these countries have objectives and value systems that are antithetical to U.S. interests” (ANWR, 2009, Â¶15).
“If we don’t move now to enact a comprehensive energy policy that includes domestic oil and gas production – including ANWR – we will look back someday and regret that we failed to perceive a critical crossroads in the history of America. It’s not overly dramatic to say our nation’s future depends on the decisions made by the federal government over the next few months” (ANWR, 2009, Â¶17).
“Polls show a majority of Americans now support responsible energy development in Alaska. Unfortunately, some disingenuous special interest groups are still fighting the public will in Congress” (ANWR, 2009, Â¶18).
Healy Clean Coal
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) and Homer Electric Association (HEA) reached an agreement to sell the Healy Clean Coal Project to GVEA (Healy, 2009, Â¶1), a move which Governor Palin lauded for “providing a reliable source of electrical power for [customers along] the Railbelt” (Healy, 2009, Â¶2-3). “Under the agreement, HEA will purchase 50 percent of the plant’s energy and capacity from GVEA starting in 2014″ (Healy, 2009, Â¶4).
The stimulus package currently pending Congressional approval will be based on formulas, and not be a “vehicle for earmarked spending” (Stimulus, 2009, Â¶1). In a letter written on January 7, 2009 to Alaska’s Congressional Delegation, Governor Palin said, “We also have to be mindful about the effect of the stimulus package on the national debt and the future economic health of the country. We won’t achieve long-term stability if we continue borrowing massive sums from foreign countries and remain dependent on foreign sources of oil and gas” (Stimulus, 2009, Â¶2).
Further, “[t]he governor has recommended five specific projects for the stimulus package, all of them in accordance with previous guidelines requiring that any individual spending requests must be in the national interest. Those projects are infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the natural gas pipeline, which will bring clean fuel to Lower 48 markets, and the Kodiak Launch Facility, which is important for the nation’s defense. While the latest comments in D.C. suggest that no earmarks will be accepted, the governor is hopeful that the extraordinary nature of these national-interest projects will allow their inclusion” (Stimulus, 2009, Â¶3).
“[T]he State of Alaska filed a notice of intent to file a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s decision to list beluga whales in Cook Inlet as threatened under the Endangered Species Act” (Beluga, 2009, Â¶1).
Beluga whales already receive comprehensive protection under various Alaska state laws, particularly in Cook Inlet (Beluga, 2009, Â¶6-7). Beluga whales were protected under Alaskan law since 2000, when they were “listed as depleted” (Beluga, 2009, Â¶5). The beluga population increased by 30 percent since 2005 (Beluga, 2009, Â¶5).
The intent-to-sue notification “asserts that the listing decision should be withdrawn due to failure to adequately consider conservation or protection efforts by Alaska, failure to provide to Alaska’s agencies an adequate written justification for portions of NMFS’ final rule not consistent with the agencies’ comments, failure to properly document or support its determination that the beluga whales in Cook Inlet comprise a distinct population segment and failure to provide a public review and comment period on significant studies and documentation used to support the listing (Beluga, 2009, Â¶3).
Governor Palin is a subject matter expert on energy production, transmission, and distribution, as well as the politics pertaining thereto. Her press releases on ANWR, the Healy plant, and the stimulus package all highlight this expertise. Even the beluga whale matter involves energy, since oil and gas development occur in the surrounding area.
Governor Palin’s press release on ANWR is concise, cohesive, and cogent. The release alone would form a more than sufficient document to build a summation on the case for drilling there. Simply put, the Governor knows her stuff and it shows here.
While these four press releases highlight Governor Palin’s executive experience, note that her command experience comes into play in the release pertaining to the stimulus package. Governor Palin is working to ensure that a military installation important to our nation’s defense is adequately funded and listed it among five projects that she believes are important enough to warrant special consideration in this package.
Because the Federal government’s decision pertaining to beluga whales could be deleterious to energy production, once again her expertise shines brightly in her release on this subject. Simply put, she builds the case that these animals are already well-protected under state law and additional Federal laws pertaining to them are redundant and without basis.
Governor Palin has been really busy these last four days doing what the people of Alaska hired her to do.
There is little difference really between a governor and POTUS, except that one is president of a state and other is president of the country. Both are jobs that require executive and command leadership skills — skills that Governor Palin is both more than proficient and current in. These four press releases build upon the dossier which documents Governor Palin’s numerous executive and command accomplishments.
Challenge to Beluga listing decision, Governor provides Feds with notice. (2009, January 14). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved January 15, 1009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1602
Gov issues statement on ANWR legislation to permanently prohibit drilling. (2009, January 14). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved January 15, 1009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1603
Governor lauds Healy Clean Coal Project Agreement by AIDEA, GVEA and HEA. (2009, January 14). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved January 15, 1009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1604
Governor notes limits on stimulus package pending in Congress. (2009, January 12). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved January 15, 1009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1601