“[On March 17, 2009, Alaska] Governor Sarah Palin…reiterated her support for the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, saying AGIA remains the best way to get a natural gas pipeline. The governor’s comments follow the introduction of a resolution that calls on the governor and the attorney general to review the license issued to TransCanada. Representatives Jay Ramras and Craig Johnson introduced the resolution.”
“I believe they want us to double check, triple check, make quite sure all decisions we’ve made thus far with the gasline are truly in Alaska’s best interest, and I am confident they are,” Governor Palin said. “My decisions, with the support of 59 out of 60 legislators, protect Alaska’s sovereignty and progress a gasline project that will finally allow Alaskans to responsibly and ethically tap into their rich natural gas resources on the North Slope, and flow those resources into hungry markets.
“I believe Rep. Ramras and Rep. Johnson are instructing us to be vigilant in pursuit of this gasline. I agree with the premise, but I don’t believe this resolution is necessary, and I certainly don’t agree that there should be an AGIA ‘re-do.’
“Finally, we expect the oil and gas industry to abide by contracts and agreements they sign with us as they develop our resources, just as they have a right to expect us to abide by our agreements. AGIA is a contract. Why would we take it off the table, especially in this economy and at a time of great need for energy independence?”
The attempts to stop AGIA, the in-state gas pipeline and the Railbelt utility consolidation are nothing more than political malice on the part of those who have a grudge against Governor Palin. Even State Representative Les Gara — a DEMOCRAT who has opposed the Governor on many occasions supports AGIA and wants to see it move forward (Gara, 2009, Â¶3).
There’s a disturbing thing going on in Alaska politics, and it threatens to kill our chances to build an Alaska gas pipeline. Any casual observer of Alaska politics has seen that Gov. Palin’s created a growing list of detractors across the political spectrum. A growing number of people are starting to take the opposite position from the governor on nearly everything. If she’s for it, they’re against it. Alaska’s politics now float in treacherous waters (Gara, 2009, Â¶1).
Some of Gov. Palin’s detractors see things the way the major oil companies see them. They’ve willingly joined the oil company cause to stop the TransCanada pipeline – Alaska’s best chance at a gas pipeline project – in its tracks. Others have joined their cause unwittingly. There are growing numbers of Republicans and Democrats who are predisposed to agree with anyone on the other side of the governor. Gov. Palin’s become a lightning rod, and many Alaskans have chosen to be “with her” or “against her” – all the time, no matter what. That’s unhealthy. If we keep playing this sport, we won’t have a gas line at all. Or we’ll get one built only on Exxon, Conoco and British Petroleum’s very unfavorable terms (Gara, 2009, Â¶2).
I can’t play this game. The stakes are too high. When I disagree with the governor, I’ll say so. But when I see a chance for common ground, and a path to the most important development project on Alaska’s horizon, I’ll work to find it. Some of my supporters are rigging up the guillotine right now (Gara, 2009, Â¶3).
The truth is the governor and I have some great disagreements, and some substantial areas of common ground. In both cases, I’ve said so. No one’s ever accused me of being shy about my opinions. Finding common ground may not be exciting politics. But I have an obligation to get things done when I can, and to call things honestly instead of politically. Throwing bombs for the sake of it doesn’t lead to a very long or happy career (Gara, 2009, Â¶4).
These four preceding paragraphs sum up exactly how Governor Palin’s enemies are operating. Out of nothing more than pure spite, they’re willing to short-circuit this much-needed project that is good for Alaska and for the entire nation.
Representative Gara — again a Democrat — sees right through this nonsense and stands behind the Governor. Even as someone who has butted heads with her in the past, he sees the worthiness of this project, understands the scope of this accomplishment and respects her for it. He is putting his own admittedly embattled past with Governor Palin aside to back this project.
Gara, L. (2009, March 17). Opposing Palin on gasline is a mistake. Alaska Dispatch. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/tundra-talk/9-talk-of-the-tundra/1016-dangerous-politics-with-the-gasline
Governor expresses confidence in AGIA (2009, March 17). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1716