Gov. Palin Discusses BP Oil Spill on Fox and Friends
(Allison) The crisis in the Gulf of Mexico continues to grow, and now the Obama administration has called a moratorium on deep sea drilling until its safety can be ensured. Governor Sarah Palin joins us now to talk about this and so much more.
Welcome to Fox and Friends, Governor.
(SP) Hey, thanks so much, Allison, glad to get to be here.
(Allison) It’s a pleasure to have you.
Alright, so let’s talk about the news that has eclipsed everything else. For the past several weeks and that of course is the crisis in the Gulf and the oil spill. You famously coined the term drill, baby, drill. Given this catastrophe, are you rethinking your position?
(SP) No, we still need to drill, baby, drill, and we need to drill safely and ethically, and if we don’t do that here then we will be outsourcing our energy production and developments into countries and foreign waters that do not have the strict standards that we have.
The problem here with the Gulf oil spill is that we didn’t adhere to those standards, and the MMS didn’t regulate aggressively enough, and BP told the government some things that now we’re finding out aren’t necessarily true.
So, there’s a lot of blame to go around, but certainly the American public can’t be blamed for the problem that we’re seeing today, that tragedy in the Gulf, and they should not be punished. They should not be punished with cap and tax either, a tax on energy that now Obama is talking about in a kind of response to the Gulf spill. And we shouldn’t be punished by outsourcing our energy development anymore than we’re already outsourcing.
(Allison) And Governor, you’ve brought up safety, and as you know, the administration has called for a moratorium on deep sea drilling until that safety can by ensured. Given all of the problems that we now know how BP overlooked safety measures, do you support a moratorium until we can ensure the safety?
(SP) No, but we do need to ramp up the oversight of the existing production that we have going on today. And again, the American public should not be punished for BP and the government screw ups in what has led to this tragedy in the Gulf. So no, I don’t support the moratorium. What I do support is President Obama meeting finally on day fifty-four, whatever its going to take for him to meet with the CEO and the board members of BP and verify what it is that they have been telling the American public. And doing anything and everything that we can including waving the Jones Act so that we can get some more support and help in from elsewhere to stop this gusher.
(Allison) So when more oversight with the MMS, you’re confident that other rigs that are out there right now are not flirting with disaster or that if they were, those are being checked.
(SP) They need to be checked. And Allison, what we did up in Alaska, what I did as governor is in order to verify, not just to give lip service to my expectations and verification of what the oil companies were doing, was I set up a petroleum systems integrity office. I ramped up oversight in our own state to make sure that we could believe what it was that the oil companies were telling us. And I about got run out of town by especially some Republicans thinking I was playing too hard ball with the oil companies. But this public resource and the public trust is important enough to do anything and everything that you can appropriately as a governing body to make sure that the oil companies are on the up and up in what they’re telling you about their standards and their operating procedures.
(Allison) I think that that’s all the stuff you were talking about on your Facebook page this week when you wrote that President Obama should actually give you a call for some advice. [Palin nods yes.] Has he called yet?
(SP) No, and ya know, I didn’t even write that tongue and cheek really. I would like it if President Obama, not, not me, he never will and doesn’t have to call me and ask for any kind of advice certainly, but there are experts, including what I believe is America’s best oil and gas team that’s assembled in Alaska, Tom Erwin, Marty Rutherford, Kurt Gibson, it was Bruce Anders too. These folks who have worked on contingency plans and worked closely with these oil companies, knowing how to play hard ball with them as we still partner with them to develop our natural resources he should reach out to these experts. Let me give you some evidence of this Alaskan team that has had contingency plans in place that the federal government…why they should be reaching out to them.
When you see that the Gulf spill was reliant upon, the development there in the Gulf, was reliant upon a contingency plan of BP’s that was boiler plate language taken from Alaskan plans you see evidence of some lax oversight in the federal government and why it is that if Obama is serious about cleaning up MMS and having aggressive regulatory oversight he needs to tap into those experts who have shifted gears in their own states and ramped up oversight. This contingency plan of BP’s, Allison, it included language that was referencing walruses and sea others and other marine mammals that are not indigenous to the Gulf. Those are Alaskan wildlife species. It’s evidence that there was boiler plate language stolen, taken from an Alaskan contingency plan and applied, irrelevantly, applied to the Gulf, much different conditions there.
(Allison) Yes, and it also said that even in the worst case scenario they could have this cleaned up in thirty days and that it would never reach the shore. And sadly, we know now that all that was false.
(SP) Yeah, that was false, and there are a lot of things that unfortunately, because it’s taken so long for the administration to actually sit down, CEO level to CEO level with BP to not have verified a lot of things, the things that they were telling us. Fifty-four days in, Allison, this is ridiculous because what Obama has allowed now is for this industry player, British Petroleum, to become this entity with such enormous liability exposure to be able to have defined the facts of the spill, and now we find out in a magnitude the facts that they defined for the American public were not accurate.