“Governor Sarah Palin [on February 6, 2009] encouraged President Obama to discuss construction of an Alaska natural gas pipeline in his upcoming meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper” (Pipeline, 2009, Â¶1).
In her letter to Obama, Governor Palin wrote,
In 2007, the two-way trade in energy between the U.S. and Canada totaled $100 billion. In this regard, Canada supplies 82 percent of U.S. natural gas imports, representing 16 percent of U.S. consumption. Further, Canada provides 18 percent of U.S. oil imports, making our northern neighbor our largest supplier of crude oil. It is also worth noting that Alaska is a large provider of North American energy supplies and will increase that role as Alaska gas becomes available to North American markets, hopefully by 2018 (Obama Letter, 2009, p1).
Recently, the State of Alaska signed a license with TransCanada (TransCanada Alaska, LLC and Foothills Pipe Lines Ltd.), a Canadian company that operates over 36,000 miles of pipe in Canada and the U.S. and the largest pipeline company in North America. This license provides TransCanada Alaska up to S500 million in state matching funds in order to assist the company in holding an open season and obtaining a Federal Energy RegulatoryÂ Commission Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity and similar certification in Canada. As a consequence, TransCanada has commenced field work, and will hold its first binding open season in the summer of 2010 (Obama Letter, 2009, p. 1-2).
Governor Palin wrote about how this work builds upon a 1977 treaty between Canada and the United States. “In particular, the treaty recognizes the right of TransCanada to build the Canadian portion of an Alaska Gas Pipeline Project and identifies the Northern Pipeline Act as the vehicle for permitting the Canadian portion of the project” (Obama Letter, 2009, p. 2). The Alaskan North Slope holds 200 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. The pipeline would provide this gas to Canada and the 48 conterminous United States, creating thousands of jobs, and reducing our dependence on foreign energy sources (Obama Letter, 2009, p. 2).
As you know, the U.S. and Canada have enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship. This is particularly true in the production and transportation of energy resources. We believe that Alaska, with its common boundary and long-standing relationship with Canada and its local governments, can play an important role in promoting national energy interests to the benefit of the citizens of both countries (Obama Letter, 2009, p. 2).
Thee Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline should be a significant component of North American energy policy in the years to come. Accordingly, I respectfully urge that this project be carefully considered during your meeting with PrimeÂ Minister Harper with a view toward doing everything possible at the national level of both countries to facilitate the commencement of pipeline construction (Obama Letter, 2009, p. 2).
In both her press release and letter, Governor Palin’s expertise on energy and foreign policy are illustrated, subjects which she has years of experience in prior to being Alaska’s governor.
Governor Palin is past chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, a multi-state government agency that promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. She was recently named chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee, which is charged with pursuing legislation to ensure state needs are considered as federal policy is formulated in the areas of agriculture, energy, environmental protection and natural resource management. Prior to being named to this position, she served as co-chair of this committee (Sarah’s Biography, 2009, Â¶7).
She has served as chair of the Alaska Conservation Commission, which regulates Alaska’s most valuable non-renewable resources: oil and gas (Sarah’s Biography, 2009, Â¶9).
Energy independence is a core agenda item of SarahPAC. Governor Palin supports an “all-of-the above” approach to energy independence, which includes both environmentally responsible oil and gas exploration and drilling, and the use of alternative energy sources where practical and cost-effective. Energy independence not only keeps costs reasonable but promotes national security by not leaving the United States dependent on nations who are not friendly to our interests.
She is the only governor in the entire country who has subject matter expertise on energy production, transmission, distribution, and the politics related thereto.
Despite the quip made by Tina Fey, Alaska’s proximity to Canada and Russia does give Governor Palin valuable foreign policy experience she would otherwise not have, because Alaska is heavily involved in foreign trade. Alaska is a mid-point stop for flights to the Far East. In her letter to Obama, the Governor invited him to stop in Alaska should he make a trip to the Far East (Obama Letter, 2009, p. 3). In January 2009, Governor Palin met with diplomats from Europe, Asia, and North America.
Her expertise in energy matters and growing foreign policy experience will position Governor Palin very well for her ultimate accomplishment yet to come…
Governor Palin’s biography. (2009). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved February 7, 2009 from: http://gov.state.ak.us/bio.php
Palin, S.L.H. (2009, February 6). Letter to President Obama to Include Discussion of TransCanada Gas Pipeline in Agenda for Presidential Meeting with Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Retrieved February 7, 2009 from: http://govweb.state.ak.us/pdf/GasPipeline_LetterPresObama_Feb6.pdf
Palin urges Obama to discuss gas pipeline. (2009, February 6). State of Alaska, Governor. Retrieved February 7, 2009 from: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=1629