John McCain and Sarah Palin Wallowing in Oil

I noted the other day that John McCain had falsely claimed that Sarah Palin was governor of the state that provided 20% of the nation’s energy.

Now aside from the fact that McCain is wrong about his claim that Alaska provides 20% of our energy supply (it provides 20% of our oil, relatively little–at least thus far–of our natural gas, and insignificant amounts of coal, nuclear, wind, or solar power), he’s basically arguing that a guy like George Bush has the national security qualifications to be President.

And we saw how well that worked out. 

All in all, I’d say, McCain’s making a great case for voting against Sarah Palin.

Apparently, the woman McCain says more about energy than anyone else in the country–Sarah Palin–believes the same erroneous thing.

GIBSON: But this is not just reforming a government. This is also running a government on the huge international stage in a very dangerous world. When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?

PALIN: But it is about reform of government and it’s about putting government back on the side of the people, and that has much to do with foreign policy and national security issues Let me speak specifically about a credential that I do bring to this table, Charlie, and that’s with the energy independence that I’ve been working on for these years as the governor of this state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy, that I worked on as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, overseeing the oil and gas development in our state to produce more for the United States.

GIBSON: I know. I’m just saying that national security is a whole lot more than energy.

PALIN: It is, but I want you to not lose sight of the fact that energy is a foundation of national security. It’s that important. It’s that significant.[my emphasis]

 Here’s correcting McCain and Palin (and me–turns out I was too generous to Alaska in my earlier post):

Palin claims Alaska "produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy." That’s not true.

Alaska did produce 14 percent of all the oil from U.S. wells last year, but that’s a far cry from all the "energy" produced in the U.S.

Alaska’s share of domestic energy production was 3.5 percent, according to the official figures kept by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

And if by "supply" Palin meant all the energy consumed in the U.S., and not just produced here, then Alaska’s production accounted for only 2.4 percent.

Now, I’m not so interested that McCain and Palin have been caught in a lie, again. After all, that’s getting to be old hat. Rather, I’m interested in what it says that a team claiming to support all sorts of alternative energy sources simply forget about those sources when they’re making up talking points?

Is this the proof that McCain, who used to support alternative energy has ditched that support in favor of an exclusive love affair with big oil?

Or is Sarah Palin just using this opportunity to shamelessly booster for Alaska’s oil industry, in case this Veep thing doesn’t work out?

I don’t know the answer–but the consistency of this erroneous talking point sure suggests that when they were screaming "Drill! Baby! Drill!" they meant "Drill and Do Nothing But Drill!"

  1. lllphd says:

    you know what, marcy? i’m increasingly of the opinion that mccain’s campaign is so desperate, so pull out all the stops panicked, that they don’t even think deeply enough to come up with motivations as complex as you suggest. they’re just recreating reality pell mell, whatever numbers they can massage in a direction favorable for them, they will do it, and however they can frame them favorably, they do it.

    it’s the closest thing i’ve ever seen to a psychotic decompensation on a group level, though it may just be a faint taste of what we get if mccain ends up having to ditch palin.

    on second thought, they’re so damn stuck with her, because without her they got nothin’, they’ll never ditch her. if the media will even begin to do their job, mccain’s screwed, and i suspect that was one factor they were counting on when they embarked on this winatallcosts nonstrategy.

    our job, therefore, is to press the press like we’ve never done it before.

    OT, but speaking of psychotic meltdowns, i notice you list cannonfire on your blog roll; have you visited the site lately?

  2. scribe says:

    You ask, EW, whether there’s an exclusive love affair with Big Oil, or whether Palin is looking to move up when she loses.

    I suggest the place to look would be the McSame donors list, pre and post Palin announcement.

    My bet is her coming to the ticket opened a floodgate of oil-industry-related donors’ checkbooks.

  3. JimWhite says:

    OT–sorta. There is a great new poll out today by AP and the National Constitution Center. The killer question is whether you would favor giving more power to the president at the expense of Congress and the courts. Only 29% agreed and 67& disagreed, including 50% who disagreed strongly. I put up a quick post at my home blog on this, tying it to McCain’s role in the passage of the MCA, where Bush was given the authority to determine what constitutes torture (and noting that Obama, Biden and Clinton all voted against it).

  4. radiofreewill says:

    OT Let’s not forget: Bush wanted to privatize Social Security into the hands of Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch, and Bear Stearns…

    How would that have worked out, America?

    Un-regulated – or Self-regulated (like the Subprime Mortgage Mess) – Profit Markets invariably kill the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs.

    Where’s the Accountability?

    After 7 years of the Bush/McCain policies, are We feeling Safer, yet?

  5. Mary says:

    I don’t know why Obama’s crew are so anti-Schweitzer, but he’s the guy they need to have out there. He’s one of the few who really knows energy: resourcing, realities etc.

    Almost no one knows that the majority of US home energy is coal generated. Yes, coal is dirty and environmentally damaging to both mine and burn. OTOH, there is technology in abundance and up and coming to tremendously ameliorate both of those issues – if there had been an energy policy in place 8 years ago we would be on the cusp of massive improvements on a clean[er] coal front. Not the answer or the end run, but if Obama’s crew had been on their game, they had a real opportunity to use the existing antagonism between big coal and big oil to their advantage, and to really improve the lives of miners, the environment domestically and to bootstrap some countries like China will be burning coal out the wazoo and who are finally getting very interested in cleaner coal tech.

    Oh well, I’m off the rails into the fatalism ditch these days.

    OT – So the WaPo story (ies by now) that TomR linked to are from a book that is about to come out by wapo reporter, Barton Gellman? How long is it that he knew the piece of info that the “45 day renewals” being signed off on were MILITARY ORDERS? WTH is going on with these guys, sitting and sitting on info until it becomes pretty freaking much TOO LATE for it to be used to any effect?

    Gellman, Lichtblau, Goldsmith – they’re like a new sect of Later Day Saints, the Much Too Later Days cult.

    Anyway – a freakin military order and that only comes out now?

    Gellman’s narrative on who knew what, when, seems awfully swiss cheesey to me, although as an effort to do pro-PR for some of the loyal Bushies that weren’t in the VP’s office and shift all the bad-PR to a single locus it’s less holey – more munsterish.

    He tries to make it sound like the AG and DAG were not in the loop at all, until Goldsmith and Comey arrived – and that it was ONLY Addington and Yoo. But that doesn’t jive with Lichtblau’s story that Larry Thompson quit signing FISCt wiretap requests bc he was so afraid of liability (and isn’t Thompson the forgotten musketeer always and always – even though he earned his badge on the GITMO torture field trip). He tries to make it sound as if the AG didn’t really have any responsiblity for asking questions before signing off on the legality of using a military order for massive felony domestic surveillance and he was just a likeable clueless guy and gosh golly, if only he’d known what he was signing he might not have signed it.

    I’m also trying to figure out how they go from Goldsmith not being allowed to talk to even the AG at first, to Comey wandering off to talk to Scott Muller about Teh Program (I guess Muller won’t be losing any sleep over his torture role and the dead, maimed and missing as long as he gets some nice PR as “getting it” on the Unconstitutional Domesitic Military Surveillance program)which has to again make you wonder who all was authorized to discuss teh program and whether Muller was also left off of the “Addington and Yoo were the only guys who knew” summary. I’m guessing the guy you can trust to make sure missionaries and their infants are blown out of the sky and sent to their death with no consequences is a guy you can trust with illegal surveillance, but maybe not. Good to know he “got it” on the surveillance front though.

    Aand while Gellman seems to want to paint Hayden as more loyal and committed but just doddering and not with it, the takeaway I get (and I’m biased and obviously don’t know everything Gellman *knows* from his *sources*) is that Hayden misrepresented the program over and over. Which leaves me to wonder if it really was that Goldsmith and Philbin “understood this activity much better than Michael Hayden did” (a statement attributed to Comey) or whether Hayden was just much more shamelessly willing to disinform? Certainly, his disinformative dissertations on the fourth amendment not including any reference to probable cause, lined up side by side with his eructations on all the *training* NSA gets on the 4th and his seeming under oath fabrications to Congress in the 9/11 hearings that NSA was operating under the same rules after 9/11 as before —- it’s amazing a uniform can withstand that kind of dishonor and not spontaneously disintegrate.

    And then there’s hiding the existence of EOs, typed over in the VPs office by Addington, and those presidential papers were not disclosed to the staff secretariat, kept in the VPs safe, and not entered as presidential papers, classified or otherwise. I guess some of that may account for things like the more recently released opinions from DOD not having any listed classification authority on them. They were “classified” by virtue of being locked in Cheney’s safe.

    It’s all beyond sordid and the fact that so many reporters have been in lockstep with the DOJ crew (that they are trying to lionize now) in covering up anything even minimally important about the stories until way too late for any real action – it’s hard to stomach.

    A god damned (in the old testament sense) military order used to blatantly violate domestic law to the tune of inumerable felonies – and it all waits until after Obama’s embrace of the concept of handing out amnesty to corporations for fascist interaction with an imperial presidency before it gets a public mention.

    I thought the reference by Comey to those “poor people” in Congress was an extra nice touch. There’s a boy with politician writ large on him. And then there was Mueller, whispering in Ashcroft’s ear that he had met his test from God. OK, not so much when he let children be disappeared and a nation lied into a war that created the largest refugee crisis in the world and deciminated our economic and moral and rule of law foundations, and no so much when he got the three pointer in his one on ones with Kevin Ring, where they got together on making sure that national security reports didn’t reach Congress if they might mean that an Abramoff lobbying client would be unhappy – but still, a big ol test from God was met.

    I’m sorry, but on the list of poor people victimized by the Bush DOJ, Bushie Congresses and Bush, poor Ashcroft and the poor Congressmembers aren’t down on the list – they aren’t on it at all, except in the acknowledgements due to co-drafters.

    Gellman tries to make it sound as if the only thing the gang of 8 was asked was if it could push through legislation for the unconstitutional program without tip offs. That sure makes it sound like they were all on board to continue the program, though, even if he tries to make it sound as if they were given a loaded question. And Lamberth is in the second article, calling a spade a spade. Bush could have gotten any damn thing he wanted from “poor people” like Jay Rockefeller in Congress, as Lamberth point out, “But they wanted to demonstrate that the president’s power was supreme.”

    It’s interesting to see torture field tripper Wray gets his five seconds too, as boldly saying he would kowabunga with the rest of DOJ leadership. And Townsend gets her halo too, with references to her suveillance expertise somehow managing to leave out her “uneasy” relationship with the FISCt resulting from her own dodgy tactics.

    The PR fairy was very thorough in the dust that was sprinkled. After finishing those two pieces I felt like I’d been at a slumber party for 5 yo girls who illadvisedly given way too much glitter to play with.

  6. eyesonthestreet says:

    I did some digging around. Her kids and husband are stockholders, (link: Palin red neck.PDF)

    in BBNC, Bristol Bay Native Corp, link:

    excerpts fromt he website:
    “Welcome to BBNC
    Formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of December 18, 1971, Bristol Bay Native Corporation has approximately 8,000 shareholders who are Eskimo, Indian and Aleut. BBNC is a diversified holding company. Investments and services include a stock portfolio, architectural design, cardlock fueling, corporate services, corrosion inspection, environmental engineering and remediation, oilfield and environmental cleanup labor, and surveying and government services.

    Natives from the Bristol Bay region played an important role in achieving the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) by encouraging the Native Claims movement.

    ANCSA offered an alternative to the Indian reservation system in the Lower 48. When ANCSA was signed into law on December 18, 1971 , it required each of the 12 newly formed regions to create a for-profit corporation. Bristol Bay Native Corporation was incorporated in 1972 and became entitled to receive approximately 3 million acres of land, primarily subsurface estate. Roughly 5,400 Alaska Natives with ties to the Bristol Bay region received 100 shares of stock in BBNC. Today, BBNC has more than 8,000 shareholders.

    Our foundation is based on our land and our shareholders. BBNC’s founders took their knowledge of the land and culture and built BBNC into a diversified corporation with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. This revenue has been shared with our 8,000 shareholders, who have received more than $70 million in dividends since our inception. BBNC has and continues to be a major contributor to Alaska’s economy.”

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Good catch!
      Without in any way dissing Alaska Native Corps, I’d say that I have a strong hunch that the Palin family will not be in dire straits financially if they are even remotely fiscally prudent.

      However, financial prudence can be problematic in a place where living can be quite expensive, and where people have been known to spend $60,000 on one liquor tab in a single night.

      It’s a boom/bust, feast/famine mentality that’s strikingly different from the more sober, prudent, 6% is a good return per year schoolteachers and engineers of my own childhood.

      Meanwhile, any ‘rush’ — whether gold, oil, or minerals, is mostly about getting as much as one can before the next guys show up to take the leftovers.

      Greed is deified, sanctified, revered, and practiced with a mighty, ferocious passion.