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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Palin ahead of the curve in 2006 on "all of the above" solutions to energy problems

Long before the current spike in gasoline prices at the pump that has kindled the raging debate on national energy policy, even before she had ever been elected to any statewide office, Sarah Palin was already studying what her state should do as the world begins to exhaust its petrochemical resources.

Specifically, during the same November 2006 Alaska gubernatorial debate that I quoted from in the post below, the embedded video from PrestoPundit contains (at about 59 minutes into the video) a question to the three candidates โ€” independent Andrew Halcro, GOP nominee Sarah Palin, and Democratic nominee Tony Knowles โ€” about whether the state should get involved in making up the missing funding for a proposed pilot project to bring nuclear energy to the village of Galena, Alaska (population 675).

Halcro, answering first, noted that there's been a resurgence of interest in nuclear power, and said that should be looked at by the state. He also said that they were living in the "world's greatest alternative energy laboratory," and that the state should look at those methods and consider investing in them.

Here's how Sarah Palin, next in line, addressed the question with obvious relish and enthusiasm:

[Palin:] I would agree with that. It was so good to be there in Galina over the winter and be able to visit with the people so instrumental in this project, in this proposal. I think it's going to be good and healthy for more research going towards this. I think there's a lot of potential here. And really, Alaska should be the catalyst. Alaska can be the leader here in a national energy policy that is going to be revolving around alternative energy sources. The next generations of Americans really need to start getting plugged into the idea of being less reliant on our petrochemical, start looking at our nonrenewable resources not just as the staple for all of our energy supply, but our renewable energy resources. And here in Alaska, we are blessed, more-so than any other state, with those resources โ€” with the winds, and the biomass, and the tides, and the geothermal. With all of those rich blessings that we have here, it should be Alaska that's leading the nation with an energy policy revolving around renewable resources, including nuclear, including there in Galina.

Democrat Knowles, predictably, was sour on the idea of nuclear energy, arguing that the Galena project was being proposed by "a Japanese company" that wanted to keep the nuclear power source "6000 miles away from Japan," and saying that this should be looked at only very skeptically through the stiffest set of national nuclear regulatory guidelines.

Gov. Palin's answer, though, sounds positively prescient two years later, and it's is fairly compelling evidence that she is no Jane-come-lately to long-term thinking about energy policy in its broadest forms. Despite being in the most hydrocarbon-rich state of the United States, the revenues from which currently fuel almost the entire state government budget (now with a surplus), Gov. Palin showed enthusiasm for "all of the above," including practically every type of alternative energy, as a national answer. And true to form, although her frame of reference then was naturally an Alaskan one, she wanted to lead the way, to "be the catalyst," for the whole country.

I'm hoping she'll get her wish to "be the [national] catalyst," albeit from the vice presidency instead of from Alaska.

Posted by Beldar at 06:38 AM | Permalink

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Comments

(1) The Ancient Mariner made the following comment | Sep 2, 2008 8:49:17 AM | Permalink

I'm glad to see other folks looking at the video of that debate as well; it's one of the reasons I'm not worried about how Gov. Palin will handle Joe Biden. I've been told that the primary debate is even more relevant when it comes to her ability to handle the attack dogs, because Murkowski and John Binkley pretty much tried to chew her up and spit her out--and she turned it back on them. She's a tough lady, and though she and her family are going to need an extra heaping measure of grace to get through this next week or two, I continue to believe that she's going to emerge triumphant at the other end.

(2) The Ancient Mariner made the following comment | Sep 2, 2008 8:57:20 AM | Permalink

Oops--meant to post that comment on the post below. I hope the campaign can get Gov. Palin's message on energy through all the Democrats' noise--I think it will really boost their chances. (Which, of course, is why the Dems are trying so hard to drown it out.)

(3) stan made the following comment | Sep 2, 2008 10:22:02 AM | Permalink

The MSM is pouring all of its enourmous resources into investigating Palin's past. Compare to the paltry (non-existent) MSM resources used to investigate Obama's.

Conservative commentators ought to ask every MSM journalist that they see to explain how the GOP VP choice requires such an extraordinary allocation of investigarory resources while the Dem presidential pick requires none.

We know they're biased. We know they're fully invested in being propaganda props. At least use this opportunity to shame them.

(4) VOTE PALIN made the following comment | Sep 2, 2008 11:36:47 AM | Permalink

GO PALIN 08!!!!!!!

Hey Beldar, I just found your site thanks to that other blog where that supposed 'award winning journalist' put up the last paragraph of one of your articles.

Ignore that idiot. Palin is THE choice for America and I thought that paragraph was beautiful!!

(5) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Sep 2, 2008 5:21:56 PM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: Many thanks for this. I will listen as soon as I can. It does address a question I raised elsehwere on Beldarblog: what was Palin's attitude toward weaning Alaska from depending so heavily on oil taxation for its revenues? Recognizing the problem exists is the first step.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

(6) Le Messurier made the following comment | Sep 2, 2008 6:18:08 PM | Permalink

The other evening I saw Paliin in an extensive interview on CNBC which was conducted a few weeks ago. It was only the second time I had herd her speak at length other than her announcement speech. The subject was energy. She was astounding: articulate, extremely knowledgeable, polite, even- tempered, concise, precise and easily understandable. She gave me a great deal of additional confidence in her selection. And by the way, she didn't say "uh" once!

(7) Anonemouse made the following comment | Sep 6, 2008 10:44:25 PM | Permalink

Besides Palin's earthly allure, relatability, and her reputation as a reformer, this is EXACTLY why I think MCcain chose her as his VP. She's a visionary and a leader when it comes to energy and this might just be the Obama campaign's Achilles heel.

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