11 sep. 2008

8. Palin and Big Oil's interests: one and the same.

Ok, so let's pretend you're an oil exec. You're looking for a buddy in the White House. Sure, you've had some success in the political world recently with people buying "the drill here, drill now" rhetoric ... but what you really need is a go-to person who's tied up in your interests. McCain's coming around, but let's be honest, your go-to person is Sarah Palin. Because, as James Ridgeway at Mother Jones notes:

... she is an enthusiastic supporter of what the oil giants want most: to extract more oil and gas from Alaska and its adjoining waters. "We Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas," she said last week in her vice presidential acceptance speech. "And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: We've got lots of both."

Yep, there is a lot of oil up there. But what about those damn pesky environmentalists? Aren't a lot of these places off-limits because they're natural treasures or something?

... Palin's elevation to national office would help give the companies a free hand when it comes to extraction, with little concern for environmental impact: This spring, the state of Alaska announced that it would sue the US Fish and Wildlife Service to block the addition to the endangered species list of Alaska's polar bears -- which, if their habitat were protected, might pose an obstacle to the pipeline and other development. She has also opposed protecting beluga whales in waters slated for oil and gas drilling (and she has backed a plan that allows the aerial hunting of bears and wolves). She is a steadfast booster of opening ANWR to drilling (a move that McCain opposes). And she has said that while she is concerned about climate change, "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made."

All right! Except most people aren't oil executives who'll profit from Palin being in the White House. Most people are getting screwed at the pump while oil companies make record-breaking profits.