In an editorial written for today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke out against a bill working its way through Congress that would prohibit drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Palin once again tells more lies at the behest of big oil.
Palin prefaced her argument by writing, “Let’s not forget: Only six months ago, oil was selling for nearly $150 per barrel, while Americans were paying $4 a gallon and more for gasoline. And today, there is potential for prices to rebound as OPEC asserts its market power and as Russia disrupts needed natural gas to Europe for the second time in three years.” This is a fair point for developing alternative energy sources as the United States can’t extract and refine enough oil domestically to meet demand.
Governor Palin goes on to make a claim that is a flat out lie, “Oil from ANWR represents a huge, secure domestic supply that could help satisfy U.S. demand for more than 25 years.” According to the 1998 assessment of ANWR done by the US Geological Service, ANWR contains 10.4 billion barrels of oil, which sounds like a lot, until you know that the US uses 20 million barrels of oil a day. I am no mathematician but 20 million divided by 10 billion does not equal 25 years worth of domestic oil.
Palin also claims that drilling ANWR will create hundreds of thousands of America jobs, “ANWR development would create hundreds of thousands of good American jobs, positively affecting every state by providing a safe energy supply and generating demand for goods and services.” What Palin doesn’t tell you is that her data come from a 1990 study done by the American Petroleum Institute. According to the Sierra Club the study assumes that drilling ANWR will lead to a 5% drop in world oil prices which will stimulate the economy and create jobs in every state. The truth is that thousands of jobs will be created in Alaska, and they will last for 5 years.
Something is wrong with any argument that is based ignores the statistics of the federal government, and bases its reasoning on studies done by petroleum industry. The petroleum industries are the people who stand to benefit from drilling ANWR. Remember the oil doesn’t belong to the United States, but to the oil companies, and anyone who thinks that the oil companies will undertake the expensive process of drilling in ANWR only to be mandated that they have to sell the oil domestically doesn’t understand business. The incentive to drill ANWR is gone if they can’t sell the oil on the open market to the highest bidder.
In her editorial, Palin delivers an argument that is full of half truths, and political propaganda. If her plan is play the energy card in 2012, when the hopefully the country is on its way to creating more alternative energy, she will look as out of step with the times as Rudy Giuliani did invoking 9/11 in 2008. Palin is revealing herself to be a one trick pony, and her tricks are getting less relevant by the day.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association