Saturday, May 1, 2010

Palin on the Oil Spill

Palin put out this statement last night via Facebook:

We’ve all been shocked and saddened by the tragic events in the Gulf of Mexico. My heart breaks for coastal residents who are facing fears of the unknown impacts of the oil spill.

As an Alaskan, I can speak from the heart about the tragedy of an oil spill. For as long as I live, I will never forget the day the Exxon-Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef and millions of gallons of North Slope crude poured into the waters of our beautiful Prince William Sound. The spill was devastating to so many Alaskans who, like my own family, make their living on the water from our commercial fishing industry. “Heartbreaking” was the word my husband Todd, an Alaska Native and trained oil spill responder, used to describe the scene as we watched it unfold on land and water that we feel is sacred.

Alaskans understand the tragedy of an oil spill, and we’ve taken steps to do all we can to prevent another Exxon tragedy, but we are still pro-development. We still believe in responsible development, which includes drilling to extract energy sources, because we know that there is an inherent link between energy and security, energy and prosperity, and energy and freedom. Production of our own resources means security for America and opportunities for American workers. We need oil, and if we don’t drill for it here, we have to purchase it from countries that not only do not like America and can use energy purchases as a weapon against us, but also do not have the oversight that America has.

In the coming days, there will be hearings to discover the cause of the explosion and the subsequent leak. Actions will be taken to increase oversight to prevent future accidents. Government can and must play an appropriate role here. If a company was lax in its prevention practices, it must be held accountable. It is inexcusable for any oil company to not invest in preventative measures. They must be held accountable or the public will forever distrust the industry.

This was the position I took as an oil and gas regulator and as Governor of Alaska when my administration ramped up oversight of the oil industry and created a petroleum-systems-integrity office to monitor our oil and gas infrastructure for potential environmental risks. I took a lot of heat for the stand I took “against the oil industry” (which is how political adversaries labeled my actions). But we took tough action because there was proof of some improper maintenance of oil infrastructure which I believed was unacceptable. We instituted new oversight and held British Petroleum (BP) financially accountable for poor maintenance practices. We also filed a Friend-of-the-Court brief against Exxon’s interests for its decades-old responsibility to compensate Alaskans affected by the Valdez spill, and I took other actions “against” the industry which ultimately helped hold it accountable.

All responsible energy development must be accompanied by strict oversight, but even with the strictest oversight in the world, accidents still happen. No human endeavor is ever without risk – whether it’s sending a man to the moon or extracting the necessary resources to fuel our civilization. I repeat the slogan “drill here, drill now” not out of naiveté or disregard for the tragic consequences of oil spills – my family and my state and I know firsthand those consequences. How could I still believe in drilling America’s domestic supply of energy after having seen the devastation of the Exxon-Valdez spill? I continue to believe in it because increased domestic oil production will make us a more secure, prosperous, and peaceful nation.

Our hearts go out to all Americans along the coast affected by this recent tragedy, especially those who lost family members in the rig explosion, and our prayers go up for a successful recovery. May spill responders be safe.

- Sarah Palin

Here are a couple of clips from an interview Palin gave to C-Span while she was at the NGA's Winter Meeting in February of 2008 regarding the Exxon spill:

And here's Palin in June of 2008 reacting to the decision the Supreme Court finally handed down:

In Going Rogue, Palin said that she was pleased that they had finally gotten a decision from the courts. This was criticized by some as a contradiction with what she said in June of 2008. However, she was obviously happy that after years and years of legal tag that they had finally gotten a decision and some repayment of the damages, although she wishes (given her reaction after the fact) that the victims would have gotten more. As she said above, "At least there is some closure at this time."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Palin at CSU and A Rant

Bill Mattos has a good column up at WestsideConnect. Check it out.

I disagree with Bill on one thing: Oh, "yes we can" blame Yee and Brown for stirring up a huge media and legal controversy that wastes taxpayer time and money for political points. If they're willing to do it now, they'll be willing to do it in office.

One of the things that strikes me when I see things like this is how I probably wouldn't have even cared about it a couple of years ago. It was politics back then, the political game that everyone played. I guess you could say that I was where Bill is now. Palin is the one who turned me on to "no more politics as usual." It's the "crazy" idea that politicians are the servants, not the masters of the people.

They are supposed to be working for us and doing the job that we elected them to do. It is disgusting that they waste our time and money on power plays and their own ego.

People called Palin a "quitter" for leaving office when she could no longer serve. To this day they say that she just couldn't take the heat, that she was just doing it for the money, etc... But look at the situation in Alaska: 26 ethics complaints filed on Palin (one is still pending months and months later). All so far have been dismissed as lacking merit. One was settled with no finding of any wrongdoing on Palin's part.

The Alaska Department of Law can't just throw an ethics complaint in the trash, even if it is ridiculous on its face. They must do their job and take it seriously and spend the time and the money and the man-hours to basically waste Alaska taxpayer money.

Meanwhile, the legislature refused to pass a simple bill that would have stopped the abuse of the ethics complaint process.

A legal defense fund was established to help pay not only Palin's legal fees, but also those members of her administration who also faced complaints. The only problem is that it's unusable. Almost a year after she announced that she was stepping down, the legal fund is still frozen because a complaint lodged against it has still not been resolved.

We know that the complaints would have kept coming. Being a government official, there would have been no book tour. The revenue from her book sales might have been enough to cover her legal fees (by the way, the book wouldn't have even come out until about now), but what about the fees of those affected in her administration who don't have best-selling books?

And forget the money aspect of it, what about the time involved, and the fact that Palin couldn't go anywhere of do anything without fear that it would cost her another bucket-load of money because some loser might make up their mind that what she did was unethical. A complaint was filed because she answered a reporter's question in her office, for Pete's sake.

The tactics of the Far-Left hacks bent on Palin's personal destruction were making it impossible for Palin to appropriately govern her state. It was hurting Alaska. If she left, she knew that it could very well be the end of her political career. But the attacks would no longer be able to hurt her state, and that was the bottom line.

I also hear all the time the argument that she's a half-term Governor who broke her vow to her constiuents to serve four years. That argument doesn't hold water.

Guess what? If she had become Vice President she would have also been a half-term Governor who "broke her vow" to her constituents by not serving four years. As would Janet Napolitano and anyone else who has ever left an office.

As Palin said in the interview excerpt below, it's accepted to leave office for another political position, but it's apparently not accepted to leave office to fight outside of the system.

This brings me to Palin earning 12 million dollars since resigning.

First off, she's a private citizen. She can earn whatever she wants. It's really nobody's business.

Secondly, personal wealth means that the Left can never again use the threat of personal bankruptcy as a weapon against her.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney just bought a house in California for 12 million.