Posted by: shannynmoore | July 17, 2009

Palin’s Cap-and-Trade Is Alaska’s Bait-and-Switch

In her op-ed in the Washington Post this week, Sarah Palin, while still governor, took up the sword for corporate interests; a position directly opposing what is best for Alaska.

The flip-flop to anyone who watched the vice presidential debate was obvious.  When Gwen Ifill asked, “Do you support capping carbon emissions?” Palin responded, “I do. I do.”

What or who changed Sarah Palin’s mind about cap-and-trade?

In both her resignation speech and her op-ed, Palin touted AGIA, the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.  It was widely supported and passed with a vote of 58-1. “This is the largest private sector energy project, ever. THIS is energy independence,” she said on July 3.  In her piece, she railed Obama’s plan for cap-and-trade.  She mentioned AGIA again and how we are “progressing” the 3,000-mile project.

As evidenced by its near unanimous passage in the Alaska Legislature, AGIA is one of the most important pieces of legislation in our 50 years of statehood. We need jobs and energy relief.

The Senate Resources committee was still hashing out details of the gas line legislation this year.  With such a monumental project on the table-one that will affect generations, the committee members took pains to consider the potential impact of future federal legislation on the project.  The prospect of cap-and-trade came up repeatedly. How would it affect the gas line? How would it affect Alaska?

On March 25, Dr. Mark Myers, a former Alaska Division of Oil & Gas Director, appointed by President Bush to oversee the United States Geological Service, and the State of Alaska’s AGIA Coordinator, presented a slide to the committee titled “Impact of Carbon Regulation on Natural Gas Demand.”  His presentation demonstrated how the gas line will have an economic edge and environmental advantage over coal plants in producing clean energy. Such a regulation will also create higher demand for Alaska gas, thereby pushing up prices and ultimately benefiting Alaskans in form of additional state revenues and support for jobs in the gas field.

In Senate Resource hearings on March 26, April 7, and June 3, Senators Wielechowski and Therriault asked experts how cap and trade would affect the Alaska gasline.

March 26, 2009
DR. DAVID WOOD (a LNG international consultant) said gas should benefit from that legislation, being the least carbon…of fuels. Cap and trade will penalize coal with respect for gas…most cap and trade will increase demand.

April 7, 2009
TONY PALMER (TransCanada’s Alaska Vice President) said he has not spoken to Obama yet but has spoken briefly with his staff about a month ago, before they had formulated how they might proceed. Cap and trade agreements should be positive force on this project.

June 3, 2009
MR. PALMER said carbon legislation would be put in place, that should be positive for gas and therefore this project.

They were unanimous that federal cap-and-trade legislation will have a positive influence on the AGIA project.

Thus, between the amount of carbon credits Alaska would have to trade, and the increased demands for clean energy in natural gas, federal cap-and-trade regulation is in the best interest of Alaska.

You don’t have to follow Palin’s tweets to know she wasn’t present at the Senate resource hearings.  However, her appointee, Dr. Myers, was not only attending, he was advising the legislature that the cap-and-trade legislation will be of great benefit to Alaska-a view that is diametrically opposed to Palin’s new stance.

Recently, the federal government found Alaska has warmed at more than twice the rate of the rest of the United States.  Widespread and unprecedented thawing of permafrost, sinking buildings, buckled roads, damaged runways, water and sewer systems, are just part of the effects of climate change.  Three coastal villages have begun relocation plans with 160 rural communities threatened by erosion.  Alaska’s climate is the canary in the coal mine.  Capping carbon emissions may help Alaska avoid some dire environmental consequences.

Palin’s op-ed was completely contradictory to her own administration’s position in its Juneau testimony last legislative session.  She has apparently been convinced that, despite its importance to Alaska’s gas line project, cap-and-trade is somehow bad for the rest of the country.  Sarah Palin either doesn’t understand the importance of cap-and-trade to Alaska, or she does know, but now that she’s pandering to red swing states,  she just doesn’t care.



  1. You can never expect Sarah to make sense. She never has, she never will, and I will never expect her to.

    She is in constant contradition to herself almost all of the time. What surprises me is that she doesn’t know it and most likely never will.

  2. Could it be that Ms. Palin sold her name to appear on someone else’s opinion/lobbying piece?

    • k l m, well we know that she didn’t write it!

  3. Excellent post Shannyn. Insightful as always.

    The contradictions at this level are indicative of either insincere inconsistency or just plain incompetence. I am sure the truth is a combination somewhere on the spectrum between the two.

    Thank you for the excellent perspective!

  4. I’m convinced that this woman is incredibly stupid. Either that or she just doesn’t care. She says one thing and does another.

    Could it be possible that she didn’t understand what Gwen Infil was saying to her? Or more than likely they hadn’t practiced with her on that and she didn’t know how to answer it. LOL

  5. Good scoop, well laid out, much, much better.

    I can’t wait for the Sea of Pee’rs to rebut this one.

    You should cross post this one at Hufpo and give it some traction.

    ***************NOTE FROM SHANNY******************

    I did cross post it at Huffington. Bump it up! Thanks, Mr. Wiggles!

  6. Shannyn…4th paragraph should read ‘railed against’??
    Second to last paragraph should be ‘effects of climate change’ not ‘affects’.

    Not to nit-pick, though…the article is really great!

    (How do I ‘bump it up’ at Huffington?)

  7. Palin also agreed with “McCain’s Plan” in her famous interview with Katie Couric. His plan was for some sort of cap and trade as I recall. When people lie a lot, they forget what they lied about, and therefore can never keep their stories straight. Who knows what Palin really thinks, if she does.

  8. Shannyn, I forgot to compliment you on the article. You always write so well, and this was article was no exception. Thank you! I live in San Antonio, TX and many of my acquaintances are Republicans. Visiting your site is a big touch of sanity for me.

    • Like laingirl, I’m from an extremely red state, and whose favorite son is Dick Cheney, that being Wyoming, so I, the annoying progressive who can’t keep his mouth shut, stick out like a sore thumb. I enjoy reading your posts, and have for awhile, although I never commented, until now. I’m a 53 year old veteran who is now disabled with an inoperable brain tumor, so my advocacy is taken on a certain urgency, for me at least. I love this planet, and although I have been to every one of the lower 48 states, Canada and Mexico, I have always wanted to visit Alaska. Thirty-One years ago this past Sunday, July 12, I entered the Air Force, and my brother summitted Denali. The same exact day. There was something existential about that, but since then, and his stories and pictures from his expedition, I have always wanted to visit. It may or may not happen, as it is out of my hands now. But I see in you a passion and love for a place that equals how I feel about my state, and the world for that matter. I thought I would say something to trash Palin, but to be honest, it has all been said before, ad infinitum, and I could not possibly contribute anything new to the conversation of any importance.
      So, keep up the good work, doing what you do best, trying to protect Alaska from the un and under-educated whose primary purpose is to destroy your beautiful state. I would stand in protest and for progress in your cause with you any day!
      Best wishes always,

  9. If Palin has indeed gone against what is best for Alaska, the state that she took an oath to serve, to pander to conservative interests outside of the state (for her personal political benefit), then she really must face impeachment.

    If someone could post a list of legislator’s contact details, we could take it from there.

    • good idea! I think if you click on “Alaskans for Truth” (link at Mudflats blog) there is a list of Legislators and contact info.

  10. Being a longtime D.C. resident who has WRITTEN op-eds published in the name of my then-employers, I simply assumed that someone else had ghosted $P’s WP oeuvre. (After all, governin’ and writin’ are hard work! Some people–ahem–delegate as much as they can. ) It is a thrill to have YouTube video proof that $P said during the Veep debate that she approved of cap ‘n trade, as well as to have our very own Shannyn to write such an articulate rebuttal, cross-posted at HuffPo.

    Since I’m in a near-giddy Friday-afternoon mood (dinner: cooking; bread: rising; children: quiet), let me also point out how *honored* I feel to appear in the same comment string with a Mr. Wiggles, as well as the others. xx Mrs B

  11. Here is a link to the contact information for Alaska’s Legislators:

  12. Ah shucks, now that you spelled this out so nicely, Sarah Bailin is gonna figure out her staff really doesn’t listen to her.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  13. Thanks InJuneau…now let’s get to work!

  14. I honestly think Sarah Palin suffers from some sort of psychological disorder.I am not joking or being snarky here.

    It’s got to be schizophrenia, manic depression, bi-polar disorder, NPD, or something. She doesn’t even know when she’s lying, flip-flopping on positions, or just plain out there (those mama bear tweets). She lies about anything and everything, and makes up bizarre conspiracy theories about bloggers funded by the DNC and Obama. She has seriously lost her mind…this is just more proof that Sarah has absolutely know idea what she is talking about from one minute to the next.

  15. Page 1 on HuffPo’s home Page.
    4th featured post!


  16. Thanks again Shannyn for yet another excellent post. Just left a reply on HuffPo. Hopefully KO will have to back on his show soon.

  17. Great Post Shannyn. You are on the ball. I think cap and trade is too difficult a concept for sp. I am not sure she realizes she has been on both sides of this issue. And as previously pointed out, natural gas providers will benefit from the cap and trade legislation. Therefore Alaska will benefit. For that reason alone she should continue to support it.

  18. @K I M: that is the first thing I have heard that makes sense. SP sold her name to the lobbyist.

  19. BetsyM
    the answer is YES…I believe she gives an answer even tho she doesn’t understand the question…doesn’t want to repeat not knowing what newspapers she reads!!! lol

  20. I figure one of her new friends from Exxon wrote and piece for her signature.

  21. Shannyn,

    Congratulations on your well deserved trip to Netroots Nation!!!

  22. Excellent article Shannyn! Netroots should be honored to have you and AKM attending!

    Did you read this article in HuffPost green section. It is good and the last paragraph is something I had not thought about. Wow!

  23. After reading “Sarah’s” op ed which contradicted what she said last year and totally makes no sense, it brought to mind this famous quote “There are known knowns. There are things that we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know” Don Rumsfeld, 2002

  24. Thanks for keeping up the good fight against The Oathbreaker!

    Until 3 years ago I had relatives living in Ketchikan who had moved there in 1973 with the pipeline work. They said their house had to be braced and repaired over the past 10-12 years so much that they just decided to pack up and move back to the lower 48. They are in S. Carolina now, but say that AK had changed so much since they moved there they didn’t want to stay and watch it slowly degrade even more.

    It’s a shame we have laid waste to this land…ALL of us…even me – but keeping a job requires keeping a car and burning fossil fuels for now. I can only hope more can be done for Mother Earth in the next generations before She turns on us. It’s one thing to feel the futility of any action, but for this Oathbreaker to make it even worse by espousing her (uninformed) views is truly sickening.

    Thank you again Shannyn – keep up the good work girl!

  25. Plain and Simple, Sarah Palin is running for higher office.
    She does not have to run for president to be included in what she thinks will be a republican victory. She could appear competent for something and then be “rewarded” with some job and then quit it 16-18 months later.

    And of course, we now have to figure out who wrote that OpEd. No way did Palin write it!

  26. It seems that with each passing day the state of Alaska finds out how lucky they truly are to have Ms. Palin not in office. I understand that she left a quagmire for the state to deal with, but can you imagine the chaos that would have befallen the state had she remained in office for the duration of her term? Maybe it’s just me and I might be wrong here, but it would appear that Alaska is way better off with her out of office and taking her brand of crazy with her.

  27. Don’t shoot me for asking this silly question but… A West Wing rerun was on tv tonight and a statistic jumped out at me. I’m sure when I heard it the first time around (in the Before-Sarah time of life) that it was just an interesting stat.

    And please, I realize this was just a television show – but myexperience has been when they quote stats, the West Wing writers took pains to be accurate.

    This particular discussion was about global warming and how a glaciar had melted, causing the deaths of 14 people in an Alaskan village caught in the melting glaciar’s wake. It was further noted that the average. overall temperature of Alaska had dropped by x-# degrees and predicted the drop of an additional 7 degrees over the next ten years.

    So my question is – where do I research this online and how accurate was this info?

    Thanks 🙂

  28. Oh – it was season four so that puts this ep in 2003.

    Australia’s coastlines are also experiencing an increased speed of erosion, along with the warming of the water which has grossly affected the coral reefs.

  29. lol..@FW. I would love to agree with all you said but I cannot. I do have bipolar…but I have feelings of empathy…..I don’t lie….and I don’t quit. I took education, motherhood, career and “community organizing very seriously. I still do. I had times when I was quite ill….but I hurt mostly myself, although I do admit there was spin off to the people who loved me. I held the highest position possible in what was at the time a male dominated field….and I did my job admirably.

    Please….for many of us with bipolar. it hurts to be lumped in with Palin. We at least are served well by our docs and the proper meds. Whatever is wrong with Palin….is with her for life. I do believe her to have a personality disorder….narcissim….very different than bipolar.

  30. FW…manic depression is the old name for bipolar.

  31. There you go questioning her again. Don’t you know: “She knows more about energy than probably anybody else in the Unites States.” according to Mccain, Sept 2009.

    Isn’t it great they’re not Prez and VP? Thanks, Shannyn for all your work to keep the light on the palin antics. Thanks to Tina Fey and Katie Couric also too. Gosh darnit!

  32. I for one would not diagnose Ms. Palin with Bipolar Disorder, as I have lived with it most of my adult life. Her symptoms vary a lot from the ones those of us who have lived with this insidious, and psychologically painful mental illness have lived with. An estimated 1,7 million Americans suffer from this illness, in one of it’s many types. For a good read, as DSM-IV is more clinical, here is a link:

    Ms. Palin, as some observers have suggested, may be suffering from a mental illness known as Narcissistic personality disorder. Without a thorough psychological exam, we only give a best guess.

    Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

    Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

    * Believing that you’re better than others
    * Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
    * Exaggerating your achievements or talents
    * Expecting constant praise and admiration
    * Believing that you’re special
    * Failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings
    * Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
    * Taking advantage of others
    * Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
    * Being jealous of others
    * Believing that others are jealous of you
    * Trouble keeping healthy relationships
    * Setting unrealistic goals
    * Being easily hurt and rejected
    * Having a fragile self-esteem
    * Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

    Although some features of narcissistic personality disorder may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it’s not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a pedestal. In contrast, people who have healthy confidence and self-esteem don’t value themselves more than they value others.

    When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may have a sense of entitlement. And when you don’t receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry. You may also seek out others you think have the same special talents, power and qualities — people you see as equals. You may insist on having “the best” of everything — the best car, athletic club, medical care or social circles, for instance.

    But underneath all this grandiosity often lies a very fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and efforts to belittle the other person to make yourself appear better.

    Now, some of you find similarities to Ms. Sarah, which I also see. I’m not a psychiatrist nor a psychologist, but I am intelligent enough to call things as I see them. I have been on both sides of the mental health community, both as a patient, and a counselor.

    Bi-polar use to also be known as manic-depressive, as in, “Billy is a manic-depressive.”

    Keep up the good work Shannyn. You have and are doing a great job!

  33. Please send this to the WP. Excellent!
    BTW it is “What or who changed”, not “What or whom changed”.

  34. @William…..thankyou. Like you, I have lived on both sides…as someone with bipolar and I am also a cousellor…addictions and mental health.

    You laid it out much better than I did. Sarah is not bipolar.


    aw, shucks, Shannyn…
    another “this is not hard to follow” the road thing.
    Two things in Texas… Exxon and buddy Rick Perry.

    • following on my own…
      something I said, a LONG time back was that it made sense for oil peeps to want Palin elected and sent to Washington.. out of Alaska, to their benefit.

  36. Growing up we didn’t have a medical name for what Palin has, we just called those people pathological liars. She just reminds me so much of Bush in that she feels she has to lie about the littlest thing, things that no sane person would feel a need to lie about.

    But she’s gotten pretty far down the road with this MO so she must think it serves her well.

  37. This one is in agreement with this opinion piece regarding its’ intention to highlight what is best for Alaska and the inference that Palin cares more about your national career then the interests of the citizens she was elected to represent …. that said, I have made an effort to follow the science and rhetoric on both sides of the climate change debate and, IMHO, owing to the scale of industrial advancement outside the US, the slash and burn agricultural practices in South America and South East Asia, any US efforts to stem the steady progression of CO2 in the atmosphere will be akin to a band-aid on a severed femoral artery.

    For many of you reading this [mostly non-Alaskans … the permafrost issue in Alaska is probably going to be something bad sooner than climate change will impact most others], it probably will not impact your livelihood much before you pass on … personally, having young children, I am chagrined.

    BTW, for the doubters, Google Kashmir and glaciers … the associated water resource issue appears to be some geopolitical scary shiate, precipitated by climate change [whatever the source], that is happening right now …

    **********NOTE FROM SHANNY**********
    Yes, this piece was a hypocrisy watch essay more than anything else. Matt Tiabbi has done a great job writing about C & T. As previously state, the Rapture should not be an environmental policy.

  38. Regarding your comment: “the Rapture should not be an environmental policy” .. touché [and holly shite} … my apologies for not getting the “her” vs “your” rhetoric correct in my post … regarding this whole climate change shite, this is a post that I wrote on some other blog comment board that may be pertinent to this discussion [in response to an Op/Ed regarding a study indicating that CO2 had been higher in the past … like, millions of years ago, so current CO2 level changes were nothing to worry about … my response to it is a subtle attempt at … WTF … pardon my French]:

    “Having a couple of kids, I have tried to understand both sides of the global warming/climate change debate [based on what I have read, I’ll probably be dead before being materially impacted if the proponents of the theories are proven correct].

    The fact that CO2 has been higher in the past, as well as temperatures, and that polar ice has often been less or non-existent then it is today, does not seem relevant to the core element of the debate [which I believe is the current shore-line].

    I am not convinced that [at current or future levels of CO2 production] major portions of Greenland and Antarctica will melt faster than they would have without human produced CO2. I do accept that it is possible that this could be happening and sea levels could rise significantly in the next century [faster than they may have otherwise; which would be a catastrophe for many countries – including the US].

    I am conservative and risk averse by nature, so, for the sake of my kids [and theirs], I believe we need to do more to reduce CO2 emissions [just in case, err on the side of caution].”

  39. Saying gas is less carbon is like saying Charles Manson is less of a murderer than, say, John Wayne Gacey. Gas is a hydroCARBON… a CH molecule. It’s gonna contribute regardless.

  40. Palin does not understand the difference between a bill and law. I know that there is a nice PBS video on ” How I become a Bill..or law..something to that effect.
    Here is the Bill that was introduced:
    HOUSE BILL NO. 3 by Representatives LYNN, HAWKER,

    “An Act relating to issuance of identification cards and to issuance
    of driver’s licenses; and providing for an effective date.”

    1) Please note that one of the co-sponsors is Rep. Ramras, who is obviously in the Ex Guv’s cross hairs now;
    2) This bill is still stuck in the Rules committee and will not pass until 2010, so where is the LAW? For goodness sake it is only a resolution that awaits legislative and executive actions. Thank goodness she is out of office.

    The only purpose of that Twit’s Twatter or Twat’s Tweet was to tell her mob that she is anti-immigration, and it is pogrom time.

  41. “cap-and-trade is somehow bad for the rest of the country.”

    Somehow? How about increased cost for electricity and God knows what else. I live in Maine, one of the most energy dependent states in America and also one with the absolute worst State Government. Taxes here are higher than most other states, Good jobs few, welfare rampant, electricity and about everything else is higher here. If cap-and-trade has positive implications for Alaska, it has negative impacts on many of us in the lower 48. If that doesn’t bother you then I guess I need to revise my opinion of folks from Alaska and, somehow, get myself out of this sorry-assed place and to someplace where it’s warm and they have nuclear power.

  42. I think that she will say or do anything to keep her face in the media. The woman clearly has mental issues and needs help.

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