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

Published on, by Shannyn Moore, July 18, 2009.

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 whom 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 … 

… 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 affects 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 … (full text).

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