Tag Archives: AGIA

If Ignorance Is Bliss, Anthony Kaufman Must Be Pretty Happy

Film Journalist and Critic, Anthony Kaufman, interviewed “The Undefeated” producer, Steve Bannon, earlier this week in a piece that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Kaufman focused his questions on Bannon’s background, filmmaking influences, and what Kaufman perceived to be omission in the film. Following this article, Kaufman wrote a post at the film blog, Indiewire, expounding on the aforementioned perceived omissions and doubling down on his ignorance with an attack on Sonnie Johnson, who appeared in the film.

One of Kaufman’s complaints in his blog piece has to do with the amount of policy discussed in the film:

It’s this litany of accomplishments that really bogs the film down, and Bannon admits that he’s taking a risk with a 45-minute second act that is essentially about economic issues and energy policy. Not exactly exciting stuff.

Well, gee, Anthony. What were you expecting? A teen comedy where Governor Palin stars alongside Lindsey Lohan or perhaps a sitcom where she play opposite Alec Baldwin? Governor Palin is not Tina Fey. She is an accomplished, intelligent leader who set Alaska on solid economic footing and sought to optimize the development of Alaska’s vast natural resources. This is what Bannon focused on. This is the Sarah Palin that much of America does not yet know.

Kaufman takes issue with some perceived omissions in the film and builds a few strawmen in the process tying into his complaints about the accomplishments the film focuses on. He writes:

If you do some digging, any number of questions could also be leveled against Palin’s “accomplishments” and “meteoric rise” as a small-town mayor and governor of Alaska. I won’t bore you with all the details—although the film does—but suffice it to say that the movie, unsurprisingly, doesn’t tell the whole story about the Matanuska Diary (sic) or the Alaska Pipeline Project. It’s not hard to find out more; just check out the Wikipedia entry on the ‘governorship of Sarah Palin.’

In his WSJ interview with Steve Bannon, Kaufman asked questions about the dairy and the pipeline project as shown below:

I realize you need to make choices as a documentary filmmaker. But I also wanted to ask you about the MatMaid dairy privatization, which is used in the film to show how she turned around the state. But there’s some crucial information left out. Like she initially wanted it to stay open, and gave it $600,000 to keep it open. That seemed a little misleading.

[…]

I guess that also explains why there’s no mention that the Alaska Pipeline Project is now an ExxonMobil project, not just TransCanada.

One of the things Bannon highlights in the film is how Governor Palin privatized an Alaskan dairy that had been government owned for many years. In spite of what he claims, Governor Palin did not want the dairy to remain open, as shown by the Palin emails the mainstream media poured over looking for non-existent skeletons. This email from Governor Palin shows that she indeed did want to privatize the dairy (emphasis mine):

Dairy farmers were told their last day to deliver milk is June 27th. The state just broke its word again if we were to roll over for the board ‘ s ridiculous vote to shut it down without proper notice…Farmers will be dumping their milk in the parking lot of DNR if we don’t step in and show the leadership they’re craving and deserving.

We need to regroup and get good business minds in there to figure out close – out plan in next yr or so, or re -vitalization plan for Ag.

Kaufman’s other claim that the Palin administration devoted funding to keeping the dairy open is false as well, as an email from one of Governor Palin’s staff  states that those funds were to help with the “transition” from the dairy being government to privately owned, not to keep it publicly owned.

Next, Kaufman builds a pipeline strawman. Questioning Bannon on why he did not include ExxonMobil’s role in the pipeline as if Bannon was trying to cover up some scandal. I had the opportunity to view a rough cut of the film, and Bannon largely focused on her policy accomplishments prior to her selection as Senator McCain’s running mate. Had he included more about Governor Palin’s frugal budgeting, rejection of stimulus dollars, or ExxonMobil coming on board the pipeline project in June of 2009 that occurred following her return after the 2008 campaign, Kaufman would have been even more “bored” by how accomplished Governor Palin is. If he really wants to know, ExxonMobil joined on the project in June of 2009. The first open season for suppliers to bid was last summer and included “several major players”, and the most recent project update from April of this year shows that the number of Alaskan jobs provided by the project is up 46% and the number of providers involved is up 21% since the previous report in October of 2010. Thanks for asking! Oh, and that Wikipedia link Kaufman provides confirms much of what I shared.

Kaufman also takes issue with the fact that Troopergate (or tasergate) was not mentioned in the film, nor did the film show any evidence in the film that the attacks on Governor Palin came from the Obama or his team.  Let’s take a look at that. When the legislative inquiry into the tasergate situation (accusations made that Governor Palin pressured one of her commissioners to fire a state trooper who was once married to her sister) was launched by then state senator Kim Elton, it was purported to be an “October surprise” (i.e. it was political). During the inquiry process, the Obama camp made contact with the troopers’ union of Governor Palin’s former brother-in-law.  Ultimately, the legislative inquiry found her as abusing power, while the personnel board, who were all  appointed by Governor Murkowski, no friend of Governor Palin, exonerated her. Following President Obama’s election, Kim Elton was given a cushy job in the Interior department. It should also be noted that Elton also allowed former chief of staff to then Senator Obama and once interim chief of staff to President Obama, Pete Rouse, to use Elton’s Alaskan address so that Rouse could vote in Alaska even after he hadn’t lived there for more than twenty years. Regarding the numerous attacks following Governor Palin’s return following the campaign, a good number of those were levied by Linda Kellen Biegel (aka Celtic Diva) who was Alaska’s official DNC blogger during the 2008 campaign. Does the Obama team seem to have a role in all of this based upon these facts?

Kaufman’s most absurd observation comes in an attack on Sonnie Johnson, who appeared in the film. Just as Adrienne recently highlighted, some individuals live in willful ignorance of the fact that people of every race support Governor Palin. Kaufman writes:

For me, the most shocking moment in “The Undefeated,” however, comes with the appearance of a black person about two-thirds of the way through. I’m not sure if it’s what Bannon had in mind when he wanted to seize the audience’s attention, but the arrival of black conservative female activist Sonnie Johnson made me realize just how white everyone appears to be, in both Palin’s Alaska and Bannon’s Tea Party.

I’ll allow Ms. Johnson to respond to this absurd and ignorant charge herself:

I was able to meet Gov. Palin in Pella, IA for the premiere of “The Undefeated”.  One of the first things she said to me was, “are you ready for all the hate that will come your way for being associated with me”.  I told her, “I’ve got Palin in my blood”.  I wish you would’ve known that little fact before you would downgrade me to the token black in your limited view of the Tea Party.  I am no one’s token.  Nor am I a punchline of what you think is a bad joke.  If seeing me in the film was such a shock to your cerebral, then why didn’t you grow a sack and interview me yourself?  Or is Breitbart right and your lack of a set is shown in your need to hide behind a blogpost. Are you a Enuch? (sic) …

If you want to know how Black I am, I dare you interview me yourself.  Just tell me when and where.   I’ll come to you.  It would be my pleasure.  Until then be grateful that, temporarily, you still have Obamacare.  If my appearance was a shock to you, then just wait until our voices are really heard.

Kaufman may seem himself credentialed, as a film journalist and critic, to make ignorant projections at black conservatives or to claim scandal or incomplete fact when the facts are there. However, to quote another black conservative, Thomas Sowell, “credentialed ignorance is still ignorance”.

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Governor Palin’s Consistent Fight against Corruption and Crony Capitalism

by Whitney Pitcher

There is a saying from Larry Hardiman that says the word, politics, comes from a derivation from the word “poly” meaning many and “ticks” meaning blood sucking parasites. This may be a tongue-in-cheek saying, but  it rings true for those who are tired of the dishonesty and tone deafness of politicians. Politicians who campaign with soaring rhetoric and lofty promises, yet fail to deliver when they get to their state capitals or to Washington D.C.. Politicians who try to set themselves apart as women and men of character, yet fail prey to the temptations of pay-to-play politics and back room dealings when they are elected. Politicians who campaign on reform of government, but give in to the temptations of corruption and seize the opportunities to grasp the power of picking winners and losers. This is why a citizen candidate has become so attractive to many. Many Americans wish to see a man or woman who is unadulterated by the influence of political power and unaffiliated with governmental cronyism. It is very rare to find someone who has defied the normal outcomes of political life by taking on corruption, making transparency a cornerstone of his or her agenda, and calling out the crony capitalism and crony corporatism that is so pervasive in today’s politics by actually fighting all of these ills from the inside. However, it seems that Governor Palin is who has indeed done that–both in word and in deed.

Although Governor Palin currently holds no political office, she has made a point on multiple occasions to call Washington D.C. out on their corruption. In April of 2010, during the discussions of a financial reform bill, Governor Palin highlighted how lobbyists from the financial industry flocked to D.C. and discussed how such reform would allow regulators to pick winners and losers:

Moreover, the financial reform bill gives regulators the power to pick winners and losers, institutionalizing their ability to decide “which firms to rescue or close, and which creditors to reward and how.” Does anyone doubt that firms with the most lobbyists and the biggest campaign donations will be the ones who get seats in the lifeboat? The president is trying to convince us that he’s taking on the Wall Street “fat cats,” but firms like Goldman Sachs are happy with federal regulation because, as one of their lobbyists recently stated, “We partner with regulators.”

They seem to have a nice relationship with the White House too. Goldman showered nearly a million dollars in campaign contributions on candidate Obama. In fact, J.P. Freire notes that President Obama received about seven times more money from Goldman than President Bush received from Enron. Of course, it’s not just the donations; it’s the revolving door. You’ll find the name Goldman Sachs on many an Obama administration résumé, including Rahm Emanuel’s and Tim Geithner’s chiefs of staff.

More recently, Governor Palin has challenged the Obama administration and Congress for the revelation that 20% of Obamacare waivers given out in April were given to Congresswoman Pelosi’s district calling such distribution of waivers “corrupt” and calling anyone who supports the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda of centralized government takeovers and crony capitalism as “complicit”. In her appearance on Eric Bolling’s show, Hannity, On the Record, and Judge Janine’s show last week, she reiterated her stance on this issue, also highlighting that Senator Reid’s state of Nevada also received a waiver as did AARP, who lobbied very hard for the passage of Obamacare. Governor Palin also challenged Congressman Issa and others in Congress to investigate the suspect selectiveness of these waivers. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Services has only released information on those who received waivers, not those who were denied waivers. So much for the most transparent administration ever.

Governor Palin’s strong stance against crony capitalism, bureaucrats picking winners and losers, and a lack of transparency is not just words; it’s action. In her comments about last year’s financial reform bill, Governor Palin highlighted several key points of her administration:

We need to be on our guard against such crony capitalism. We fought against distortion of the market in Alaska when we confronted “Big Oil,” or more specifically some of the players in the industry and in political office, who were taking the 49th state for a ride. My administration challenged lax rules that seemed to allow corruption, and we even challenged the largest corporation in the world at the time for not abiding by provisions in contracts it held with the state. When it came time to craft a plan for a natural gas pipeline, we insisted on transparency and a level playing field to ensure fair competition. Our reforms helped reduce politicians’ ability to play favorites and helped clean up corruption. We set up stricter oversight offices and ushered through a bi-partisan ethics reform bill. Far from being against necessary reform, I embrace it.

One of the key pieces of her gubernatorial legacy was ACES–an oil tax structure that replaced the corruption tainted tax structure of the previous administration capped by the indictment of legislators, gubernatorial staff, and oil company employees– was inline with the state constitution, and provided tax breaks for oil companies engaging in capital improvements. As I wrote in a post in March, this legislation was passed in a transparent manner:

Governor Palin released a draft of the bill 17 days before the Special Session to enable both the legislature and the public to read the proposal prior to its discussion in the legislature. Her oil and gas team also held a series of briefings throughout the state prior to its discussion in the Special Session to allow the people of Alaska to be informed about the proposal. The bill was passed very easily in both the House and the Senate with bipartisan support before Governor Palin signed it in December of 2007. In signing this bill, Governor Palin removed the taint of corruption from taxation negotiation process and submitted a strong piece of legislation ensuring that the people of Alaska received their “clear and equitable share” as shareholders in the resources of the state.

Additionally, the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), her transcontinental gasline project, was negotiated in a transparent manner as well. In fact, her administration made gasline proposals available for public consumption, which was a 180 degree difference from the back room dealing of the previous administration. One of her gubernatorial campaign pledges was to put the state’s checkbook online so that constituents could see how state monies were being spent, and this is something she fulfilled. Governor Palin’s mention of challenging one of the world’s largest corporation referred to her administration challenge of ExxonMobil for sitting on their drilling leases and not fulfilling their contracts with the state. This firm stance also brought drilling to Point Thomson by ExxonMobil for the first time in more than 25 years. Additionally, as Governor Palin mentions, she signed bipartisan ethics reform into law as well.

Citizen candidates do indeed bring a fresh perspective to a campaign and even to public office. However, there is something to be said for someone who took on corruption while in elected office. Such an individual has governed or legislated in an atmosphere of corruption, back room deals, and cronyism and has not only weathered such an atmosphere, but has effected change for the better. It is one thing to act as a citizen watchdog; it is another to make sure that legislation and projects are transparent and are void of back room deals and crony capitalism. Governor Palin is such a person.

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Governor Palin and Forward Focused Leadership–Part I

by Whitney Pitcher

President Reagan once said, ” to grasp and hold a vision–that is the very essence of successful leadership”. One of the keys to leadership is being forward focused. This involves seeing beyond the next release of one’s polling data, seeing beyond the next budget, and beyond the next election. It involves seeing the possible barriers and knowing how to address them based upon the successes of the past while also seeking for ways to address problems in the future. However, so often politicians make decisions based upon their own selfish myopic vision or a vision based upon yet to be proven ideas. True leadership involves making decisions in light of what’s best for both the present and the future. When we look in particular at energy, we can certainly see that Governor Palin has exhibited forward focused leadership.

We aren’t energy independent, and energy prices are high because politicians have not had the political will to drill in America, which would both make us more independent and help increase the worldwide oil supply so that it is not so dependent on unstable countries. A forward focused politician like Governor Palin understand this very well. To address an energy price crisis, you must prepared for the crisis. You can’t be floundering looking for companies and speculators to demonize, nor be unable to offer true solutions. One major way to combat a potential crisis is essentially to prevent it and/or mitigate its effects. It is simple supply and demand economics, as Governor Palin discussed last night. If supplies are decreased and demand is held steady or increased, prices are going to go up. Unrest in oil rich countries like Libya have decreased supplies, which has influenced President Obama to call for the Saudis to ramp up their production. Additionally, he has praised and funded drilling in Brazil in hopes of helping America to be one of Brazil’s “best customers”. Neither of those supposed solutions bring America any closer to energy independence, nor are they the result of a forward focused plan.

Of course, the better option is to have been drilling here in America which would add to the supply of oil internationally in addition to adding to the economic, monetary, and the national security strength nationally. Governor Palin, of course, has been a strong and longtime proponent of drilling in places like ANWR. In 1996, President Clinton vetoed a bill that would have allowed drilling in ANWR. Liberals often poo poo such notions as drilling because it would supposedly take ten years for oil to be produced. Of course, it has now been fifteen years since President Clinton’s veto. Oil producers in Alaska could have been developing for at least five years by now, which recent estimated would result in oil production at a minimum of around a half million barrels per day.

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary since President Obama put a moratorium on offshore drilling following the Gulf oil spill. Although he has lifted the moratorium, he has been very slow in issuing permits, and the EPA, an additional regulatory arm of the Obama administration, has been antagonistic to offshore drilling. Governor Palin also has been very critical of President Obama’s offshore drilling moratorium. In fact, in response to a question on what she would do to help ease oil prices, she mentioned that she would not have instituted the drilling moratorium:

I never would have done what President Obama did and that’s engage in that moratorium after the tragedy in the Gulf with the spill. He should have been more sensible in figuring out what the problem was, what the solution was to the gulf spill but not take it out on the rest of the country and prohibit drilling onshore and offshore is what he did. 97% of our offshore area locked up after that and there still is a quasi-moratorium because the EPA is making it virtually impossible for drillers to be out there extracting responsibly the God-given resources that we have domestically.

[…]

Now the President is engaged now in what he wants to get to the bottom of with whether it be collusion, or price fixing, or speculators, what else is driving up the cost. Well he can look at other states like Alaska. We already did a study to find out was it collusion? Was it speculators? What was driving up the last big spike in gas prices? And we found that no, more than anything it is a supply-and-demand, a very basic economic principle, supply-and-demand.

These are not the words of a woman who is merely engaging in armchair politicking. Governor Palin was forward focused during her tenure a Governor. In addition to being a strong proponent of expanding energy development to help make America more energy independent through drilling for oil, she also acted to move development of natural gas forward through the development of a pipeline that would bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48. As Governor, she moved a natural gas pipeline project further than any of her predecessors. A New York Times hit piece in March tried to attack AGIA, but all of the evidence points to AGIA as being right on target:

The New York Times also questions the progress of Governor Palin’s natural gas pipeline project–the Alaska’s Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA)–which will bring natural gas from the North Slope of Alaska through Canada to the Lower 48 as an additional means of achieving energy independence. Governor Palin’s pipeline project was done in a transparent free-market friendly manner with proposals available for public consumption— a far cry from the behind-closed-doors pipeline discussion with oil companies that were commonplace and unsuccessful in previous administrations. The New York Times argues that neither gas suppliers nor federal permits had been obtained for the project.

However, at the end of the first open season for bidding by gas suppliers this past summer, there were “several major players” who had submitted bids. Additionally, the pipeline company TransCanada and oil company ExxonMobil, both partners on AGIA-backed pipeline project, have had discussions with BP-ConocoPhilips to work together on the project. Additionally, the permitting process with both American and Canadian regulatory agencies has made “significant progress,” and the progress is right on track with time projections.

Following one of the early successes of this project nearly two years ago, Governor Palin was interviewed by Matt Lauer, where he questioned the need for the pipeline as natural gas prices were low at the time.Governor Palin called such an idea “short sighted” (see especially at the 2:15 mark and following):

Governor Palin is right about the need to make America energy independent when it comes to both oil and natural gas. She also was right to note the short sighted nature of evaluating future energy development entirely upon current prices. The most recent natural gas futures were at $4.58 per MMBtu (million British thermal units). When Governor Palin was interviewed in June of 2009, natural gas futures were at $3.56 per MMbtu. Prices have increased. Governor Palin was right to note that it would have been short sighted not to proceed when natural gas prices were low. As you can see in this chart here, natural gas prices are volatile, just as oil prices are. What is the best way to deal with both? Ensure that there are sufficient supplies produced in the United States. Increased domestic supplies soften the blow when instability in other energy producing nations affect the world energy market. Additionally, such efforts would provide jobs and protect America’s national security.

Critics may claim that someone who is forward focused on energy would be looking to green energy initiatives as President Obama has focused on green energy in his last three weekly addresses and in much of attempt to deal with the current high energy prices. Governor Palin has been rightly critical on the overemphasis of such initiatives, pointing to the failure of green energy in Spain that has crippled employment and contributed to their massive debt problem. Meanwhile, President Obama is pushing for electric cars that have proven to have major problems and are mostly re-charged on energy derived from fossil fuels like coal. Governor Palin recognizes that in the desire for energy independence, knowing what doesn’t work is just as important as knowing what does.

Part of leadership involves solving problems, but another part of leadership involves having the foresight to both prevent problems from happening in the first place and mitigate the effects when there are problems. This is why Governor Palin warned that not seeking energy independence would result in the federal government being tempted to tap into our strategic petroleum reserves. That is why Governor Palin has been a very vocal proponent for expanding offshore drilling and drilling on land in the United States. That is why she championed the natural gas pipeline to bring Alaska’s abundant natural gas to the Lower 48. That is why she has the justified skepticism with the social engineering disguised as “green energy” focus of the Obama administration. Governor Palin has shown that she has the leadership skills to be both a problem solver and a problem preventer.

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Sarah Palin: NY Times, There You Go Again!

By Gary P Jackson

The New York Times ran a story on Sarah Palin, and as usual, got most of the facts wrong. Though there is a lot more to come, Mama Grizzly herself has a few choice words for the editors at the Times: [emphasis mine]

The New York Times just can’t seem to get much of anything right lately. No wonder they’re facing economic and reputation woes. Their article today falsely reporting on my record as governor is full of spin, and I shall call them out on it.

Regardless of the recent political posturing, ACES (Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share) is a success for all stakeholders who want more domestic energy supplies for our great country. The Alaskan people (who collectively own the natural resources, via our state constitution), the resource producers who bid on the right to develop our oil and gas, and consumers all benefit under ACES. It incentivizes production and development. It works.

Amazingly, to the uninformed (or to those who really don’t want to incentivize oil exploration in America) ACES is spun to sound like an oil windfall profits tax and its progressivity is made to sound excessive. In reality, it was born of a need to have a tax structure that did three things:

1. It could not be created under a cloud of political corruption and self-dealing like the former Alaska administration and legislature’s PPT oil valuation structure. That’s a critical fact that is now frequently overlooked years later. Remember the legislators and oil industry players who went to jail because of bribes leading to votes in favor of the former administration’s PPT, which was unfairly tilted in favor of the resource producers against the resource owners (i.e., the people of Alaska)? Have we conveniently forgotten the fact that a corrupt process brought forth PPT, and I and others set out to change it by cleaning up the corruption?

2. It had to align the interests of Alaskans and the oil producers through exploration and production credits in partnership so that they benefit proportionally from commercialization of Alaska’s sovereign resources. This is very different from a government overtaxing personal or corporate income in which the government has no ownership stake in whatever it is that is being taxed.

3. It had to use a progressivity system that protects the producers from commercial strain when oil prices are low; otherwise the producers would seek development opportunities elsewhere. ACES does incentivize industry, but beware that Big Oil will always do what it does best for its shareholders: it will look out for its bottom line and always claim that it needs even more tax breaks. More power to them for trying, but resource owners deserve A CLEAR and EQUITABLE SHARE (ACES) of the value of their commonly-owned oil and gas.

ACES accomplished all three. The current criticism of this fair valuation makes no real sense. As an article at Big Government notes:

The number of oil companies filing with the Alaska Department of Revenue has doubled indicating that competition has indeed increased. Alaska has the second most business friendly tax set-up — up two spots since the passage of ACES. Additionally, a report from Governor Parnell’s Department of Revenue indicated that 2009 yielded a record high in oil jobs. Even more recently, the newest employment numbers from Alaska show that oil job numbers were higher in January 2011 than in January 2010, indicating that jobs are growing at the seasonal level. Parnell argues that state revenues are in jeopardy, but it is estimated that his proposal would reduce revenues by $100-200 million.

Most importantly, Alaska enjoys a $12 billion surplus thanks to ACES and the sound fiscal policies of my administration. I put billions of dollars aside in savings accounts (though I could have easily spent those billions and made a lot of friends with big-spending legislators on both sides of the aisle), and I continued to veto excess spending and Obama stimulus funds, and chopped earmarks by 86% – much to the chagrin of liberal legislators who were used as “sources” in the article. It’s kind of amusing to see state legislators claim credit for the surplus when they didn’t vote for ACES, and they cried to high heaven when I vetoed their wasteful spending on their special interest projects.

Of course, I could have made a lot more friends in Juneau if I had spent the surplus. But I chose to put billions in savings for a rainy day and return a portion to the people of Alaska. (It was their money after all.) I paid down hundreds of millions of dollars into our under-funded state pension plans, then set aside another billion for forward-funding education. I fought the union’s demands for more benefits, engaged in hiring freezes, and cut frivolous state expenditures – again, much to the chagrin of those who spend other people’s money recklessly. That’s sound fiscal policy. I’m proud of it, and Alaska is stronger today because of it.

Now, if others would like to claim credit for it, that is fine. As Ronald Reagan used to remind us: “There is not limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” Amen!

But let’s not pretend that ACES wasn’t a key factor in the surplus, and let’s not pretend that it hasn’t been a success.

As for AGIA, our long-awaited natural gas pipeline project is moving along according to plan. A huge partnership was developed with Exxon and TransCanada when I put the project out for competitive bids, instead of using behind-closed-door schemes that would have screwed the public. Alaska will help America become energy independent, despite anti-energy politicos claiming AGIA won’t work. It’s already got the 50-year dream off the dime and in the works. See, competition works. So does a transparent process.

~ Sarah Palin

Sarah’s ACES program revolutionized the way Big Oil did business with Alaska, weeded out massive corruption, and not only put more money in the Alaskan people’s pockets [by law they own the oil] but also made it easier for the oil companies to make money. It was a huge win-win for everyone concerned.

The radical left and the Republican establishment are working overtime to do anything and everything they can to stop Sarah Palin before 2012. Frankly, we can understand why the left wants to stop her. Sarah Palin is the greatest threat to radical Marxism the left has ever known. Sarah has the ability, and the backing of the American people, to stop the Marxist ideology dead in it’s tracks. And not just stop it’s forward progression either. She has the ability to send the radical packing. To end their ability to influence policy.

Of course, the Republican elites know Sarah will take them on as well, just like she did in Alaska. That’s why the GOP and their errand boys are spending more time attacking Sarah, and other Common Sense Conservatives, than going after the real bad guys: Obama and his band of Marxist thugs.

The 2012 election is going to be something like we have never seen. In a lot of ways, it will be like 1980. Reagan not only had to defeat Jimmy Carter, and the media, he too had to defeat the Republican elites. These Republicans, were so afraid of losing their little power bases that even after they forced George H.W. Bush on Reagan as V.P., they STILL ran Illinois Congressman John Anderson, as a 3rd party candidate for president!

In 2012, Sarah Palin will not only have to defeat Barack Obama and his media partners, but the “good old boy” Republican elites as well. These establishment hacks, who are just as responsible for the mess we are in as the democrats, must be soundly defeated. They won’t go without a fight.

Sarah took on the “good old boys” in Alaska and ripped them to shreds. We have no doubt she can bring her A game with her in 2012 and do the same thing on a national level.

Won’t be easy though. We’ll all have to do our part to make it happen.

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Is Barack Obama Actively Trying To Kill Sarah Palin’s Natural Gas Pipeline?

So I get an e-mail from a colleague concerned that Barack Obama may be looking to take credit for Sarah Palin’s signature achievement, the deal she put together with TransCanada and Exxon-Mobil to build a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48 states.

The gasline is something Alaskan’s have worked toward for 50 years. Building the pipeline, or at least starting the thing, has been a campaign promise made by pretty much every Gubernatorial candidate for decades.

Sarah Palin made the fulfilment of this half a century old dream a centerpiece of her administration. So important was this project to Alaska and Sarah Palin, on her very first day in office she started putting a team together and drafting the plan that would become legislation known as the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) This was very popular legislation with only one legislator, Ralph Samuels voting against it.

For more background on AGIA, go here.

This brings us to the story that appears in today’s Juneau Empire:

Obama to back Alaska’s effort to build gas line

Federal coordinator Larry Persily may have higher profile

By Pat Forgey | JUNEAU EMPIRE

President Obama plans to boost the effort to develop Alaska’s natural gas resources into the executive office of the White House, according to legislators who visited Washington, D.C., to discuss energy issued with other legislators.

Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, recently nominated legislative aide Larry Persily for the Obama appointment as federal coordinator. Persily has support from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, as well.

He is now awaiting confirmation by the Senate, after having been approved by the Senate Energy Committee.

Senate Majority Leader Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage, said a top Obama administration official, former Alaskan Pete Rouse, told Alaska legislators in Washington that Obama would be more than just verbally supporting the Alaska natural gas pipeline.

Mr. Rouse said the president was planning to elevate the Alaska gas line coordinator’s office effort into the executive office of the president once Mr. Persily is in place and is official,” he said.

After returning from Washington, Ellis told colleagues on the Senate floor Monday that Persily was likely to win confirmation and be well-placed to give Alaska’s views on the gas pipeline.

I guess the president is quite impressed with Larry Persily,” he said.

Persily declined to comment on the possibility of the elevation of the coordinator position.

The White House was pretty clear with me that I should not speculate about what that job may or may not be,” he said.

Rep. Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage, said the message she and others received from the Energy Council meetings was that Obama would raise the coordinator’s profile.

They want to boost his position, get him access to an executive committee on energy issues,” she said.

The president will be not just coordinating the pipeline project but actively pushing for it, Gardner said.

Rep. Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, said there is a national consensus that Alaska’s natural gas needs to be developed.

There’s no doubt about that; Congress still considers the Alaska pipeline to be in the national interest,” he said.

Persily currently works for House Finance Committee Co-chair Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, but has bipartisan support in the state as well as Washington, D.C.

I think we’re fortunate to have Larry there. He knows us; he knows our issues. I think he’ll be very good for the state of Alaska,” Johnson said.

Persily, a former managing editor of the Juneau Empire, also worked for former Gov. Sarah Palin as an associate director of the state’s Washington, D.C. office.

He in the past has served as editorial page editor of the Anchorage Daily News and as a deputy commissioner in the Department of Revenue.

He remains president of the board of Juneau’s Wildflower Court.

Two competing pipeline efforts are now underway, including the Alaska Pipeline Project, backed by the state under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act and a joint effort – called Denali – by oil companies ConocoPhillips Co. and BP.

The charge of the federal coordinator is to push for a pipeline, but does not give preference to any specific plan.

At first glance, this looks good, right? Obama is finally realizing we need to develop our own resources, after loaning his buddy George Soros’ Brazilian oil company, Petrobas, ten billion dollars to drill offshore in Brazil. And maybe Obama is trying to steal Sarah Palin’s thunder here.

Unfortunately, I believe you’d be wrong, and I believe my colleague is, as well. I don’t think Obama is trying to steal credit for this deal, I think he is trying to kill it.

Frankly, when has Obama done anything to support energy development in America? On the contrary, Obama and his minions have openly worked to thwart any and all domestic development of natural resources.

So what’s the deal?

First of all, let’s face it, that’s how these Chicago thugs work, period. We see it every single day. They strong arm and attack their own people if the don’t tow the line. Ask New York Governor David Patterson how Obama’s gangster tactics work.

Let’s take a quick look at Larry Persily himself. Persily is a self described “blue-collar Chicago democrat.”

Persily is a journalist by trade having worked at the Anchorage Daily News as the editorial page editor, and the Juneau Empire. Persily has also contributed to the far left hate site, Huffington Post. The same Huffington Post that Alaska Mafia members Shannyn Moore and Jeanne Devon have contributed many a false story about Sarah Palin to.

For those that don’t know, Arianna Huffington, the publisher of the far left website, is close to Stewart Resnick, the billionaire owner of Roll Industries, and the guy who at one point was paying to keep dead beat dad Levi Johnston in the spotlight. Resnick’s wife Lynda is godmother to Arianna’s daughter. The Resnicks are huge donors within the democrat party.

Read more here.

While Persily has indeed worked for Governor Palin, he has also been a shill for the democrat party. Even though Persily denies it, he has penned multiple attacks on Palin at the Huffington Post.

Persily absolutely lost his mind when Sarah Palin took on Obama for “pallin’ around with terrorists,” a shot at Barack Obama’s close friend, domestic terrorist William Ayers, and his convicted felon wife, cop killer Bernardine Dohrn.

She yelled fire in a crowded theater. She really did, in some of her speeches –‘palling around’ with terrorists and some of the other slurs she was hurling in the way of Obama and the Democrats,” said Larry Persily, a former Palin staffer and Alaskan journalist.

Now I know that all of this is not enough to prove anything, but there is more. Much more.

One of the folks mentioned in this story is “former Alaskan” Pete Rouse. Funny thing, even though Rouse is a total creature of Washington, he still votes absentee in Alaska. There has been some controversy about this, you can read more here.

Of course, we don’t care how Pete Rouse votes, or where. What we do care about is the fact that Rouse, who was Barack Obama’s campaign chief-of-staff, and is now a senior White House adviser, is Obama’s point man for all the attacks on Sarah Palin.

We have written extensively about Obama and Rouse’s attempts to stop Sarah Palin. It was Obama and Rouse, through Rouse’s longtime friend former Alaska Senator Kim Elton, who ginned up the phony “Troopergate,” or as Sarah calls it “Tasergate,” affair. Obama himself called the Alaska Troopers Union within days of the announcement that Sarah was the Republican nominee

Although Sarah was cleared of any wrong doing by the personnel board, and members of this kangaroo court were admonished for hiding evidence that cleared Palin, as well as using the wrong statute to go after her, Obama still rewarded Kim Elton with a make-work job at the Department of the Interior. Classic Chicago pay-for-play.

Once Obama and Rouse shook off their failed attempt to harm Governor Palin, Rouse, along with Phil Monger and other assorted nerdowells formed what has come to be known as the Alaska Mafia.

With White House coordination, a group of bloggers, such as hate peddlers Shannyn Moore and Jeanne Devon were given prominent placement for their hit pieces over at the Huffington Post. The DNC’s “Official Blogger For Alaska” Linda Kellen Biegel, better knows as “Celtic Diva” was also involved in these efforts.

One of the projects, besides coordinating with other radical leftist bloggers, who continually fed lies to the media, was the recruitment of folks to continually file false “ethics complaints” against Governor Palin. These shenanigans would eventually cost Governor Palin over a half million dollars personally, and the Alaskan tax payers over $2 million.

Speaking of that, there is another close Obama staffer involved here. You remember Anita Dunn, the Mao Tse Tung loving Communications Director for the White House? The one Glenn Beck turned into a national punch line?

Well guess what….Dunn is an Alaskan as well!

Here’s her connection to this deal. Her husband, Robert Bauer, Obama’s White House counsel, is a partner at the prominent D.C. law firm, Perkins Coie, which also happens to be Obama’s attorney of record. Perkins Coie is the law firm the democrat party generally calls when they need help stealing elections as well.

What does this have to do with Sarah, you ask? Well, remember the half million in legal fees Sarah was stuck with as a result of defending herself against the phony complaints? Friends of Sarah started a legal defense fund to help her with these bills. Perfectly legal. Something many a politician has had to do.

Well, right on cue, one of the Alaska Mafia members filed a complaint against Sarah for having this fund. Of course, it was nonsense, but that’s how these evil people work.

As part of the “investigation” the State of Alaska hired a supposed “independent investigator” by the name of Thomas Daniel. Now there is nothing wrong with investigating things, in fact, no one would want it any other way. The problem is, there was a serious conflict of interest here. You see Mr Daniel has a day job as an attorney at…wait for it….Perkins Coie.

Here’s where it comes together. Even though under Alaskan law it is unlawful to discuss ongoing ethics investigations, Thomas Daniel, the so-called “independent investigator” let it leak that Sarah was about to face federal indictment for violations surrounding this legal defense fund. Of course, not only did Daniel, an officer of the court, violate Alaskan law, he was lying.

Like all of the other phony ethic complaints filed against Sarah, this one was dismissed as well. It was total BS. In fact, after Mr Daniel’s out and out lie surfaced, the FBI went on record as saying that there were no investigations concerning Governor Palin, never had been, and none were expected. This is something the FBI never does, by the way, but the lie by Mr Daniel, which was then broadcast by Obama’s plants over at the Huffington Post, and then picked up the worldwide media, was so egregious the agency felt they had to respond.

Why would Mr Daniel, an officer of the court, do this you ask? Why risk a his entire career?

Well, this all went down in August of 2009. In case you don’t remember, this is about the time Sarah wrote her famous “death panels” blog, and totally destroyed Obama’s momentum to enact his unconstitutional take over of America’s health care system. Momentum that Obama has never regained.

This was a completely transparent attempt to discredit Palin and her message. Of course like every other attempt Obama has made to hurt Sarah Palin, this failed because the truth quickly came out about Thomas Daniel and all of the tomfoolery going on.

Nothing happened to Mr Daniel for his lies or for his discussion of the matter, by the way. No doubt powerful friends of President Obama protected Mr Daniel from any consequences of his malicious conduct.

You can learn more about the Alaska Mafia, all of the phony complaints, Pete Rouse, Thomas Daniel, and a whole lot more by clicking here.

There was also a great video put together by Naked Emperor News detailing the connections between Obama, Pete Rouse, Phil Monger, and the rest of the Alaska Mafia, including Mafia members in their own words.

Jeanne Devon worked overtime fighting to keep this video off of any American video sharing sites like You Tube. Thankfully our friends at Canada Free Press have no qualms about hosting this highly damning video. Watch it here.

Look, I want to stress here that at this point, we aren’t really sure what Obama and his crew are up to, but if past is prologue, you can be pretty confident they are up to no good. There is absolutely a reason why this particular fellow, Larry Persily, was chosen.

Think about it, why would a “journalist” with ties to a far left hate website, that spreads lies about Sarah Palin on a daily basis be chosen as a “federal energy coordinator” and be given control of her signature achievement?

Sarah Palin is one of the most accomplished Governors in the nation. Her list of achievements are great, but the one thing that she really takes great pride in, is her and her administration’s incredible achievement in setting up AGIA and forging the deal with TransCanada and Exxon-Mobil. This is the largest construction project in North American history, and an achievement that any person would take great pride in. This gasline will go a long way towards making America energy independent.

We know that Sarah Palin is a force of nature, come campaign season she will be all over the country spreading her message of liberty, freedom, and common sense conservatism. Most people consider Sarah a front runner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and a shoe-in to be the 45th President. What do you think the collapse of one of her signature accomplishments would mean?

Persily, who is openly hostile to Sarah Palin, will be in a position to effect the TransCanada deal.

This doesn’t pass the smell test at all. We are going to be looking into this a lot further, but for now we are cautioning readers to be on alert, and know that Obama, and his gangster regime are up to something.

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AGIA Opponent, Ralph Samuels Joins Parnell in Alaska Primary

by Stacy Drake

Primary election season is in full bloom across the country and here in California the mood is as apathetic as it always is. GOP establishment candidate and Mike Murphy employer, Meg Whitman appears to be coasting in for an easy grab at the republican spot in the November general election. At which time, Californians, who are hanging on to the edge of a cliff for dear life, get to choose between a Van Jones sympathizer and Jerry Über Alles “Moonbeam” Brown for our new (or old) governor…. God help us.

Having seen one too many “demon sheep” ads, I turn my sights to the happenings in the Alaska primaries.

Governor Sean Parnell

Sean Parnell is running as the incumbent candidate for the republican slot in the governors race. Last time I checked, he sits on a comfortable approval rating of 58%-19%. The Alaskan media is touting Ralph Samuels as Governor Parnell’s “formidable challenger” in that race.

So who is Ralph Samuels? He was a member of the Alaska State House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008, serving the 29th district. He was also the only legislator to vote against AGIA, the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. Governor Palin mentions him (not by name) in her book, “Going Rogue.” She wrote on page 142:

“Later, one lawmaker called Meg [Stapleton] to his office to continue the conversation. “I can tell you right now which bills will pass this session and which won’t”, he said. “It’s based upon one thing: relationships – and who is sleeping with whom”

Later on page 159…

After much debate, the legislature adopted AGIA. In the end, only one lawmaker voted against the measure. Interestingly, it was the legislator who had told Meg early on that bill passage is all about relationships and who is sleeping with whom.”

That begs the question… who were you sleeping with, Ralph? Better yet, who are you sleeping with now?

Currently Ralph Samuels is the vice president of Holland America in Alaska. There is little doubt that Samuels obtained his position with the cruise line and tourism giant as a result of his strong opposition to the Alaska Shipping Tax Initiative. That ballot initiative, which contained an increase on the head tax for cruise ships, was passed by Alaska voters in 2006. Samuels is able continue his crusade against the initiative but I’m sure nowadays he pulls in a much bigger paycheck for doing so.

In July of last year, Samuels gave a presentation at a Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon. During which he stated that dropping revenue margins will cause cruise lines to pull ships out of the state. He said, “instead of pictures going out of a bear and a glacier, it’s a piña colada and a beach.” He continued with “You can see the revenue dropping and you can see why the ships are heading out.” Joe Geldhof, the bill’s author accused Samuels of “Chicken Little politics.” He said, “People run around saying, ‘The sky is falling, the sky is falling,’ and after the chamber lunch, people say, ‘The sky is falling we have to get something done’.”

Personally, I have no problem with the argument against a tax. However, I don’t like to see any group of voters have a referendum trashed due to the actions of powerful interests. I also find the VP position given to Mr. Samuels for his actions as a “public servant” to be on the higher end of the political ick factor.

Ralph reminds me of all my pre-Palin perceptions of Alaskan politicians. Married, or as he likes to call it, “in bed with” certain industries or interests. Easily bought and sold.

Ralph Samuels was an outspoken critic of Governor Palin while she was in office. His fan club now includes many names I’ve read before. Usually just before the words “filed ethics complaint,” but not always. The list of “friends” on his Facebook page reads like who’s, who of republican’s in Alaska that don’t like Sarah Palin. Or as I like to call them, “Oil RINO’s.” I’m really not sure of each individuals motive for being such outspoken haters of Governor Palin, but I know they’re haters nonetheless.

One of those “friends” that stood out to me was a profile that goes by the name “Val NAlaska.” A quick glance at the comment wall for that profile screams ‘Valerie Henning.’ Her avatar is a “Samuels for Governor” logo and the wall is filled with anti-Palin videos and gross propaganda. Plus, the back-n-forth banter on the wall with Sherry Whitstine kind of gives it away. It should be noted that Valerie Henning was a major donor to Samuels in 2008. She is also married to serial ethics complainant Zane Henning. You can tune in to the Eddie Burke radio show and perhaps catch one of her frequent calls in which she usually unloads an unhealthy rant about the governor. I have never heard or read anything from this woman that wasn’t anti-Palin/Parnell vitriol. I really think she could use some balance in her life.

After briefly looking into Ralph Samuels record and associations I actually have many more questions than I started with. I only scratched the surface and I hope to be able to provide my friends in Alaska with some useful information that they can arm themselves with before they vote on August 24th.

As they say, more to come….

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Sarah Palin’s Natural Gas Pipeline: A Dream Moving Forward As TransCanada Announces Open Season

Sarah Palin, like all politicians, made many campaign promises when she ran for Governor in Alaska. Unlike many politicians, Sarah made good on all of hers. And while that is remarkable unto itself, no campaign promise made was more important to the Alaskan people than building a natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to the lower 48.

So important, and so desired by the people, is the construction of this pipeline that promising to get it built was a staple on the Alaskan campaign trail for over 30 years!

As Sarah noted in her book, Going Rouge, An American Life on page 111:

Our campaign would focus on cleaning house in government and facilitating the private-sector development of energy resources, specifically ramping up production of America’s energy supplies and building the 3,000 mile, $40 billion natural gas pipeline that other administrations had been promising to build for decades. It could ultimately go from the North Slope to hungry Midwest markets out of a Chicago hub. No more time wasted recycling the same old arguments and excuses as to why it couldn’t be done. I was determined that Alaska was going to start contributing more to the nation.

If you notice, there is a very important element to Sarah’s plan for development: “facilitating the private-sector development of energy resources.” This is Sarah recognizing that in most cases government is not the solution to any given situation, it’s the problem. Politics had stood in the way of getting this pipeline built for over 30 years, so Sarah, using common sense, sought to have as minimal government involvement as possible, and maximum private-sector participation. A refreshing change of pace, and a model for all governments to follow.

On her very first day on the job as Governor, Sarah set the wheels in motion to get this project rolling. From page 125 of Going Rogue:

Ethics reform was already underway, with some lawmakers already under arrest, so to kick off the Palin-Parnell agenda, we started with the natural gas pipeline on our first day in office.

For Alaskans, the term “gasline” is as familiar as “irrigation” is to Californians or “Wall Street” is to New Yorkers. Except that Californians and New Yorkers already reap the benefits of these economic lifelines, while Alaskans have been waiting for more than fifty years to realize the benefits of the state’s vast reserves of natural gas. At least 35 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves lie untapped on the North Slope, and geologists say there are hundreds of trillions more both on- and offshore. Our oil and gas supplies would be enough to provide 10 years of total energy independence for the entire country.

Below Governor Sarah Palin Lt. Governor Sean Parnell and officials from TransCanada are seen at the signing ceremony where TransCanada was awarded the license to build the natural gas pipeline:

As one can see, the stakes are high, and the rewards, for the entire nation, substantial. After talking about the fact that heavy government interference, labor and environmental restrictions had driven producers out of the country and over to foreign supplies of oil and gas, Sarah Adds:

It was unfortunate that our government’s well-meaning polices had driven producers to other parts of the world where there were no restraint’s on their activities. That was no way to protect the environment or heat the economy.

With my background, I understood the concerns of all of the parties: as a free-market capitalist I understood the bottom line for the oil producers; as the spouse of an oil worker I understood the Slopers and their families’ reliance on oil jobs; as a mayor I understood the communities’ dependence on oil’s economic contributions; as a lover of the land I understood as well the environmentalists’ and Alaska Natives’ concerns.

Sarah goes into further details of her thought process in the book, including how CEO look to maximize profit for their shareholders, and how as CEO of Alaska, it was her job to maximize the benefits to the Alaskan people. I’ve found, over the last few years that many people don’t understand the unique relationship the people of Alaska, as well as the state government, all have with the oil companies.

In Alaska, the Constitution dictates that the oil, natural gas, and other energy resources belong to the people, the citizens of the state. So, just like anyone who buys shares in a publicly traded company, the Alaskan people are shareholders in the Alaskan energy business. As Governor, Sarah took many steps to maximize the values of those shares to the Alaskan people, just as any good CEO would do.

Much has been written about the processes of how the natural gas pipeline project came to be, but the bottom line is this: By creating a market driven process, with great emphasis on the private-sector, Sarah was able to move this pipeline project from 50 years worth of talk, to reality, in just a few short years. I suggest those who are looking for more detailed information on the process read Sarah’s book, and check out the archives at US4Palin, where editor and publisher Ron Devito has carefully documented the entire process.

In this video from Canadian TV Sarah discusses the processes as well as leadership:

OK, now that we have some of the background out of the way, let’s get to the latest updates on the process that will see the completion of the gasline by 2020.

From Yahoo Finance Canada:

CALGARY/ANCHORAGE (Reuters) – TransCanada Corp and partner Exxon Mobil Corp boosted their cost estimates for a planned line to carry Alaska gas to southern markets by up to 58 percent on Friday, as the two ready plans to sign up shippers for the massive project.

The companies said the cost of the 1,700 mile pipeline carrying at least 4.5 billion cubic feet of gas daily from Alaska’s North Slope to Alberta will range between $32 billion and $41 billion, up from a previous $26 billion forecast.

The line, mulled for more than a generation, would be among the largest and most expensive civil engineering projects ever undertaken in North America, requiring years of planning and construction and massive financing.

No matter how you measure it, the Alaska Pipeline Project would be an exceptional world leading project and one of the largest private investments in the history of North America,” Paul Pike, Exxon Mobil’s senior project manager for the line, said on a conference call.

For Alaska, which depends on oil for nearly all its state operating revenues, a natural gas pipeline is seen as economically crucial. North Slope oil production has dwindled to a third of the 2 million-barrel-a-day peak reached in 1988, and continues to decline.

Some political leaders hailed Friday’s announcement as a big step toward reaching the gas pipeline goal.

Bringing Alaska’s gas to market presents a tremendous economic opportunity for the state,” Alaska Governor Sean Parnell said in a statement. “Alaskans have waited 30 years to advance this project, and today’s news marks a significant milestone in achieving this opportunity.”

A smaller line, running from the gas fields of the North Slope to a separately built liquefied natural gas facility near Valdez, Alaska, would cost between $20 billion and $26 billion and could be built instead of the larger project if shippers chose the option.

The backers said their cost estimate rose over initial projections because of an extension of the line to the Point Thomson field on Alaska’s North Slope, an expanded gas-processing plant and more detailed engineering than first available.

OPEN SEASON PLANNED

The new estimate for the lines, which could be in service by 2020, came as the partners filed plans with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to hold an open season to attract potential shippers.

This open season will test potential customers’ interest in utilizing the Alaska Pipeline Project to transport their natural gas to market,” said Tony Palmer, TransCanada’s vice-president of Alaska development.

Calgary-based TransCanada is the state of Alaska’s preferred pipeline sponsor and holder of a state license under the Alaska Gasoline Inducement Act (AGIA).

It added U.S. energy major Exxon Mobil, one of the three major North Slope natural gas producers, as a partner to its proposal last year. The other two producers, BP Plc and ConocoPhillips are backing a rival pipeline plan of their own and Exxon itself has yet to commit its gas to the line.

However the two partners expect that they’ve squeezed the cost for shippers down, making their proposal attractive. They plan to a 20 percent capital risk in the project, reducing the costs needed to be covered by customers by between $6 billion and $8 billion.

As well, they’ve cut their planned return on equity to 12 percent instead of the 14 percent return TransCanada had forecast in its AGIA filing.

Including those cuts and other smaller factors, the partners expect shippers who commit during the open season will pay $500 million less per year on tolls than forecast in the AGIA application.

Assuming that FERC approves our plan as filed, and … the customers commit their gas in that initial open season, they will see lower tariffs,” Palmer said. “They will see lower tolls to their account on the order of $500 million per year.”

Still, the rival Denali project, backed by BP and Conoco, is going ahead as planned, with its own open season scheduled to launch in April.

I am confident that we will have an attractive commercial offer for our potential customers,” said Bud Fackrell, Denali’s president. “Today’s announcement by TransCanada and Exxon doesn’t change anything for us. We’re on track.”

TransCanada has offered BP and Conoco an equity stake in its project, saying the support of all three producers, as well as the state, is needed before its project proceeds. However negotiations with the rival producers have yet to take place .

TransCanada and Exxon filed plans for the open season with FERC, which has 90 days to approve the proposal. A separate open season will be staged for the Canadian portion of the line.

Along with Governor Parnell’s positive reaction to the news, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski added:

This marks the first time Alaska has seen a major producer come together with a pipeline company to solicit binding commitments for the transport and delivery of North Slope natural gas to markets in the Lower 48.

The bottom line is this. While there is still some work to be done, Sarah Palin, as well as her capable administration, and the folks at TransCanada and Exxon-Mobil prove the point that private-sector, free market solutions to major issues just make sense.

The fact that this is a viable project, and a solid approach, is underscored by the existence of a competing project in the mix. In the end, everyone will benefit from this competition.

Once again Sarah Palin proves to be a visionary leader who uses common sense solutions to complex issues. Energy independence is both an economic and a national security issue. With the economy in a slump, and wages stagnant, a good reliable supply of cheap, clean, and green natural gas is essential. Using our own resources, rather than enriching nations, and leaders who may not like us very much, is vital.

This is something Sarah Palin has been talking about for years, and unlike most, has used her leadership qualities and negotiation skills to actually make something happen. This is what true leadership is all about.

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The Real Sarah Palin Story Of The Past Week: Energy Independence

Quick, what was the biggest Sarah Palin story of the past week or so?

Was it her rousing introduction of Michael Reagan in Anchorage where she eloquently spoke of his father, President Ronald Reagan, and took on President Barack Obama, and his big government policies, head on?

Maybe it was her trip to Auburn, NY where she celebrated the life of former Secretary of State William Seward, in conjunction with Alaska’s 50th year of statehood, an event that saw Palin draw over 20,000 people. Seward is the one who pushed for the purchase of Alaska from Russia.

Palin gave a stem winding policy speech in Auburn that saw her again take on the current administration’s big government policies, it’s want to apologize for America when overseas, it’s military readiness, and foreign policy.

It could be the over $500,000 Governor Palin raised for several charities, including autism research and assisted living while in the state. You might even think that it was the crass and tasteless remarks made by a late night talk show host, aimed a Palin and her 14 year old daughter, and the ensuing calls for his firing and his show’s loss of sponsors.

All of these are big stories, for sure. But as usual, the real story got lost by the media.

While in Auburn, Governor Palin spoke at length about America’s need for energy independence and promised a huge bit of news would come out within the week concerning this..

And true to her word, in Dallas, Texas Governor Palin announced to the world of the huge progress on AGIA, the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.

Governor Palin announced that in a historic agreement, Exxon-Mobil had joined with Trans-Canada to make what some have called a “pipe dream” a reality.

Audio of the announcement from Exxon-Mobil and Trans-Canada officials is available here.

For those not familiar, Alaskans have tried for over 30 years to build a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48. Previous Governors have tried to make this happen, and Alaskans have went back and forth on how it should be done.

Governor Palin made this a centerpiece of her administration. Within weeks of taking office, the wheels were set in motion to get this done. The AGIA legislation was passed 57-1 through Alaska’s legislature.

Of course, there were plenty of critics, this was a big undertaking. At $126 billion, the 1712 mile pipeline is the largest infrastructure project in history.

Many thought that Governor Palin had just bit off more than she, or anyone else could chew. There were worries about the market for natural gas. But the demand for the fuel is expected to rise as much as 40 percent by the year 2030.

Obama administration officials who had nothing to do with this, like Energy Secretary Ken Salazar, have rushed to claim credit for all of this. A pretty good endorsement of Governor Palin’s efforts.

Investor’s Business Daily, gives high praise to Governor Palin, and points out that Exxon-Mobil has some very strict guidelines for investment. Their standards are high. Marty Massey, U.S. joint interest manager of Exxon Mobil Production Co. Had this to say about his company’s involvement:

“We evaluated all the options and it came down to our belief that this approach with TransCanada and Exxon Mobil was going to be the most successful project.”

Massey went on to say that Exxon might look at expanding it’s role in the project.

As the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act Trans-Canada and Exxon Partnership materials point out, this is a privately funded project. Which obviously makes this deal a win-win for the state. The purpose of AGIA is to protect the interests of the state of Alaska as the project moves forward.

The bottom line in all of this, is the pipeline will be built. Trans-Canada is one of the world’s most respected pipeline construction companies, and Exxon-Mobil is certainly a well respected oil and gas company.

For those that don’t understand the real impact of all of this, let’s talk about natural gas and it’s uses.

Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning fossil fuels we have. Most Americans use it every day. We heat with it. We cook with it. But there are other uses. One of the more promising uses of natural gas is as a leading motor fuel.

Compressed natural gas (CNG), along with propane, has been used for decades to power automobiles, trucks, and buses. In fact, many large and medium sized U.S. cities already have fleets of cars, trucks, and buses that are powered by CNG. The reasoning behind this, of course, is the fact that an engine that burns CNG instead of gasoline, will see some of it’s harmful emissions reduced by as much as 90 percent. And with the addition of the latest engine management computer technology CNG has never been a more viable fuel.

Something else that makes CNG so promising is the fact that diesel engines can be made to run on the fuel as well, greatly reducing their emissions. And while some may tout electrics as the future of the automobile, that technology, will not work on long haul trucks, the 18 wheelers you see every day as they haul goods all over America. The battery technology just isn’t anywhere close to making it viable for that application.

Even better, every single one of the Big 3: Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors build cars, trucks, and buses that run on clean burning natural gas, and have for decades. So it would be a no brainer to produce more vehicles to run on CNG. Honda is also building CNG powered versions of it’s most popular models that are available to Americans right now.

Many countries use CNG powered vehicles extensively for transportation.

There are even companies that make units that people can install in their home garages that compress the natural gas, and allow someone to refill their car at home.

As a 30 year veteran of the automotive industry, and a certified “car guy”. This writer is very excited about the possibilities of CNG.

Alaska has an estimated 200 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. That is enough to make America very independent when it comes to energy. And that’s the real story here. Once the pipeline becomes operational, in less than a decade, America will be more secure, and energy independent.

Texas oil billionaire T Boone Pickens has been advocating a plan for some time that would see much of America’s vehicles converted to run on CNG, and see wind and solar become a more prominent source of electrical generation. In the Pickens Plan, the wind and solar would replace the natural gas we are currently using to produce electricity, freeing it up for transportation use.

Natural gas is a real win-win for America. It’s very plentiful. We have more than the equivalent of all of the world’s oil reserves in American natural gas. Natural gas is a very clean fuel. The environmentalists like it. And, this is not some newfangled experimental fuel. We have used natural gas for a long time to cook and heat with, and automakers have built vehicles that use it as a fuel for almost a century.

If automakers were to convert much of their production to vehicles that run on CNG, it would be cost effective, as the technology is already in use, and proven, as compared to all of the billions that have been invested in technology that still hasn’t produced a practical mass production car that people will actually buy and can use for more than short trips to the store.

This announcement from Governor Palin is indeed big news. This is a game changing effort that will not only help make America energy independent, but has the potential to change every American’s lives for the better with a clean, American produced fuel.

The national security benefits in all of this should not be lost either. The less money we send overseas to purchase oil, the less money regimes that don’t necessarily like America will have. America sends nearly one trillion dollars a year overseas to buy crude oil.

Governor Palin has again lived up to her billing as an authority on energy. The Governor who previously was chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, as well as the chair of the National Governor’s Association Natural Resources Committee, and the Chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, is uniquely qualified to lead on energy independence. And she is most certainly using her industry experience to move America in that direction.

Sarah Palin hit a grand slam home run last week. This will truly make America stronger.

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