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Drilling Deeper into Obama’s Blockage of the National Petroleum Reserve

by Whitney Pitcher

Governor Palin re-tweeted two tweets from Jedediah Bila noting the Obama administration’s decision to cut off drilling in more half of the over twenty-three million acres in the National Petroleum Reserve (NPR) in Alaska. The entire Alaska delegation and Governor Parnell support development of this area as do the Native groups, contrary to what the Obama administration claims. As Human Events reports:

However, the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC) that represents the interests of the Iñupiat in Barrow, Alaska, is opposed to the plan and disputes Salazar’s contention it has local support.

Richard Glenn, ASRC executive vice president of lands and natural resources, says “despite the department’s statements of working and collaborating with Alaska Native groups we feel that our efforts are rejected.”

“Salazar’s choice would lock up large swaths of land with little or no additional benefit to wildlife resources found there and elsewhere throughout the petroleum reserve. Waterfowl, fish and caribou do not recognize boxes on a map,” Glenn said.

Rex A. Rock, Sr., ARSC president, said the plan essentially locks up the most prospective areas for increased domestic energy supply, while proposing lease sales on tracts of land with low oil potential.

To be sure, the Obama administration is to blame, as is Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, both for lying about local support and for blocking development. However, we have to look at who in the Interior department may be responsible for Alaska related Interior issues. In March of 2009, President Obama appointed Kim Elton to be Interior Director for Alaska Affairs. The name Kim Elton may sound familiar to you. Elton rose to fame (or perhaps better said, infamy) when as an Alaskan state senator in 2008, he launched a legislative investigation of Governor Palin. This was known as “Tasergate” (or “Troopergate” as the media called it) and alleged Governor Palin abused her power to pressure Walt Monegan, a state commissioner, to fire Palin’s former brother-in-law. Elton even claimed it could be an “October surprise” for Governor Palin. This legislative inquiry ruled that Governor Palin abused her power, but the personnel committee ruled that she did not. As Governor Palin noted in Going Rogue, Kim Elton also allowed Obama adviser and one time interim chief of staff, Pete Rouse to use his address to vote in Alaska despite not living there for 27 years. Suffice it to say, Elton has been a yet another crony both for the Obama campaign and the Obama administration.

Upon taking this Interior position, Elton said:

“The Department of the Interior’s mission is fundamental to Alaska’s future and I look forward to helping the Secretary and the Administration make progress both on stewardship of Alaska’s resources and on the economy of the state and the nation at this critical juncture in our history.”

However, this does not seem to be what he has down while acting as the Interior Director of Alaska Affairs.

The Obama administration has been extremely deceptive when it comes to their energy development plans in Alaska. In May of 2011, the Obama administration said they would hold annual leases for drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve. The next month, President Obama rejected the Alaska Oil and Gas Development bill that would assist in the permitting process. Extending leases while stymieing the permitting process is like allowing home builders to purchase land, but not allowing them to build a house or sell it to a buyer. The Obama administration admits that there has only been exploratory drilling done in the NPR and that there have only been leases extended for only about 6% of the land. To be sure, leases have only been extended since 1999, but with three presidents who have been in office since then, why haven’t any of them pushed for further lease sales or a more streamlined permitting process? Why has Kim Elton continued to be nothing more than an Obama stooge–both politically and policy wise–rather than  aiming  to make process both on stewardship of Alaska’s resources” and the state’s and nation’s economy? Again, the Obama administration and his cronies have proven that President Obama’s supposed “all of the above” energy approach most definitely does not include above the Arctic circle.

Related–Governor Palin advocates passionately for development in the NPR following a speech in 2010:

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Pete Rouse’s Alaska Ties (Update)

By Stacy Drake

Barack Obama named Pete Rouse Interim Chief of Staff Friday, after Rahm Emanuel announced he was leaving the administration to run for Mayor of Chicago. During the White House briefing, Jake Tapper from ABC News asked Robert Gibbs a few questions regarding the new chief. Here is a portion of the transcript of the Q & A Tapper posted to ABC’s website:

TAPPER: And then on Pete Rouse, I wonder if first of all if you could talk about his — or explain why he’s a registered voter in Alaska.

GIBBS: He’s not.

TAPPER: He’s not a registered voter…

GIBBS: No. He’s a registered voter in the District of Columbia.

TAPPER: He did vote absentee ballot in — in Alaska in 2008.

GIBBS: I — I can check on that. I know — I was talking to Pete yesterday. He voted, I think — I don’t know who, but — who he voted for, but he voted in the mayor’s race here.

TAPPER: OK. And Governor Palin, former Governor Palin has insinuated that Rouse — she suspected Rouse was part of a plot against her. She wrote about this in her book. She’s tweeted about it — tweeted suggestions about this recently. I was just wondering if you guys have any comment on that.

GIBBS: No. I mean, you know, it — it’s a fairly silly accusation that is baseless.

TAPPER: So he has — he had nothing to do with any of the attacks against…

GIBBS: No.

TAPPER: OK. Thank you.

Clearly Gibbs was trying to shrug off Jake Tapper’s questions regarding the matter. Questions originally brought up by Governor Palin in her book and on Twitter. While Gibbs may try to brush off her ‘accusations’ as “silly” and “baseless,” a quick study of Rouse’s links to Alaska will tell you that they are actually quite sensible. Considering Rouse’s position then and now, is it irrational to consider that Rouse had something to do with certain attacks against the governor when he happened to know many of the key players involved? Is it out of the question to bring to light the fact that many of these occurrences happened at opportune times for the Obama campaign? In another time and place, I may wonder why this hasn’t been investigated by more members of the press. However, it’s the modern day and age, so I already know the answer to that.

Supporters of Governor Palin are well aware of Kim Elton, from “Tasergate” fame. Personally, I feel Ace best painted an accurate picture of Elton when he said the following:

Sen. Elton is known for one thing and one thing only. He led the Democratic assault on Governor Sarah Palin for the “Troopergate” scandal that wasn’t.

You remember “Troopergate”. Governor Palin spent the summer of the election campaign fighting unfounded charges that she had exceeded her authority by firing a renegade, tazer-happy State Trooper. Ultimately she was cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Alaska Daily News posted a story on February 21st 2009 titled, “Senior Obama adviser has Alaska roots.” The piece describes Pete Rouse’s relationship with Kim Elton (emphasis mine):

One of Rouse’s best friends in Alaska is state Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau. Rouse was the one who recruited Elton, a former journalist, into politics to work for Miller. Elton said Rouse is always eager for e-mailed photos of Romeo, the black wolf often photographed around Juneau.

Elton said he followed the presidential race through Rouse, backing Obama early on the strength of his friend’s endorsement. But he told Rouse he couldn’t talk about Palin once she was named to the Republican ticket. As chairman of the Legislative Council, Elton played a central role in the Legislature’s “Troopergate” investigation of the governor, which Republicans complained was being run by Obama supporters.

“It was awkward, because I usually love to talk about things like that,” Elton said

I’m sure he abstained from commenting about the matter with a key adviser to Obama, who also just so happened to be one of his “best friends.” Politicians are usually known for keeping their word and their trustworthy nature, right? Elton was willing to fork over $2,250 to the Obama campaign, but he wouldn’t mention the investigation he was in charge of conducting against their political rival. Call it deductive reasoning if you like, but I have a hard time buying it.

Shortly after the election in 2008, Kim Elton was given a post in the Obama Administration in the Interior Department. The Juneau Empire reported:

Sen. Kim Elton, who has represented Juneau in the Senate, House and Assembly for nearly two decades, has accepted a position in the administration of President Barack Obama. The 60-year-old legislator will now be dealing with Alaska issues in the Department of Interior.

[…]

Elton, a prominent Obama supporter in Juneau, was named chairman of a committee that investigated Palin’s firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan last summer. That position was later engulfed in controversy after Palin was nominated to be Sen. John McCain’s running mate in the presidential election. Palin then abandoned her pledge to cooperate with the investigation and many Republican lawmakers argued partisan politics were at work.

Pete Rouse also has a connection to former Alaska Governor, Democrat Tony Knowles. One of the men Governor Palin beat in 2006 to become Alaska’s youngest and first female governor. In 2004, Rouse worked on Knowles unsuccessful Senate campaign.

In 2008, after John McCain selected Governor Palin to be his running mate, the Obama campaign set up a political hit-team called “Alaskan Mythbusters.” The group was headed up by Rouse associate, Tony Knowles. The “Mythbusters” had the ironic task of creating misleading political attacks, specifically on Governor Palin. They also spent a lot of time talking about Kim Elton’s “ethics” investigation.

While all of this information is circumstantial, it makes sense that Obama’s Deputy Campaign Manager in 2008, the person in charge of coordinating aspects of their game-plan would contact people he already knew. It certainly isn’t “silly” for Governor Palin to point out that Rouse has ties to Alaska. As far as he being at the center of some plot… After the level of attacks she has endured from her political foes, what would you think if you were in her shoes?

Update: My friend Gary pointed out to me that the quote I posted here from Ace could be interpreted to mean that Governor Palin fired Michael Wooten. I took it to mean all charges were “unfounded” but I don’t want anyone to be confused about the matter. She did not fire Wooten. The actual charge was that she “abused her power.” A charge she was later cleared of any wrong doing in. The lefts politically motivated charge was that she tried to pressure Walt Monegan to fire the abusive, law-breaking trooper, and when he didn’t she fired him. She never fired Monegan and there were other factors playing a role when she instead, tried to re-assign him.

Nonetheless, It’s pretty clear the details of this story were obscured by the left and some in the media throughout the campaign and even after it had been proven that Governor Palin did nothing wrong.

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Following Up On Soros, CREW, Palin, and Obama

obama-peering around

After publishing the story on George Soros’ ties to CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, it came to my attention that there was more to this.

One of the founders of CREW, Norm Eisen, is actually the ethics adviser to Barack Obama and his administration. As the Washington Post put it in a flowery article, Eisen is “the guardian of Obama’s integrity.”

Now frankly, this isn’t shocking news, or even big news. I mean if we had a Republican President, she or he would most certainly choose their staff of advisers from people who most fit in with their ideology.

But it is remarkable that Mr. Obama would choose someone from a group whose methods of operation are questionable, at best. Never mind the fact this person is heading up the ethics shop in the White House.

One also has to ask why Norm Eisen was picked. We know the ties that George Soros has to CREW. We also know that Soros is a very big supporter of President Obama. Was it something as simple as Mr. Soros recommending Mr. Eisen for the job, or is there more to it than that?

Frankly, the question I have, is this: Is this position, at least in part, payoff for a job well done?

This brings us back to Governor Sarah Palin, and the ethics complaint filed by CREW, over the wardrobe the GOP paid for. You know, the ethics complaint that was thrown out by the FEC.

Mr. Obama has been known to reward people who have successfully smeared Governor Palin. As I have previously reported, as a candidate, Mr. Obama was very involved in the so-called “troopergate” witch hunt against Governor Palin. He made an initial call to the troopers union in Alaska, and his campaign chief of staff, and now White house adviser, Pete Rouse, reached out to old friend, and former co-worker, Alaska Senator Kim Elton, who then started ram-rodding the so-called investigation through. It was Mr. Obama and Senator Elton’s intention to create an “October surprise” to take down Governor Palin. Senator Elton openly bragged about it.

Of course, the highly partisan Branchflower Report made certain claims that Governor Palin’s actions were questionable, but upon review by Timothy Petumenos, an independent investigator for the Alaska Personnel Board, had this to say, “There is no probable cause to believe that the Governor, or any other state official, violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act in connection with these matters.”

As if to punctuate the point further, Petumenos added that Branchflower had used a wrong statute as the basis for his conclusions, misconstrued the available evidence and did not consider or obtain all the material evidence to reach a proper finding. Petumenos went on to say, “Also absent from the evidence reviewed is any assertion that the Governor directed anyone in the Department of Public Safety to terminate Trooper Wooten, or directed anyone on her staff to seek the termination of Trooper Wooten,”

For those that may not know, Trooper Michael Wooten, is still Trooper Michael Wooten. Still on the job.

You can read more about the troopergate smear on Governor Palin here.

Once President Obama took office, Senator Elton was rewarded for his efforts with a job in the Interior Department. A pretty obvious payoff for a “job well done.”

CREW, did an incredible job of smearing Governor Palin over the wardrobe issue, which was a non-story, or a story best left to the gossip magazines. They managed to turn something that is standard practice in big time politics, “styling” a candidate, into a national obsession.

So the question this writer has to ask, is this: Was Norm Eisen hired as President Obama’s ethics adviser because he was the best they could get, or was this another case of rewarding someone for a job well done smearing Governor Sarah Palin?

In this time for choosing, you decide.

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