Palin has never gotten along with big oil, which has always been fine with me in many respects.
Even before she was selected as John McCain's running mate, however, Palin often claimed more credit for both the higher extraction rate now charged oil companies for removing Alaska's minerals, and for the AGIA deal. On the campaign stump this fall, she constantly claimed all the credit for these events. Every single bit of it.
From several angles now, the AGIA deal with TransCanada is beginning to look more than a little dicey. Their financing package is nowhere near complete, and the environment for getting money now, both in small and large sums, let alone mammoth sums, is changing
Tony Hopfinger, at Alaska Dispatch, has written an informative article about Palin's appearance Wednesday morning before the Resource Development Council. Here's a revealing extract:
When Palin was introduced at the Resource Development Council's meeting at the new Anchorage convention center, she was met with modest applause. Nobody stood up and the claps lasted less than 10 seconds. She opened her remarks with what has become her post-presidential election stump speech in recent weeks:
“The last few months have been an amazing experience.... The time went so quickly... I got to briefly expand my wardrobe. I got to meet a few VIPs, you know, those that really impact society, like Tina Fey.”
No laughs for this laugh line from these hard-headed poker players, though.
Andrew Halcro has begun today what I think will be a series of articles on the prospects of both AGIA and Denali. He opens with this:
"Even in my own energy producing state, we have hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of clean green natural gas, and we're building the nearly forty billion dollar natural gas pipeline, which is North America's largest and most expensive infrastructure project."
--- Governor Sarah Palin - Vice Presidential Debate - 10/2/08
In the 1996 blockbuster "Top Gun", there is a scene where a young hot shot pilot gets called out by his commanding officer after a risky stunt; "Maverick, your body is writing checks your butt can't cash."
It seems history is repeating itself for at least one self proclaimed maverick.
After spending nine weeks travelling from one end of the country to another, promising the people of America that her leadership is building the largest and most expensive natural gas pipeline in the history of the United States, Governor Sarah Palin returns home to face the music; her leadership is building no such pipeline.
Maybe she thought she'd get elected and could leave the truth behind for others to handle. Maybe she thought Joe the plumber and the press had short term memories and would forget about her pipeline lies if she ran for national office again in the future. Or maybe, just maybe, Palin didn't see anything wrong with being extremely liberal with the truth when talking to the so called elite liberal media.
But whatever the reason for her being less than honest with Americans about her actual success in trying to manage the development of Alaska's economic future, this "Top Gun" looks more like the movies character Goose than the movies character Maverick.
Halcro goes on to describe a working relationship between the major producers and TransCanada that has deteriorated since the time AGIA went through the legislature and was signed by Gov. Palin:
And given all of her tough talk on the campaign trail about how she "took on big oil" and "broke up their monopoly" while jump starting this project, Palin now finds herself boxed in by her tough talk. Yes, it will be big oil who will decide the fate of this project, not Sheriff Palin.
The best explanation comes from Hal Kvisle, CEO of TransCanada, an independent pipeline company. "Eventually, it's come down to the big producers. ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and BP are the ones most likely to hold the shipping commitments, so whatever kind of project is put together has to be one that works for the producers," Kvisle said.
In fact, three days after the Alaska State Legislature approved Palin's pipeline plan to nowhere, where they granted Kvisle's company up to $500 million in taxpayer money and exclusive rights, Kvisle was quoted in the Toronto media as saying, "Nothing goes ahead unless Exxon is happy with it."
And my friends, Exxon ain't very happy.
Go read Andrew's article. It is informative, to say the least. You might skip Wesley Loy's blog entry at the Anchorage Daily News political blog niche. Unless you're looking for more evidence of how much better our Alaska blogs are managing to cover the new ground upon which celebrity Sarah is going to tread this coming legislative session. The ADN clearly doesn't get this yet. Loy manages to
pimp pump up Palin, while dissing Senator-elect Begich at last twice.