Thursday, June 11, 2009

Saradise Lost - Book 2 - Chapter 61 - Wally Gets it, Mark Doesn't

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has invoked the metaphor of doors opening or closing several times over the years. Her most recent statement on this became widely quoted after she helped seal Barack Obama's 2008 campaign victory, merely by herself being John McCain's running mate. After their loss, when asked about her political future, she stated:

I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door. Show me where the open door is.

Even if it's cracked up a little bit, maybe I'll plough right on through that and maybe prematurely plough through it, but don't let me miss an open door.

Before Palin's elevation to her current role as the biggest American political joke of the 21st century, her most well-known invocation of the door metaphor was on the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. At that time, she stated in a press conference:

The sentiment shared by a lot of Alaskans is, you know, Exxon, don't let the door hit you in the stern on your way out if you choose not to participate in progressing development of Alaska's resources.

Yesterday, in Houston, Palin had the doors opened to the head offices of Exxon Mobil, as she joined with that company and TransCanada, to prepare the way for a deal that will, as ex-Governor Wally Hickel put it today, "now provide ExxonMobil Corporation with half of $500 million of state funds."

So, Palin has just handed Exxon what her political career desperately needs now - she gave Exxon a quarter billion dollar door back into - once again manipulating Alaska politics. I wonder if she met with Steve Cowper while in Houston, to compare their notes on how to be fucked over by this company that caused three of my Cordova friends to kill themselves.

Wally Hickel went on to say about this deal:

Because of her national ambitions, she is promoting an agenda that will allow Outside corporations to dominate Alaska’s resources, including our energy and the jobs it provides.

Alaska's junior Senator, Mark Begich, was almost as accommodating as Gov. Palin:

Congratulations to the Palin administration for their persistence in helping get Exxon and TransCanada together in this partnership.

It eventually will be up to the State Legislature to approve changes to state law which may be requested by Exxon and perhaps the other producers to take the gas line project to the next steps. I believe any Alaska gas line project must provide gas to Alaskans and other benefits, such as jobs and a fair share of revenues, to our citizens.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to work with the national administration and Congress to provide appropriate support in Washington, such as expanded loan guarantees and other provisions in the energy bill making its way through the Senate.

So, Wally Hickel caught the importance of Exxon becoming a partner in the half billion dollar AGIA gift to TransCanada and their new partner. Sen. Begich, if he did, didn't seem to think this issue is important to Alaskans.

It is.

State Rep. Les Gara was slightly more thoughtful than Begich, but not much:

We need to put aside the hype by the Governor’s national campaign supporters that this is somehow a deal-creating announcement. We need to put aside the temptation by those who don’t like the Governor to criticize this agreement, out of dislike for the Governor’s politics or national ambitions. That is, we need to put politics aside.

OK, one can dream.

Like Begich, Gara failed to realize how toxic Exxon remains to many Alaskans, and for important reasons.

When push comes to shove, that gas will go to market no sooner than big oil interests will allow. They still need it more in the wells to push oil upward than they need it for anything else.

For politicians like Palin, Begich or Gara to try to paint a partnership with Exxon as anything less than a slap in the face of scores of thousands of living Alaskans and thousands of recently deceased, hardworking Alaskans is disgusting.


Aussie Blue Sky said...

I would suggest that the real reason Big Oil doesn't want to be in the gas-producing business is mostly financial. Sure, they can use some of their gas to produce oil - but there isn't any Big Money in gas. Simple.

Exxon are so spoiled, lazy and short-sighted that they couldn't even see that the gas will be worth gold to them in future carbon credits. Not to worry, President Obama is bound to remind them - and maybe that's the reason that Begich and Exxon are suddenly all hot for the pipeline to nowhere.

As for Gov Hickel - I'm not hearing any apologies from him for his role in foisting Mrs Palin upon an unsuspecting and undeserving world.

basheert said...

Alaska is a state that sells its natural resources. It blades hilltops, drills in sensitive natural areas and all for that once a year check they receive and low taxes.

From reading the ADN, it appears as if it is a state rife with violence such as murder and suicide and considerable lawlessness.

Thanks to Sarah Palin, Alaskans will receive their annual "dole" while compromising their living conditions. I guess the bottom line for most of these self-proclaimed wild individualists is Sarah's signature on a rebate oil check.

Some wilderness protectors!

Shame on all of you - Exxon has done more to harm your state than almost anyone (aside from Palin who appears to care about no one but herself). Perhaps this is simply a cycle of growth a state must experience in order to grow up and be a "real" state in this country.

Many of the rest of us care about renewable energy, wind power, solar, the endangered species act, and protection of natural resources. Raping your natural resources will not ultimately serve Alaska well in the future.

And Palin is not on Alaskan's side. She is on her own side and no one elses. Those who believe she cares about her state or her citizens are in for a very rude awakening.

clark said...

basheert, i'm afraid most of that rubs me the wrong way. i don't like palin at all.
but the permanenet fund program was set up in the late '70s... and the dividends have been paid since 1980. the dividends are paid from interest the fund earns and not out of its principal, which is still set up as a rainy day fund that cannot be easily raided by the legislature. each governor stands to influence the fund balance very little, years later. say what you want about the PFD, but at least it is progressive -- the annual payout is not income-based.
the more strident critics have suggested the money belongs to the entire country -- even though the alaska state constitution says otherwise. the problem with sending everyone in the country a cut, is that the payout is significant split 600,000 ways -- but 300,000,000 ways, not so much. wouldn't be worth what it would cost to administer.
as to destroying the environment. earlier this week i put up a post at daily kos asking: who isn't bicycle commuting, and why not? you should see how that one went over. i got called every name in the book. so until people are willing to start driving their cars a lot less, or stop driving at all -- our environment will continue to be destroyed, probably to a much greater extent than ever before.

basheert said...

clark: apologies - my problem with the "fund" isn't that Alaskan's receive it. As you clearly state it, this fund was established in the 1970's as you say.
My issue is that at this point, Palin appears to be thought of as the person this money comes from. The "giver" as the case may be. It is fine that the fund pay off, but she is taking credit for dispensing $$ to her Alaskan constituents.
She has deprived Alaskans of stimulus dollars on a claim that the energy component would require regulations. She appears and gives the appearance that she is doing this for Alaskans benefit. Well fine, we'll take your stimulus $$$'s and I live in a red state.
When several cities were crushed by melt, she patted them on the head, said sorry and how proud she was they weren't asking for help.
When other villages needed help, she brought an evangelical preacher and cookies.

As I said previously, she is not my problem, she belongs to Alaska. Those in the Lower 48 made it very clear in Nov 2008 that we did not want her. She is at this point, unelectable. She couldn't even get 1% in the recent Gallup Poll among republicans.

Her only hope at this point is to become such a raving loon that she becomes impossible to ignore. In a rather sick and perverted way, it's almost amusing to watch her flounder and flop her way to oblivion.

I love Alaska - it is beautiful, it is a gem. I hope it can be preserved before she and her minions trash it beyond recognition.

Sorry if I offended you - I am aware of the history of the "dole" of oil dollars. The fact is, it has nothing to do with her, other than an electronic signature.

I'm just glad she doesn't live in my state...

By the way, environmentally, Arizona is WAY ahead. Solar is going crazy down here, (we don't have the wind to justify that) and in fact, we just installed 41 solar panels on our roof. It feels good to be green. And Arizona has John McCain who has decided since he lost the election, to go back to being our Senator again. No I am not a fan...but he made a huge mistake with her. His handlers really blew that.

Blue_in_AK said...

Thank you, Phil, for saying that so much better than I could. And, Clark, I agree with you on the Permanent Fund. No matter how many times I try to explain it to my friends Outside, they still just don't get it. Alaska's economy is resource-dependent, whether we like it or not. We are so lucky to have had leaders such as Jay Hammond, Hugh Malone, Dave Rose and the other fathers of the Permanent Fund (and Ron Zobel, for all the abuse he took) who had the foresight to protect this money and to share the dividends with all of Alaska's citizens.

basheert said...

I agree with both of you. I have never advocated sharing the resources with Alaska. But the fund is independent upon the GINO and was around long before her and will be there long after her.
It's just galling watching her treat her constituents as mere stepping stones to a higher aspiration.
This recent pairing with Exxon will be fascinating to watch. I have a feeling it won't be a productive thing for Alaskans. Bearing in mind that GINO never does anything she won't personally benefit from.

Anonymous said...

VECO money was Exxon $

almost everyone smokes their pole!

clark said...

I love Alaska - it is beautiful, it is a gem. I hope it can be preserved before she and her minions trash it beyond recognition...

Solar is going crazy down here, (we don't have the wind to justify that) and in fact, we just installed 41 solar panels on our roof.

it is probably too late. without belaboring it, the northern ice pack is basically gone. the villages on the west coast and north slope are going to wash away. the stuff is really going to hit the fan soon. are we doing anything to prepare? we're still in denial.

and yeah! solar!! i wish we could do that, too. now you just have to close all those golf courses. you're going to need that water you're using to irrigate them.

Anonymous said...

And how many individual wind generators and solar panels could 500 million dollars buy (that is to be given to Exxon and Transcanada, even if they AREN'T guaranteeing anything)...seems like with net metering and grants for such alternatives on a small scale based on what works for each region, we'd be WAY ahead FAST and building energy grids before their 2018 date...good grief, are we really so stupid to let them go on like this?

Anonymous said...

AND when Sarah decided to leave the state to follow her own VP ambitions, she suddenly became the hand maiden of big corporations, and the right wing 'mentality' , and ignores the real needs of Alaska and it's people... seems there WAS a reason she did not remind Americans how the Supreme Court ruled on the Exxon case when asked by Couric(for an example of a court case that she disagreed with), even though she was present for it, she apparently was already in their pocket...this company is no friend to Alaskans, and I for one would be much happier if they were given the boot. This whole gas line was a ruse from the get-go as a smokescreen diversion by the oil companies to bring down the taxes (which are still too low, given their obscene profits)to their benefit...and now they are playing her and her aspirations of power....getting really tired of the lies and manipulations...

Anonymous said...

Saradise Lost - Book 2 - Chapter 61 - Wally Gets it, Mark Doesn't....

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