Category Archives: Natural Gas Pipeline

Palin vs. the Planet

Congressman Ed Markey, co-author of a new energy bill in the House, fires back at the Alaska governor for her confusion, fuzzy math, and inaction on global warming.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin posed for a portrait in her office in Anchorage, Alaska.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin posed for a portrait in her office in Anchorage, Alaska.

The future ex-Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, decided to dip her toe in the water on the national debate over energy and climate legislation in an op-ed in the Washington Post recently. Hailing from Alaska, one would assume the Governor might have noticed the water around her is indeed rising.

While the Governor’s op-ed does not mention the words global warming, Alaska sits on the frontlines of climate change, with temperatures rising four degrees Fahrenheit in the last 50 years; melting permafrost is sending homes and roads in coastal villages like the centuries-old Shishmaref plunging into the sea.

Continue reading

Drill, Baby, Drill: Palin Spends Last Days in Office Twittering about Oil

As the seas of controversy – and climate change – rise around her, Sarah Palin spends her time Tweeting about oil and the ANWR.

As the seas of controversy – and climate change – rise around her, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin spends her time Tweeting about oil and the ANWR.

In Sarah Palin’s own mind, she’s a fierce mother bear, acting on a guttural raw instinct to protect and provide for her young – who apparently include not only her own children but all of the “real Americans” out there who share her conservative views. But Palin no longer sees politics as the best way to do this – or so she says. As she leaves office this weekend, her next step remains unclear, but one thing’s for sure: She’s not letting go of her pro-domestic-oil-drilling stance anytime soon.

The embattled soon-to-be-former Governor of Alaska has been implicated in an ethics violation concerning her use of a legal defense fund in the 19th such complaint against her, but she doesn’t appear to be too concerned. Indeed, Palin is spending her last days in office penning half-baked op-eds on climate change legislation and Twittering about the amazing qualities of mother bears, drilling for oil and freedom-related song lyrics.

Palin’s editorial appeared in the July 14th edition of The Washington Post, slamming Obama’s “cap and tax” energy plan without ever mentioning the phrases ‘global warming’, ‘climate change’ or ‘carbon emissions’. The op-ed was eviscerated by climate experts, journalists and Palin’s fellow politicians for being long on oft-repeated falsehoods and short on actual knowledge about climate, with The Huffington Post wondering whether The Washington Post can ever recover from this hit to its reputation.

Congressman Edward Markey, co-author of the energy bill that Palin was attempting to discredit, took to The Daily Beast to clear up a few things in a piece titled “Palin vs. The Planet”. Noting that Palin’s beloved home state is on the front lines of climate change in America, Markey takes the governor to task on her apparent failure to understand what the bill is about.

“The governor does not understand that Waxman-Markey is not a tax bill—as we explicitly rejected the carbon tax option in favor of a smart cap on pollution with price protections for consumers and businesses that will grow our economy and create jobs.

She argues for more drilling as a solution to our energy crisis. But that math doesn’t add up. The United States possesses only three percent of the world’s oil reserves, yet we consume 25 percent of the world’s oil. OPEC, in contrast, controls two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves. Geological reality, not Waxman-Markey, is what is making energy “scarcer and more expensive.”

That is why we need to develop American-made alternatives to our nation’s current foreign dependency. No matter how hard she looks, Gov. Palin is not going to find enough oil in Alaska to feed our country’s insatiable appetite for energy.”

But even as Palin prepares to leave office she continues to talk up a natural gas pipeline in Alaska that may or may not ever be built, as well as the virtues of drilling for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, in strings of semi-connected tweets that sometimes take up to thirty minutes to complete. On July 23rd Palin used her Twitter account to trump one of her final acts as governor – signing a resolution she describes as “pro-ANWR/pro-Alaska/pro-Energy Independence.”

Palin’s scattered, rambling tweets resemble nothing so much as the incoherent ramblings of a certain famous rock widow – which is probably not the effect that one of the nation’s most notorious political figures should be aiming for. Luckily for her, another conservative governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, used Twitter to post a video message in which he talks about the budget crisis while waving around a two-foot knife, making her look a little more balanced.

And what does Palin care, if she truly has no intent to stay in politics? As conservative media figures like Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly have proven, sometimes shrill, fact-challenged rants and incoherent ramblings can translate into big ratings. If the mysterious venture that Palin is about to dive into involves becoming an even bigger conservative celebrity – which seems likely – she’s already primed for stardom.

Stephanie Rogers
Mother Nature Network

Palin Pipe Dreams

Note: On July 26, Sarah Palin resigned as Alaska governor, citing concerns that ongoing ethical investigations and her decision not to seek a second term would limit her effectiveness in office. What she did (or didn’t do) to promote the development of a $40 billion gas pipeline will be a crucial part of her short history in office. This story, which was first published on March 17, delved into the long and complicated history of a pipeline that doesn’t exist.

Sarah Palin at Lake Lucille in Wasilla, Alaska, in 2008.

Sarah Palin at Lake Lucille in Wasilla, Alaska, in 2008.

For more than 30 years, a natural-gas pipeline had been the great white whale of Alaskan resource development. Tens of millions of dollars had been spent in the quest for it. The names of collapsed consortiums and failed legislative initiatives littered the tundra like the bleached horns of long-dead caribou. Then, last summer, Sarah Palin said she had harpooned the whale.

“I fought to bring about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history,” Palin said at the Republican convention. “And when that deal was struck, we began a nearly $40 billion natural-gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence.”

During the vice-presidential debate, she said it again: “We’re building a nearly $40 billion natural-gas pipeline, which is North America’s largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever.”

And to Katie Couric, she said, “We should have started 10 years ago, but better late than never.”

To many outside of Alaska, it may therefore come as a surprise to learn that not only does such a pipeline not exist, but—even as Alaska’s deep winter darkness gives way to the first light of spring—the prospect that it will be built within Sarah Palin’s lifetime grows dimmer by the day. ( View a slideshow hitting the highlights of Governor Palin’s travels.)

Continue reading

Alaska Gov. Palin Pushed Exporting U.S. Oil Reserves To Japan

Jim Bowles, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. center, answers questions during a news conference in Anchorage, Alaska, where Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced an agreement between the state of Alaska and the oil industry to extend the federal export license for the LNG plant on the Kenai Peninsula. Steven Hinchmann, senior VP of worldwide production for Marathon Oil Corp., back, left, Tom Irwin Department of Natural Resources commissioner, and Gov. Sarah Palin, right, listen in the back. On the campaign trail, Palin says repeatedly that America must tap its own natural gas and oil reserves to become energy independent. But she has pushed the federal government to allow a liquefied natural gas plant to continue exporting to Asia, the only such plant in the United States that sends the product overseas.

Jim Bowles, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska Inc. center, answers questions during a news conference in Anchorage, Alaska, where Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced an agreement between the state of Alaska and the oil industry to extend the federal export license for the LNG plant on the Kenai Peninsula. Steven Hinchmann, senior VP of worldwide production for Marathon Oil Corp., back, left, Tom Irwin Department of Natural Resources commissioner, and Gov. Sarah Palin, right, listen in the back. On the campaign trail, Palin says repeatedly that America must tap its own natural gas and oil reserves to become energy independent. But she has pushed the federal government to allow a liquefied natural gas plant to continue exporting to Asia, the only such plant in the United States that sends the product overseas.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin can’t have it both ways … is she for America’s energy independence, with Alaskan pipelines built to carry natural gas and oil down to the lower 48 states, or does she want to continue EXPORTING natural gas to foreign countries at a time when the United States is IMPORTING natural gas from the Middle East and Africa?

On the campaign trail, Sarah Palin says repeatedly that America must tap its own natural gas and oil reserves to become energy-independent.

But the Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate has pushed the federal government to allow a liquefied natural gas plant to continue exporting to Asia – the only such plant in the United States that sends the product overseas.

Continue reading

Russian Natural Gas Company Gazprom Offers Assistance to Alaska in Spite of Gov. Palin

The Moscow Times reports today that Gazprom, the largest company in Russia as well as the largest extractor of natural gas in the world, has offered assistance to Alaska in bringing natural gas to the lower 48 states.  In spite of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s negative comments about Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in her interview with Charlie Gibson last month, eight Gazprom executives arrived in Anchorage on Monday for meetings to discuss joint pipeline ventures with Jim Mulva, ConocoPhillips’ chief executive and Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources.  With Gov. Palin’s ‘expertise’ in energy and supposed ‘concern’ for the energy crisis affecting the rest of the United States, the construction of natural gas pipelines could be a vital source of fuel.  Seems strange that Gov. Palin hasn’t worked harder to develop important international relationships with various global natural gas companies.  Or could there be some deal that Gov. Palin has been negotiating with the Russian giant Gazprom of which voters are unaware?  Would such a pipeline partnership be mutually beneficial for both countries or an environmental disaster?  The timing of Gazprom’s entire senior management team traveling to Alaska to discuss pipeline partnerships in the final days before such a contentious presidential election raises many questions.

Gazprom said Tuesday that it offered to help Alaska increase gas supplies to the U.S. mainland, even after Governor Sarah Palin warned against Russia’s resurgence while campaigning to become vice president.

The company sent eight senior executives to Anchorage for talks Monday with Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources and ConocoPhillips chief executive Jim Mulva, state and company officials said.

The courtship of Alaska comes less than a month after Palin criticized Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for “rearing his head” over Russia’s maritime border with her home state.

CEO Alexei Miller was accompanied by deputies Valery Golubev and Alexander Medvedev, who oversees the country’s gas exports.

A working breakfast was held with Palin supporter and former Alaska Governor Walter Hickel, Gazprom said.

Miller said in June that Gazprom had approached ConocoPhillips and BP on joining their Denali pipeline project, designed to deliver Alaskan gas to the continental United States. At the same time, Gazprom expressed interest in a rival pipeline project backed by Canada’s TransCanada.

“The working conditions in Gazprom’s traditional areas of production practically coincide with those in Alaska,” the company said.

“Gazprom’s experience will be in demand when similar projects are developed in Alaska.”

Gazprom Unfazed by Palin Spiel

Here are links to related articles on the Gazprom visit to Alaska and possible motivation for a visit at this particular time …

Gazprom Woos Alaska Amid Chill in Relations With U.S.

Gazprom visits Alaska to discuss gas cooperation

Gazprom’s Stranglehold

The new Gazprom Neft headquarters in the former Russian capital city of St. Petersburg will soon be home to the tallest tower in Europe.  UK-based architectural firm RMJM was given a go by the Russian gas giant to build the Okhta Tower.  The eco skyscraper promises to be one of the most environmentally sustainable high rise buildings in the world.

The new Gazprom Neft headquarters in the former Russian capital city of St. Petersburg will soon be home to the tallest tower in Europe. UK-based architectural firm RMJM was given a go by the Russian gas giant to build the Okhta Tower. The eco skyscraper promises to be one of the most environmentally sustainable high rise buildings in the world.