Tag Archives: Environment

Palin Shocker: McCain Won’t Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Coal burning smokestacks emitting pollution

Coal burning smokestacks emitting pollution

Given Senator John McCain’s past Senate voting record AGAINST clean energy, it should come as no surprise to anyone that if he and Republican vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin are elected on November 4th, a McCain-Palin administration does not plan to regulate greenhouse emissions in an effort to reduce global warming.

Voters who care about either global warming or clean energy have only one choice — and it isn’t McCain-Palin.

It’s time to stop trying to guess whether the latest McCain campaign gaffe revision on global warming means the Arizonan has walked away from his previous support for mandatory government control of greenhouse gases. He has.

That should have been clear from McCain’s repeated rejection of the word “mandatory” to describe his program, his choice of a global warming denier for vice president, and his failure to even mention global warming during his acceptance speech. Most recently, his chief economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said on Sunday that McCain does not agree with the Supreme Court decision that labels carbon dioxide a pollutant and requiring EPA to regulate it. He labels Obama’s decision to obey the Supreme Court decision “a draconian regulatory approach.”

Now the McCain campaign has decided to eliminate the ambiguity entirely in the desperate and erratic final days of his campaign. In her big greenwashing energy speech at an Ohio solar energy company, Palin was as blunt as possible in her prepared (and delivered) remarks:

And we will control greenhouse gas emissions by giving American businesses new incentives and new rewards to seek, instead of just giving them new taxes to pay and new orders that they must follow — “so says government”.

GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin delivers energy policy speech

GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin delivers energy policy speech

The final three words were ones she added, but the prepared text alone leaves no room for doubt. A McCain-Palin administration will not be issuing new orders that businesses must follow to control greenhouse gas emissions. It will use a voluntary or incentive-based approach, one that has never worked in any country to restrain emissions growth.

McCain and his campaign have made a concerted effort to reassure conservatives he’s not going to take strong action on climate, while hoping that moderates would be fooled just like some Bush voters were in 2000 ignore all this talk, which itself is a core campaign strategy of doubletalk (see “Memo to media: McCain doubletalks to woo conservatives and independents at the same time“).

The Palin speech was the last piece of the puzzle. For one last time, let’s consider the increasingly sorry history of the McCain campaign on climate and clean energy:

Remember, it was Bush’s Vice President, Dick Cheney, who called Bush’s promised to regulate utility carbon emissions “a mistake” in March 2001, and Cheney is probably the main reason Bush walked away from his commitment.

So perhaps we should start listening to McCain’s VP choice, as well as McCain himself, and all of his advisers, on climate and clean energy issues.

If you care about global warming, the gravest preventable threat to the health and well-being of all Americans, and if you care about clean energy, the greatest potential source of new jobs and new industries in the coming decades, then you must vote Obama-Biden.

Palin Shocker: McCain Won’t Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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REAL American Moms AGAINST Governor Sarah Palin For VP (Video)

Check out this wonderful video created by American Moms who are AGAINST Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin becoming the next vice president, only ONE 72-year-old heart beat away from becoming leader of the United States!!  Also, visit their website at VoterMoms.com in order to view additional segments of this video on important issues such as the economy, the war, choice and abstinence, freedoms, special needs, healthcare, the environment, experience, and McCain’s judgement.

VoterMoms.com

Gov. Sarah Palin’s Hand Seen in Battle Over Mine in Alaska; Everyone Ticked Off at Sarah (Video)

In an exclusive in-depth article by Michael Powell and Jo Becker for the New York Times, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s involvement and influence in the Bristol Bay / Pebble Mine controversy has left many Alaskans shaking their heads in dismay.

EKWOK, Alaska – Two years ago, Sarah Palin landed near this tiny native village and spoke of her love for the vast and starkly beautiful delta that drains into Bristol Bay.

“I am a commercial fisherman; my daughter’s name is Bristol,” said Ms. Palin, then a candidate for governor. “I could not support a project that risks one resource that we know is a given, and that is the world’s richest spawning grounds, over another resource.”

Many here took her words to heart. But as governor, Ms. Palin has helped ease the way for a proposed copper and gold mine of near-mythic proportions at the headwaters of Bristol Bay, the world’s greatest spawning ground for wild salmon.

If state regulators give their approval, mining companies plan to carve an open pit that would rival the world’s largest mines, descending half a mile and taking as much energy to operate daily as the city of Anchorage. That prospect has ignited a war between Alaska’s two historic industries, mining and fishing.

Scientists and former state and federal biologists warn that toxic residue from the project, known as Pebble Mine, would irreparably harm a centuries-old salmon fishing industry that employs 17,000 and hauls in $100 million annually.

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Op-Ed: Barbra Streisand on “Who Is Sarah Palin?”

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand

Beloved American icon Barbra Streisand expresses her concerns on the choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential candidate.

Until the Republican Convention, very few had ever heard of Sarah Palin… and now this mean-spirited campaigner is asking who is Barack Obama?

I’m asking who is Sarah Palin?

I know that she’s a woman who doesn’t believe in allowing women the right to choose their own reproductive health decisions even if they are victims of rape… but approves of these victims getting billed by the government for the rape kits used to examine them.

I know she’s a beauty pageant runner-up who is a gun totin’ extremist in her views on the environment, religion, women’s choice and the separation of church and state.

I know she’s a woman who along with John McCain would divide this country while pledging that she and the Senator are “mavericks” who know how to reach across the aisle.

I know that as mayor of the small town of Wasilla she increased spending by 63% and left behind a $19 million long-term debt, which was non-existent before she took office.

I know she hired the same good-ol’-boy network of Washington lobbyists she says she will fight if elected, in order to secure millions of dollars of earmarks for Wasilla.

I know that she’s been found guilty of abusing her power as governor by pressuring a state official to fire her former brother-in-law and then firing the official when he refused… an investigation that began prior to her selection as vice president.

And I know that the American public has had less than two months to vet Sarah Palin, and during this time the press has had to fight tooth and nail to secure just two network interviews with her… while she still refuses to appear on the tougher Sunday news shows.

On the stump, Sarah Palin and John McCain continue to avoid addressing the critical issues facing our country. Neither of them provides any substantive conversation on what they will do to steer our country on a journey back to prosperity. Palin’s sheer ignorance and lack of experience precludes her from speaking thoughtfully about the financial and foreign policy dilemmas we face. And John McCain’s voting record forces him to change the subject.

McCain knows his policies have contributed to the unraveling of our financial systems due to excessive deregulation. McCain knows that he supported the war in Iraq since its inception, which has been a tremendous financial and military drain on our country. Both Sarah Palin and John McCain know that if this election continues to be about the housing market, the economy, healthcare, the environment, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — the issues that affect everyday Americans — they will lose this election. And after eight years of Republican control that has left this country in deep distress… they should lose. So now that we know who Sarah Palin is… do we want her a heartbeat away from the presidency?

Who Is Sarah Palin?

Palin asks Schwarzenegger to Veto Fees Aimed at Cutting Pollution from California Ports

The Los Angeles Times reported September 12, 2008 in an article by Patrick McGreevy, that a day BEFORE Senator John McCain announced Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential pick, she sent a letter to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger urging him to veto California Senate Bill 974.  The Bill, authored by California State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), would implement a $60 per 40-foot cargo container fee when goods are moved through Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland, California ports.  More than 40% of all US commodities are transported through these three ports. 

Seen as an intractable problem which lead to the proposed California Senate Bill 974 - the dirtiest diesel trucks are often owned by drivers who can't afford to replace or even maintain them.

Idling trucks at the Port of Los Angeles polluting the air: Seen as an intractable problem which lead to the proposed California Senate Bill 974 - the dirtiest diesel trucks are often owned by drivers who can't afford to replace or even maintain them.

Revenue generated from the fees is projected to raise approximately $400 million each year with which to combat air pollution through the installation of clean burning truck and train engines, as well as the construction of roadways targeted at reducing traffic gridlock with idling vehicles.  Lowering the effects of air pollution is expected to dramatically reduce the number of Californians who die each year as a direct result of pollution, which studies show to be 3,400 deaths.  That a governor from another state would interfere in the politics of California is shocking, particularly since Alaska has so many unresolved social issues needing the attention of Gov. Sarah Palin.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican candidate for vice president, has urged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto a fee on cargo containers going through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, setting off a wave of criticism from California environmentalists.

Palin’s letter to Schwarzenegger is dated Aug. 28 — one day before presidential candidate and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced that he had picked her as his running mate. The letter argues that both consumers and the economy in California and Alaska would suffer as a result of the fee.

Though the issue might otherwise be viewed as a relatively parochial port matter, Palin’s newfound status as a national political figure has raised the stakes in what state environmentalists consider to be their most important pollution reduction effort this year. They say Palin has no business getting involved in the California issue.

“Why should Gov. Schwarzenegger take into account what out-of-state interests are saying?” said Lisa Warshaw, a spokeswoman for the Coalition for Clean Air. “It’s unfortunate that she is using her popularity to push her agenda on this state.”

The bill’s author, state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), said Palin appears not to appreciate how important the proposal is for the health of Californians.

“She certainly displays a lack of understanding,” Lowenthal said.

Palin’s missive attacks Senate Bill 974, which has been approved by the state Legislature but needs Schwarzenegger’s signature to become law.

Palin said many Alaskan communities lack road access and depend entirely on goods shipped by container, something that has significantly increased in cost in recent years. Many of those containers pass through the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports before arriving in Alaska, and Palin argues that the fee will add even more to the cost of goods shipped to her state.

“This tax makes the situation worse,” Palin wrote. “Similarly, the tax may harm California by driving port business away from its ports.”

Lowenthal said he offered to amend the bill this year to address Palin’s concerns by cutting the fee in half for containers loaded from one ship to another without leaving California ports by rail or truck.

Schwarzenegger’s staff did not agree to the proposed change, the senator said.

On Thursday, with the Palin letter hitting the Internet, Lowenthal invited the Alaskan governor to travel to the Southern California ports to see first-hand why the fee is needed.

“We are losing about 3,400 Californians each year because of pollution,”* Lowenthal said. “No matter what Gov. Palin would like to see happen, the impact is killing Californians. I don’t think Gov. Palin truly understands the impacts going on here.”

John Casey, a spokesman for Lowenthal, added: “Maybe Sarah Palin doesn’t care about Californians.”

* Some studies have shown the annual deaths in California due to pollution to be as high as 3,700.

Palin asks Schwarzenegger to veto fees aimed at cutting pollution at California ports

Up to 24,000 deaths a year in California are linked to air pollution (Los Angeles Times – May 22, 2008)

A container ship sits idle at the Port of Los Angeles. Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who is Alaskas governor, has asked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto a proposed container fee at California ports, saying it would burden her states shippers, who are already reeling from high fuel prices.

A container ship sits idle at the Port of Los Angeles. Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who is Alaska's governor, has asked Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto a proposed container fee at California ports, saying it would burden her state's shippers, who are already reeling from high fuel prices.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin letter to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger  (PDF file) 

Air pollution & smog over Los Angeles

Air pollution and smog over Los Angeles

Furthermore, Governor Palin had no problem taxing the State of Alaska oil and gas exports, thereby increasing the price spikes consumers in the rest of the US were forced to pay at the pumps.  And since the actual cost to Alaskan consumers would be minimal – a few additional pennies per imported item – the governor’s concerns are both misplaced and hypocritical, as well as showing a complete lack of understanding as to the health crisis due to air pollution faced by the citizens of California. 

Below is the link to the California Environmental Protection Agency / Air Resources Board draft report on the “Methodology for Estimating Premature Deaths Associated with Long-term Exposures to Fine Airborne Particulate Matter in California” dated May 22, 2008. 

California Environmental Protection Agency / Air Resources Board Report (PDF)

About Sarah Palin: A Open Letter From Anne Kilkenny of Wasilla, Alaska

Wasilla, Alaska resident Anne Kilkenny wrote an extremely comprehensive, objective letter on the history of Mayor Sarah Palin and her political career starting in Wasilla, Alaska.  This letter has been published on a variety of internet forums and blogs nationwide over the past two weeks, but it is worth reprinting here for anyone who missed reading it the first time around.  Anne Kilkenny is a homemaker and education advocate in Wasilla, Alaska.  The letter was originally written to friends of Ms. Kilkenny, in which she shares her thoughts and observation about vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whom she has personally known for many years.  ~ Sarah Palin Truth Squad

Here below is Anne Kilkenny’s open letter in its entirety.

I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992. Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child’s favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the residents of the city.

She is enormously popular; in every way she’s like the most popular girl in middle school. Even men who think she is a poor choice and won’t vote for her can’t quit smiling when talking about her because she is a “babe”.

It is astonishing and almost scary how well she can keep a secret. She kept her most recent pregnancy a secret from her children and parents for seven months. She is “pro-life”. She recently gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby. There is no cover-up involved, here; Trig is her baby. She is energetic and hardworking. She regularly worked out at the gym.

She is savvy. She doesn’t take positions; she just “puts things out there” and if they prove to be popular, then she takes credit. Her husband works a union job on the North Slope for BP and is a champion snowmobile racer. Todd Palin’s kind of job is highly sought-after because of the schedule and high pay. He arranges his work schedule so he can fish for salmon in Bristol Bay for a month or so in summer, but by no stretch of the imagination is fishing their major source of income. Nor has her life-style ever been anything like that of native Alaskans. Sarah and her whole family are avid hunters. She’s smart.

Her experience is as mayor of a city with a population of about 5,000 (at the time), and less than 2 years as governor of a state with about 670,000 residents. During her mayoral administration most of the actual work of running this small city was turned over to an administrator. She had been pushed to hire this administrator by party power-brokers after she had gotten herself into some trouble over precipitous firings which had given rise to a recall campaign.

Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a “fiscal conservative”. During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later-to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once. These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city. As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today’s surplus, borrow for needs.

She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideasor compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by her or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on the basis of who proposed them.

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

Sarah complained about the “old boy’s club” when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of “old boys”. Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City and as Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal-loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the State’s top cop (see below).

As Mayor, Sarah fired Wasilla’s Police Chief because he “intimidated” her, she told the press. As Governor, her recent firing of Alaska’s top cop has the ring of familiarity about it. He served at her pleasure and she had every legal right to fire him, but it’s pretty clear that an important factor in her decision to fire him was because he wouldn’t fire her sister’s ex-husband, a State Trooper. Under investigation for abuse of power, she has had to admit that more than 2 dozen contacts were made between her staff and family to the person that she later fired, pressuring him to fire her ex-brother-in-law. She tried to replace the man she fired with a man who she knew had been reprimanded for sexual harassment; when this caused a public furor, she withdrew her support.

She has bitten the hand of every person who extended theirs to her in help. The City Council person who personally escorted her around town introducing her to voters when she first ran for Wasilla City Council became one of her first targets when she was later elected Mayor. She abruptly fired her loyal City Administrator; even people who didn’t like the guy were stunned by this ruthlessness.

Fear of retribution has kept all of these people from saying anything publicly about her.

When then-Governor Murkowski was handing out political plums, Sarah got the best, Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission: one of the few jobs not in Juneau and one of the best paid. She had no background in oil & gas issues. Within months of scoring this great job which paid $122,400/yr, she was complaining in the press about the high salary. I was told that she hated that job: the commute, the structured hours, the work. Sarah became aware that a member of this Commission (who was also the State Chair of the Republican Party) engaged in unethical behavior on the job.

In a gutsy move which some undoubtedly cautioned her could be political suicide, Sarah solved all her problems in one fell swoop: got out of the job she hated and garnered gobs of media attention as the patron saint of ethics and as a gutsy fighter against the “old boys’ club” when she dramatically quit, exposing this man’s ethics violations (for which he was fined).

As Mayor, she had her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork from Senator Ted Stevens. Lately, she has castigated his pork-barrel politics and publicly humiliated him. She only opposed the “bridge to nowhere” after it became clear that it would be unwise not to.

As Governor, she gave the Legislature no direction and budget guidelines, then made a big grandstand display of line-item vetoing projects, calling them pork. Public outcry and further legislative action restored most of these projects-which had been vetoed simply because she was not aware of their importance-but with the unobservant she had gained a reputation as “anti-pork”.

She is solidly Republican: no political maverick. The State party leaders hate her because she has bit them in the back and humiliated them. Other members of the party object to her self-description as a fiscal conservative.

Around Wasilla there are people who went to high school with Sarah.

They call her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her unbridled ambition and predatory ruthlessness. Before she became so powerful, very ugly stories circulated around town about shenanigans she pulled to be made point guard on the high school basketball team. When Sarah’s mother-in-law, a highly respected member of the community and experienced manager, ran for Mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her.

As Governor, she stepped outside of the box and put together of package of legislation known as “AGIA” that forced the oil companies to march to the beat of her drum.

Like most Alaskans, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. She has questioned if the loss of sea ice is linked toglobal warming. She campaigned “as a private citizen” against a state initiaitive that would have either a) protected salmon streams from pollution from mines, or b) tied up in the courts all mining in the state (depending on who you listen to). She has pushed the State’s lawsuit against the Dept. of the Interior’s decision to list polar bears as threatened species.

McCain is the oldest person to ever run for President; Sarah will be a heartbeat away from being President. There has to be literally millions of Americans who are more knowledgeable and experienced than she. However, there’s a lot of people who have underestimated her and are regretting it.

CLAIM VS FACT

  • “Hockey mom”: true for a few years
  • “PTA mom”: true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since
  • “NRA supporter”: absolutely true
  • social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).
  • pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.
  • “Pro-life”: mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down’s syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation
  • “Experienced”: Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska. No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.
  • political maverick: not at all
  • gutsy: absolutely!
  • open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.
  • has a developed philosophy of public policy: no
  • “a Greenie”: no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.
  • fiscal conservative: not by my definition!
  • pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.
  • pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents
  • pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla’s history.
  • pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn’t make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.

WHY AM I WRITING THIS?

First, I have long believed in the importance of being an informed voter. I am a voter registrar. For 10 years I put on student voting programs in the schools. If you google my name (Anne Kilkenny + Alaska), you will find references to my participation in local government, education, and PTA/parent organizations.

Secondly, I’ve always operated in the belief that “Bad things happen when good people stay silent”. Few people know as much as I do because few have gone to as many City Council meetings.

Third, I am just a housewife. I don’t have a job she can bump me out of. I don’t belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that’s life.

Fourth, she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah’s attempt at censorship.

Fifth, I looked around and realized that everybody else was afraid to say anything because they were somehow vulnerable.

CAVEATS

I am not a statistician. I developed the numbers for the increase in spending & taxation 2 years ago (when Palin was running for Governor) from information supplied to me by the Finance Director of the City of Wasilla, and I can’t recall exactly what I adjusted for: did I adjust for inflation? for population increases? Right now, it is impossible for a private person to get any info out of City Hall-they are swamped. So I can’t verify my numbers.

You may have noticed that there are various numbers circulating for the population of Wasilla, ranging from my “about 5,000″, up to 9,000. The day Palin’s selection was announced a city official told me that the current population is about 7,000. The official 2000 census count was 5,460. I have used about 5,000 because Palin was Mayor from 1996 to 2002, and the city was growing rapidly in the mid-90’s.

About Sarah Palin: A Letter From Anne Kilkenny

About Sarah Palin: an e-mail from Wasilla

Ms. Palins critics say too much growth too quickly has made a mess of what not long ago was homesteaded farmland.

Wasilla Alaska rural farmland: Ms. Palin's critics say too much growth too quickly has made a mess of what not long ago was homesteaded farmland.