Even with her resignation in July, ex-governor Sarah Palin still has the last laugh at the expense of Alaska's citizens with her veto of $28 million in federal stimulus funds.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A final battle remaining from the Sarah Palin era as Alaska governor closes Monday when the Legislature votes on whether to override her veto of federal stimulus money for energy cost relief.
The vote will happen in a one-day special session scheduled for the Egan Center in Anchorage, just the second time a special session has been held outside of the capital city of Juneau. It won’t be easy to override Palin’s veto — 75 percent of the Legislature has to vote for an override in joint session to make it happen.
“My sense over time is that the numbers to override the veto will be there at the end of the day. But I don’t know for sure,” said Rep. Mike Hawker, an Anchorage Republican who has led the efforts in the House on the stimulus package.
At least one lawmaker, Nome Rep. Richard Foster, isn’t expected to attend. So even if all 59 other members of the Legislature show up, only 14 need to vote against the override in order for Palin’s veto to stand.
Posted in Alaskan Politics, Governor Sarah Palin
Tagged Alaska, Alaska House Judiciary Committee, Alaska Legislative Affairs Agency, Alaska Legislature, Alaska Municipal League, Alaska State Home Building Association, Anchorage, Anchorage Assembly, Anchorage Republican, Chuck Kopp, Commonwealth North, Craig Campbell, Egan Center, Emmonak Tribal Council, Gavel to Gavel, John Coghill, Johnny Ellis, Juneau, Mark Fish, Mike Hawker, Pam Varni, Richard Foster, Sarah Palin, Sean Parnell, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the Municipality of Anchorage, U.S. Department of Energy
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.
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.)
Posted in Governor Sarah Palin, Natural Gas Pipeline
Tagged AIGA, Alaska, Alaska gas pipeline, Alaska Gas Pipeline Projects, Alaska Gasline Inducement Act, Alaska House Finance Committee, Alaska Legislative Digest, Alaska natural gas pipeline, Alaska North Slope, Anchorage, Anchorage Daily News, Andrew Halcro, Atlantic Richfield, Barack Obama, Big Oil, BP, Brooks Range, ConocoPhillips, Denali, Drill Baby Drill, Exxon Mobil, Fairbanks, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Frank Murkowski, Hal Kvisle, John McCain, Juneau, Larry Persily, Marty Rutherford, Mat-Su, Matanuska-Susitna, Mike Hawker, Mike Stepovich, natural gas pipeline, North Slope, Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Prudhoe Bay, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Stakeholder alignment, Tom Irwin, Tony Knowles, TransCanada, Valdez, Walter Hickel, Wasilla, Wood Mackenzie