Tag Archives: TransCanada

Sarah Palin’s Real Estate Impropriety (Video)

By popular demand, I am reposting this story about Mayor Sarah Palin eliminating building permits before her personal home AND the Wasilla Sports Complex were constructed in Wasilla, Alaska.  The post originally appeared on the Sarah Palin Truth Squad back in October 14, 2008.

The original title was The Book of Sarah (Palin): Contractors Awarded Wasilla Sports Complex Contract Built New Palin Family Home.”

Although this is old news, it’s good to remember the personal ethics of Sarah Palin as she moves forward into her latest career.

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Sarah Palin winking to the cameras.

Sarah Palin winking to the cameras.

Wayne Barrett, investigative journalist and senior editor for the Village Voice, published a brilliantly illuminating exposé on Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the building of her new Wasilla family home by the same contractors awarded the contract to build the new, multi-million dollar Wasilla sports complex. Also, throughout Sarah Palin’s political career, she has worked closely with lobbyists, promoting the interests of big business and oil corporations. Barrett was interviewed by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Countdown as to the possible conflicts of interest these connections might have posed for Gov. Palin.

Along with the winks and folksy “doggone” moments early in her debate with Joe Biden last week, Sarah Palin repeated her familiar claim to the title of “maverick,” declaring that “as a governor and as a mayor,” she’s had a “track record of reform” and has now “joined a team of mavericks.”

Despite the free fall that her polling numbers went into after her disastrous interviews with Katie Couric, that branding as a “reformer” has been resilient. Introduced skillfully before tens of millions during an intense surge of interest six weeks ago, it’s been hammered home with repeated soundbites.

But the label doesn’t hold up under close scrutiny. From the controversy that catapulted her to the governorship, to her ties to the indicted patriarch of Alaska’s GOP, to the multilayered nexus of lobbyists and Big Oil interests around her, and, finally, to the Wasilla sports complex that capped her mayoral career, the myth of Sarah Palin, reformer, withers under inspection.

Wasilla, Alaska Sports Complex

Wasilla, Alaska Sports Complex

PALIN’S CLAIM to fame as an Alaska reformer-that she risked her career to expose the chairman of the state GOP-is revisionist. In fact, Palin supported the methane-drilling project that helped sink GOP boss Randy Ruedrich before she later decided she was against it-a mirror of her flip-flop on the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. And her reversal had more to do with seizing a political opportunity than following her conscience.

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Palin’s Cap-and-Trade Is Alaska’s Bait-and-Switch

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

In her op-ed in the Washington Post this week, Sarah Palin, while still governor, took up the sword for corporate interests; a position directly opposing what is best for Alaska.

The flip-flop to anyone who watched the vice presidential debate was obvious. When Gwen Ifill asked, “Do you support capping carbon emissions?” Palin responded, “I do. I do.”

What or whom changed Sarah Palin’s mind about cap-and-trade?

In both her resignation speech and her op-ed, Palin touted AGIA, the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act. It was widely supported and passed with a vote of 58-1. “This is the largest private sector energy project, ever. THIS is energy independence,” she said on July 3. In her piece, she railed Obama’s plan for cap-and-trade. She mentioned AGIA again and how we are “progressing” the 3,000-mile project.

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Inheriting Palin’s Pipeline Ambitions

Gov. Sarah Palin, center, awards a state license for development of her natural gas pipeline initiative to Canadian pipeline builder TransCanada last December. As Ms. Palin steps down, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (to Ms. Palin’s right above), will inherit the program.

Gov. Sarah Palin, center, awards a state license for development of her natural gas pipeline initiative to Canadian pipeline builder TransCanada last December. As Ms. Palin steps down, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (to Ms. Palin’s right above), will inherit the program.

In the wake of Sarah Palin’s surprise announcement to step down as Alaska governor, questions linger over her signature energy initiative: the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope to markets in Canada and the Lower 48.

Ms. Palin campaigned for governor with a pledge to completely rethink the state’s approach to the megaproject – instead of negotiating directly with the three major North Slope producers, Ms. Palin promised to essentially put the project out to bid.

As governor, she did just that, offering a suite of incentives (including $500 million in seed money) in exchange for certain commitments meant to protect the state’s interests. State lawmakers approved her Alaska Gasline Inducement Act in 2007, and last year awarded a state license under A.G.I.A. to Canadian pipeline builder TransCanada.

Exxon Mobil has since teamed up with TransCanada, and BP and ConocoPhillips are pursuing their own pipeline project separately.

But there’s no assurance that either line will ever get built.

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Palin’s Alaska Senate Pick Tim Grussendorf On The Issues

Tim Grussendorf is known among longtime Juneau residents for his unsuccessful campaign for the state House of Representatives in 2002 and as the son of former Rep. Ben Grussendorf, D-Sitka, a former House speaker.

While Grussendorf did not win the endorsement of the Juneau Democratic Party, he said his conservative mainstream Democratic views are in the middle of public opinion. Here’s where he stands on several Alaska issues: Continue reading

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.)

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Palin Sees Dip in Popularity in Alaska, Rest of Nation

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

The Fairbanks Daily News Miner reports that Governor Sarah Palin has lost the support of Alaskan Democrats and Independents that were at one time a major part of her electoral base.  As more voters get to know Gov. Palin for her ethics violations, faux ‘Joe six-pack’ folksiness, religious fanaticism, secessionist connections and a secretive, restrictive administration governing Alaska connected to corruption, cronies, lobbyists and big oil, they are finding her to be a fraud and a hypocrite.  American voters are turned off by the McCain-Palin campaign of fear and divisiveness while Gov. Palin has been exposed as a mean spirited and vindictive politician who mixed personal financial gain and vendettas with her quest for political power.

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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.