The Blog

Palin's Energy Expertise

4:03 PM, Sep 3, 2008 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Larry Kudlow writes about Sarah Palin's experience dealing with energy issues:

Coming from the natural-resource rich state of Alaska, Palin is an experienced energy expert. She knows more about the economics of energy than senators McCain, Obama, or Biden. And in this year of the oil-shock economy, Palin's role will be absolutely crucial. "Obama is way off-base on all that. I think those politicians who don't understand that we need more domestic supply of energy flowing into our hungry markets [are] living in la-la land. And we're in a world of hurt if they're agenda continues to be to lock up these safe, secure, domestic supplies of energy." That's what Palin told me in a CNBC interview in late June.

Palin gained a lot of expertise on energy issues not only as governor, but also as the chair of the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission--a position in which Palin fought corrupt Republicans and oil companies.

Last month, she wasn't afraid to say that John McCain is wrong on ANWR:

The plain-talking governor is even tough on John McCain. The senator has said it's too pristine to drill in ANWR. But Palin told me in June that "Sen. McCain is wrong on that issue. . . . We're talking about a sliver of the coastal plain of Alaska being explored and drilled for oil. It's about a footprint of a 2,000-acre plot of land. That's smaller than the footprint of LAX."

Palin's energy expertise could be a huge boon for McCain politically. In May, according to a Battleground poll of 1,000 likely voters, Barack Obama had a 19-point advantage over John McCain on a question asking which candidate "can reduce gas and energy prices". By August, Obama's 19-point lead on this question had turned into a 3-point deficit. Twenty percent of voters say the rising cost of gas is the most important economic issue in determining their vote for president. With Palin forcefully articulating the need to "drill here, drill now" McCain's advantage on this issue could increase significantly--especially if Palin can convince McCain to reconsider his position on ANWR. In an interview a few weeks ago with THE WEEKLY STANDARD's Steve Hayes, McCain said that drilling in ANWR is an issue he's still considering.

Battleground poll charts after the jump.Chart.2008-09-03.page36.jpg