En­ergy ex­pert

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

“In all the anal­y­sis, com­men­tary, re­ac­tion, sec­ond guess­ing and prog­nos­ti­cat­ing on the im­pact of John McCain’s choice of Alaska gov­er­nor Sarah Palin as his run­ning mate, her most ob­vi­ous area of ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise is be­ing strangely ne­glected: She is the only can­di­date among the four on the ma­jor-party tick­ets who has a first-hand un­der­stand­ing of the en­ergy sec­tor. That is an im­por­tant cre­den­tial in a na­tional cam­paign where anx­i­ety over en­ergy is­sues now sur­passes even war fa­tigue among vot­ers’ top con­cerns,” Dave Ju­day writes at www.weekly­stan­dard.com.

“In­deed, Congress, lead by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is now go­ing to try to cram some kind of figleaf leg­is­la­tion through in the last 10 days sched­uled for this ses­sion. Pelosi has even come up with a plan to have some — but not full — de­bate on off-shore drilling is­sues.

“That dis­cus­sion, of course, has fed­eral ver­sus state im­pli­ca­tions with which Palin is quite fa­mil­iar. The irony is that, de­spite the scripted dis­par­age­ment from Demo­cratic politi­cians and op­er­a­tives about Palin’s ex­pe­ri­ence, she hap­pens to be one of the most ex­pe­ri­enced elected of­fi­cials in the na­tion on the very is­sue the Demo­cratic House speaker now deems the top pri­or­ity for the ‘last act’ of the 110th Congress,” said Mr. Ju­day, who is a com­mod­ity-mar­ket an­a­lyst.

“Prior to be­ing gov­er­nor, Palin served on the Alaska Oil and Gas Con­ser­va­tion Com­mis­sion, a state en­tity that man­ages the state’s oil and gas leases. Part of the com­mis­sion’s man­age­ment charge is to bal­ance the po­ten­tial con­flict be­tween Alaska’s short-term rev­enue in­ter­est from high pro­duc­tion rates with the longer-term in­ter­ests of max­i­miz­ing ul­ti­mate re­cov­ery from slower ex­trac­tion. In other words, Palin has been a hands-on de­ci­sion maker deal­ing with the tech­ni­cal­i­ties of reser­voir en­gi­neer­ing sci­ence within the pol­i­cy­mak­ing con­text of fed­er­al­ism and eco­nomic pol­icy. Her voice of ex­pe­ri­ence should be a wel­come one in the de­bate over en­ergy pol­icy.”

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