In an exclusive interview to Breitbart News, Sarah Palin discussed energy policy and her Fox News Special (with Eric Bolling) "Paying at the Pump," which airs tonight on FNC at 10pm ET. The program will re-air on Saturday and Sunday. She also touched on some other topics of the day...
Breitbart News Network: We’ve been talking about energy independence for decades. Why are we no closer to it now than we were during the energy crisis back in the 70s?
Governor Sarah Palin: The problem is not the American people or our vast resources. The problem is a lack of political will. Our politicians don’t have comprehensive energy plans. They have a couple of talking points that they spout over and over. Obama is a perfect example of this. We need an administration that comprehensively looks at our energy infrastructure and resources and develops and implements a real energy plan for the future. We should bring everyone to the table for this – from the left and the right. Give everyone a stake in the discussion. That’s what I did in Alaska in developing the legislation for our natural gas pipeline (AGIA) and in reforming our oil and gas valuation system (ACES). My team included everyone from liberal Democrats to conservative Republicans to everything in between. We were committed to responsible and ethical resource development that both protects Alaska’s pristine environment and provides for our future. We were able to put politics aside and find common sense solutions that everyone could buy into and Alaskans could get behind. There is no reason why we can’t do this on a national level. We need to come together to find a safe, ethical, economical, and environmentally responsible way to provide for our energy needs by tapping our own resources. The time is now.
BNN: As governor of Alaska, you were often at odds with the Big Oil companies. You’re no stranger to holding them accountable. Obama wants to eliminate the tax subsidies to oil companies. Is this a good idea?
Gov. Palin: I’ve said in the past that all energy subsidies need to be re-looked at and perhaps eliminated. But let’s be clear about what President Obama is referring to. There are a couple of tax breaks the oil and gas industry has access to. One of them is a tax credit available to all U.S. manufacturers – so it’s unfair to target just this one industry if you’re not going to remove that tax credit for everyone else. Another tax break they get is to accelerate their deductions of what they call “intangible drilling costs” related to drilling oil or gas wells. This is particularly beneficial to smaller independent oil producers who can deduct 100% of these costs in the well’s first year, while the larger companies can deduct 70% in the first year and the rest over the next five years. If people have a problem with this particular break, then why not follow the suggestion the Heritage Foundation made and allow all companies to expense their full capital costs immediately. That would “level the playing field” between the oil and gas industry and every other industry. But President Obama is not interested in leveling the playing field. He’s in favor of subsidizing his pet industries—like these bankrupt green energy companies—and punishing the industries he dislikes. That makes no sense from a free market standpoint or from an energy standpoint.
BNN: Do you believe we should be investing in alternative or renewable energy research?
Gov. Palin: Yes, for the private sector. I don’t think there is anything wrong with setting goals for alternative energy, but we have to be realistic. A truly effective alternative energy source needs to be efficient and profitable. No amount of Obama’s subsidizing his campaign donors’ bankrupt green energy companies—some with harebrained ideas that will never be economic—will get us to that efficient and profitable alternative. The free market will determine this. Sure, we can support research and development when it’s appropriate, but as scientists and venture capitalists continue to look for viable alternative energy sources, we should be encouraging the development of natural gas as a clean and plentiful bridge-fuel to a more renewable future. We have enough natural gas in America to be energy independent for many decades!
BNN: Obama claims that his domestic energy policies do not affect prices at the pump because oil is bought and sold on the world market, which determines the prices. True?
Gov. Palin: False. Totally false. What determines the price of oil is “supply and demand.” If you increase the supply, you will see downward pressure on the prices at the pump, just as we’ve seen with natural gas. We know from past evidence that even the news of more areas being opened for future drilling has an immediate effect on the price of oil as the markets respond to the news of a future surplus. President Obama surely knows that increasing the supply will reduce the pain at the pump. That’s why he asked the Saudis to ramp up their oil production, and that’s why he tapped into our Strategic Reserves last year when he claimed he wanted to reduce the price at the pump. It’s just common sense. With emerging economies like China increasing their oil consumption, we have increased global demand for oil. The president’s policies are locking up massive domestic supplies of oil and keeping our own product off the market! This is nonsense. What Obama is doing does have a direct effect on the prices every American is paying at the pump.
But for the sake of argument, let’s consider the absurdity of those who say, “Even if we started drilling now in places like ANWR it wouldn’t have any impact on the price of oil for at least ten years.” Is that an excuse not to drill now? It’s like saying, “Even if I study hard in school now it will take years before I get a good paying job from it.” Is that an excuse for not studying hard now and preparing for the future?
BNN: What do you say to Obama’s claim that we can’t drill our way to energy independence?
Gov. Palin: President Obama likes to talk about an “all of the above” approach, but in practice he’s for “none of the above” – other than the green energy companies his campaign donors invested in. The only way we’re going to get to energy independence is by adopting a genuine “all of the above” approach that doesn’t ignore oil and gas resource development and ethical energy trades on Wall Street. He continues to under-represent our oil resources – claiming that we have only “2% of the world’s oil reserves.” He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He’s spewing numbers in a game of semantics that claims a subset of “proved oil reserves” to make it sound like America doesn’t have much oil. Bull. His number is nowhere near a true picture of our recoverable oil resources – most of which are locked up to development because of government policies. We’re certainly not going to get anywhere near energy independence or real security if we follow Obama’s plan of passively sitting on our resources while we subsidize energy development in foreign countries. We’re relying on dangerous regimes to supply our oil, and these foreign countries don’t have anywhere near the worker safety or environmental standards that we have here in America.
BNN: You have consistently noted the national security implications of our energy policies. Has being a military mom had an impact on the way you see our energy policy?
Gov. Palin: Yes, to some extent because oil has played a role in the War on Terror. Our dependency on these foreign regimes to supply our oil has enriched them and helped them subsidize their terrorist activities. They have used our dependence on their oil as a weapon against us. There is no need for this when we have the resources here. A more energy independent America will be a more prosperous and peaceful America.
BNN: Governor, many people were disappointed that you decided not to run for president this year, but are still hoping that you might one day run for the White House in the future. Roger Ailes was recently quoted as saying, “Sarah Palin had no chance to be President.” What do you make of that?
Gov. Palin: Interesting. I haven’t heard all of his remarks, but I wonder if he is aware that the same thing was said about me when I ran for city council, mayor, and eventually governor. No doubt many people who are told they can’t do something will work that much harder, and they succeed. Maybe you guys should send him a copy of Steve Bannon’s “The Undefeated.” The theme of Steve’s film isn’t about me, but about the idea of not letting others dictate one’s path in life and never giving up when you’re fighting for something precious like our exceptional nation and our children’s futures. So, would you send a copy of “The Undefeated” to him?
ON BREITBART TV