Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Not Palin' Around With Facts

As Media Matters noted yesterday, CNN has a very strange idea of what “expounding on differences between … energy policies” means. CNN posted an article that seemed to praise Sarah Palin’s ability to discuss policy issues at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. CNN, believe it or not, considers the following Palin statement to possess some sort of policy value. (via Climate Progress)

PALIN: The great energy innovation that will replace conventional resources is just not here yet. It’s not here yet. But it will be some day, and until that day, we need our domestic resources to meet our needs and that alternative, when it’s discovered, it will be here, and it will be Americans who find it. Americans will invent this next source… It will be Americans pioneering a new era in energy. We have the resources, we have the ingenuity, we have the best workers in the world, now all we need is the political will! So, in other words, there is nothing stopping us from achieving energy independence that a good ol’ fashioned election can’t fix.

Fortunately, we have some great news for the former governor: the first commercial solar cell was made available to the public...in 1956. In other news, the world’s first megawatt-size wind turbine was connected to the power grid...in 1941. Basically, this speech would have made sense had it been made by Franklin Roosevelt.

It is also very hard to understand how Palin thinks she is helping to build the political will necessary to make America more energy independent. In her speech she never lays out anything close to a plan for greater energy independence. She opposes any kind of cap on carbon pollution, which would jump-start American innovation and help build a new clean energy economy -- such as we're already seeing with the growing wind energy sector. According to a recent report by the Department of Energy, wind power could account for 20% of U.S. energy production by 2030. That’s an actual 20% too, unlike the 2.9% of the domestic energy production from Alaska that Palin falsely claims is 20%, a claim debunked by Media Matters. As for America “pioneering a new era in energy,” we had better get going, because the Chinese have a huge head start.

In Palin’s world, climate change is snake-oil science and alternative energy has yet to be discovered, but somehow, by doing nothing, America is going to lead the energy revolution. Is Palin's approach to energy policy out of touch with reality? You bet'cha.

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