In the post-convention whirl, I somehow failed to note my friend Jim Lucier’s piece in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, which complicates the simple caricatures of Palin’s relationship with Big Oil.
Recall the following item from the Washington Post’s Energy Wire blog:
Palin insisted that she stood a safe distance from BP and other major integrated firms. “I’m not anti-industry, I’m not anti-production. The oil company chief executives I respect are doing what the shareholders have mandated that CEO to do: look out for their bottom line. My bottom line for the state is to do the same for Alaska’s shareholders. The people of Alaska own the resources. I have to look after their interests.”
Though her husband Todd works for BP, Palin said that, “BP is not my biggest fan.” She said that the three big operators on the North Slope — BP, Conoco Philips and Exxon Mobil — “had a sweet deal” with the prior Alaska state government when negotiating terms for the proposed natural gas line. She said she has changed those terms. “I want America’s conditions to be met,” she said.
Palin acknowledged that a lot is at stake for Alaska when it comes to oil and gas. “About 85 percent of our state budget hinges on that oil production,” Palin said. But she said that “with oil at $130 a barrrel, it is a two-edged sword,” one “resulting in the family pocketbooks evaporating while state coffers fill up.”
UPDATE: And note, too, the editorial in the Washington Post today.