The Campaign Spot

A Detailed Piece, but the Story’s Not Quite What the Headlines Would Suggest

In other Sarah Palin news, over on the home page, I take a look at Joe McGinniss’s cover story in Conde Nast Portfolio on Palin and the plans for a natural-gas pipeline across the state. No one can dispute that it is an extensively researched and detailed piece. The problem is, McGinniss is too good a reporter to leave out the details contrary to the piece’s theme, that Palin is the primary obstacle to the gargantuan, expensive, complicated, and long-desired project. And once you look at all of those details, you get a less sexy conclusion — that yes, Palin’s plan involves a certain amount of risk, but just about any plan would. In fact, the only way Palin’s project could completely fail is if the companies that currently own the gas — Exxon Mobil, BP, and ConocoPhillip — decide to forgo any profit from selling it because of a tax dispute, or spend their own money to build their own pipeline right next to the one being built. Could either scenario happen? Sure, but not terribly likely. Sooner or later, at least one of the companies would want to turn that gas into revenue.

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