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Sarah Palin: Shut up and drill

I know, I know: why spend time pondering the platform of a vice-presidential hopeful? I mean, what influence could she possibly have on an environmental flip-flopper, er, 'maverick' like John McCain? VP's with influence? What, like ol' Dick Cheney? Preposterous.

Here's Sarah Palin's environmental stance, like a t-shirt worn by a supporter proclaimed: Shut up and drill.

Sarah Palin doesn't believe in science. She doesn't believe that global warming is caused by human activity, despite the scientific evidence and consensus. So if global warming isn't caused by humans, then why would she fight for or support any efforts to change the way humans pollute the planet -- either through higher fuel standards, or emissions caps, or banning toxins in household products? This is what she stands for, summed up nicely by GreenPieceBlog:

  • Gov. Palin is pro-drilling. She supports expanded drilling in Alaska, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Gov. Palin opposes listing polar bears as species threatened by the effects of global climate change. (Because this also stands in the way of drilling in the ANWR).
  • Gov. Palin serves as the Chair for the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, which works to promote the expansion of oil and gas usage.
  • Gov. Palin leads the National Governors Association Natural Resources Committee which is partly responsible for pushing legislation that expands oil and gas drilling in states.

She is a ticking environmental time bomb.

McCain does believe in the science, but he's all over the place. He tried to pass a climate bill in 2005, but he included such heavy subsidies for the nuclear power sector that the bill ultimately failed. (What's the deal with nuclear power, anyhow? So the actual energy is clean, but the waste is toxic. Why are we still talking about this? Obama mentioned it, too!) The League of Conservation Voters gave McCain a big fat ZERO for having missed all of the votes on 15 pieces of environmental legislation last year (he was too busy campaigning). He says he's opposed to drilling in the Arctic Refuge...or maybe not:

McCain spokesperson Michael Goldfarb said, "Though Sen. McCain opposes drilling in ANWR, he continues to examine the issue in light of America's energy needs." (Grist)

Palin and McCain seem very concerned about oil and getting more of it domestically, rather than reducing our dependence on it. In 2005 McCain voted NO on reducing oil by 40% by 2025. They mention investing in clean technologies, but their primary concern is oil and getting more of it by drilling in the US.

Clearly I'm not a fan of this duo. I'm biased. I'm an Obama fan and I like his environmental platform. But you know what I'd really like to hear? I'd like to hear how each of these candidates are currently reducing their personal environmental footprint. Do they practice what they preach at home?

How are you feeling about environmental stance of our candidates?


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