McCain Lies About Palin's Expertise on Energy
Reviewing the avalanche of lies, distortions and smears emanating from the presidential campaign of John McCain, NBC's Mark Murray asked Saturday, "Wheels come off Straight Talk Express?" But Wheeler's litany of McCain falsehoods omitted a whopper that goes directly to the heart of Sarah Palin's sham qualifications for the vice presidency. McCain, after all, claimed that "she knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America." As it turns out, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has no idea how much energy her own state produces.
McCain made his transparently false assertion about Palin's energy expertise during an interview with an NBC affiliate on Wednesday. Palin's mantra of "drill, baby, drill," McCain claimed not only made her an authority on energy, but constituted her qualifications on national security issues:
Q: Well, you say you're sure that she has the experience, but again, I'm just asking for an example. What experience does she have in the field of national security?
McCAIN: Energy. She knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America…And we all know that energy is a critical and vital national security issue.
But as Palin made clear in her appearance with ABC's Charles Gibson on Thursday, rumors of her energy savvy were much exaggerated. As ThinkProgress among others noted, Palin trotted her petro-state's oil production as proof of her national security credentials:
"Let me speak specifically about a credential that I do bring to this table, Charlie, and that's with the energy independence that I've been working on for these years as the governor of this state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy, that I worked on as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, overseeing the oil and gas development in our state to produce more for the United States."
Sadly for Sarah Palin, her 20% figure, in the worsd of non-partisan FactCheck.org, is "not true, not even close." FactCheck's analysis showed that Palin's basic ignorance of the American energy market is fundamental - and inescapable:
Alaska did produce 14 percent of all the oil from U.S. wells last year, but that's a far cry from all the "energy" produced in the U.S.
Alaska's share of domestic energy production was 3.5 percent, according to the official figures kept by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
And if by "supply" Palin meant all the energy consumed in the U.S., and not just produced here, then Alaska's production accounted for only 2.4 percent.
If nothing else, John McCain and Sarah Palin do provide stunning display of synchronized stupidity when it comes to U.S. energy production. As it turns out, McCain offered ABC's Gibson the same bogus number of September 3rd:
Well, I think Americans are going to be very, very, very pleased. This is a very dynamic person. [Palin's] been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply.
The facts about American production of oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and alternative sources of energy don't lie. John McCain and Sarah Palin do. Which is why Karl Rove jumped in Sunday to help keep McCain's Double-Talk Express on the rails:
"You can't trust the fact-check organizations."