Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) has garnered much attention for her op-ed in the Washington Post attacking President Obama’s clean energy policies as “an enormous threat to our economy.” Palin is positioning herself as the face of the opposition to the American Clean Energy and Security Act, legislation that would establish federal standards for renewable electricity, energy efficiency, and global warming pollution. But New Energy Finance, “the world’s leading provider of industry information and analysis to investors, corporations and governments in clean energy, low carbon technologies and the carbon markets,” argues the “Thrilla From Wasilla” may actually end up helping clean energy reform become a reality:
NEF “FIRST TAKE”: Palin’s popularity among the right wing of the Republican Party stems mainly from her stances on cultural issues such as opposition to abortion. So it is intriguing that she has chosen an economic issue to pursue immediately after leaving office. Most likely, this represents an attempt to broaden her appeal to economic conservatives in the party as well ahead of 2012. In addition, energy policy is an area where Palin has some expertise, having chaired a key energy committee in Alaska after serving as mayor of the town of Wasila but before winning the governorship. That said, Palin’s reputation for zany off-the-cuff comments precedes her. While she is knowledgeable in this area, she is also bound to stray well off message and create memorable sound-bites. Advocates for cap-and-trade should welcome her to the debate with open arms.
Fred Hiatt‘s decision to publish yet another global warming denier in the Post is an embarrassment, and Palin’s energy “expertise” is a gross exaggeration. But taking NEF’s advice, let’s hope Palin doesn’t figure that out. Go, Sarah, go!