Yesterday, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) gave a speech on energy policy at a solar energy company, in her words, “in a manner with much substance.” She repeatedly went off the script of her prepared remarks (as Jed Lewison and Ana Marie Cox have noted), using many of her favorite locutions. One of her most common rogue phrases was a call for tapping into various sources of, well, just about anything. Her approach exposes the conservative ideology that all forms of energy are created equal; that details like cost, pollution, and long-term consequences are immaterial.
For those watching at home, here’s the list:
|Palin’s Top Eight For The Tapping|
|Some technology that will allow our nation to be firmly put on that path towards energy independence|
|Hundreds of trillions of cubic feet [of natural gas]|
|Hungry markets flowing our resources into those hungry markets|
|Energy supplies [safely, ethically]|
|100 new plants [of nucular energy]|
|Many, many alternative sources|
Of that list, only natural gas is a resource that can be literally “tapped into.” Palin’s use of an oil industry metaphor to describe all forms of energy and innovation is consistent with the mindset of supply-side exploitation, a dangerously simplistic approach to energy policy that only considers the short-term profit interests of energy corporations. Some of her off-script “tapping” remarks had some policy “meat,” such as her attack on solar energy:
We have many many alternative sources that have not yet been tapped into and allowed to become economic and reliable. That’s the key, of course, is the reliability of these alternative sources.