Last night on Fox News, host Sean Hannity interviewed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) and asked McCain what Palin’s role would be in his administration. McCain said Palin would be useful on energy issues — presumably because, as he has said before, “she knows more about energy than probably anyone else” in the U.S. As evidence, McCain claimed that Palin “was responsible for…a pipeline, the $40 billion pipeline bringing natural gas from Alaska down to the lower 48.” Watch it:
The first section has yet to be laid, federal approvals are years away and the pipeline will not be completed for at least a decade. In fact, although it is the centerpiece of Ms. Palin’s relatively brief record as governor, the pipeline might never be built, and under a worst-case scenario, the state could lose up to $500 million it committed to defray regulatory and other costs.
Palin initiated the project by giving $500 million in Alaska state funds to TransCanada Corp. for the pipeline. However, the Canadian energy company “is not obligated to build it” and has made no promises to do so.
Moreover, some of Canada’s native tribes must approve the deal and those who live along the pipeline’s proposed route “complain they haven’t been consulted about it and are threatening to sue unless they are compensated.” One tribal representative has said that TransCanada has “very much downplayed the extent of the legal difficulties they face in Canada.”
But Palin has asked Alaskans to pray for the pipeline to be built, which is perhaps what the McCain-Palin campaign website means when it says that “work has begun on a $40 billion natural gas pipeline.”