In the wake of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf, many House Republicans backed away from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s infamous 2008 campaign slogan “drill, baby, drill” in conversations with ThinkProgress. In a Facebook posting earlier this month, Palin herself declared that the United States “must” “drill, baby, drill,” but “the public will not trust” oil companies to do so “unless government appropriately regulates oil developments and holds oil executives accountable.”
Last night, at the Oil Palace in East Texas, Palin invoked the mantra again, saying, “I chant, ‘drill, baby, drill,’ because it will help make the country energy independent.” NBC affiliate KETK in Tyler, Texas aired an extended excerpt of Palin’s speech this morning, including her claim that if America doesn’t “drill, baby, drill,” soon we’re “going to be bowing” to “the foreign countries” that “drill for us”:
PALIN: When I was governor, I had to file an amicus brief against Exxon, in favor of the plaintiffs to get Exxon to finally pay up what they owed Alaskan victims. And thousands of Alaskans in those 20 years, the fishermen, they died. A whole other generation now that finally received some compensation. So, how dare BP put the Gulf victims through such a thing. We have to make sure that BP will not do this. Will not do what Exxon did to Alaskans all those years ago. But see, we’ve learned a lot since then.
We’ve also learned more about government’s proper role and not violating the separation of powers, which I think Obama is kind of flirting with also, some government overreach. We are a rule of laws, not a rule of presidential fiats that I think President Obama would rather have sometimes, it seems. So, anyone who wants to chastise anyone for believing in ‘drill, baby, drill,’ should keep this in mind. I first said those three little words when I was running for the number two job in our country and if I had won, my duty in the White House would have been to help our country towards becoming more energy independent because I understand why we need to be.
Palin is trying to have it both ways when she correctly says “we have to make sure that BP” will “pay up what they owe” to victims of the oil spill, but then asserts that President Obama is “kind of flirting with also, some government overreach.” Earlier this month, Obama got BP to agree to set up a $20 billion escrow fund that “will provide substantial assurance that the claims people and businesses have will be honored” by BP. Though Palin claims she to want guarantee that BP compensates victims, she recently bashed the escrow fund as “an unconstitutional power grab.” In her tweet attacking the fund, Palin encouraged her followers to read a column by Thomas Sowell that compares Obama to Hitler for setting up the fund.