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Palin’s Energy Expertise

By Matthew Yglesias

"Palin’s Energy Expertise"

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On Meet The Press today, Tom Brokaw pressed Rudy Giuliani on John McCain’s ludicrous assertion that Sarah Palin is the foremost energy expert in the country:

NBC MAINE: 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.

BROKAW: More about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America? More about solar, more about wind, more about geothermal than the MIT scientists who are working on this initiative? Boone Pickens? Al Gore? Do you think she knows more than any of those people do?

GIULIANI: I think John was referring to elected officials. He would not be referring to Boone Pickens and certainly wouldn’t be referring to nuclear scientists and people like that. I think he was talking about politicians and probably, in particular, the people involved in the race.

How Rudy got the idea that we should construe “anyone else in the United States of America” as secretly meaning “anyone else currently nominated by a major political party for President or Vice President” is a bit beyond me. But while McCain may not know much about honesty, and Rudy may not know much about logic, Palin also doesn’t know much about energy policy. Indeed, she doesn’t even understand energy production in Alaska. Watch in amazement as she argues that her state provides 20 percent of America’s energy:

As Matt Corley observes the correct answer is 3.5 percent. Basically, if you double Palin’s estimate and then double it again you’re . . . still wrong. Also if you assume that by “energy” Palin in fact just meant “oil” then she’s . . . still wrong since Alaska in fact produces about 14 percent of America’s oil.

She’s someone who knows how to turn the sky-high revenues generated by being an oil producing region at a time of high oil prices into political popularity, but not someone who knows anything about energy policy or even, it seems, oil markets.

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