Energy Expertise

Sarah Palin’s alleged area of expertise is energy policy, but every time she gets a specific question about energy policy she seems a bit . . . confusing. Ali Frick flags this puzzling disquisition on the desirability of banning U.S. oil exports:

As best I can tell what she’s saying here is that she understands this is a bad idea (“fungible commodity”) but supports doing it anyway. Maybe.

To reiterate a point I’ve made before, running an oil exporting region certainly does give you insight into one corner of the world of energy policy. But it’s a very different perspective from the one everyone else cares about. Most people are either interested in getting cheap energy or worried about the environmental impact of our sources of energy, or some combination of the two. But oil exporting areas — Saudi Arabia, Alaska, Venezuela, Norway, Iran, Russia, etc. — just want everyone to be as dependent on oil as possible and oil prices to be as high as possible. The kind of worries those folks have are interesting to ponder I suppose, but it’s really the total reverse of what everyone else is thinking about.


Just think about it this way: If someone showed up at the patent office tomorrow with a workable design for a magical car that runs on no fuel at all, the primary obligation of the Alaska delegation would be to make sure that car never came to market.