Palin's Claim About Her Energy Record Gets a 4 Pinocchio Rating

The Washington Post gives four Pinocchios to Gov. Sarah Palin for her claim that as Governor of Alaska, she oversees 20% of the U.S. oil and gas supply. First, the claims:

Gov. Sarah Palin "knows more about energy than probably anyone in the United States of America." (Sen. John McCain, NBC interview, Sept. 10)

"My job has been to oversee nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of oil and gas." (Gov. Sarah Palin, Golden, Colo., Sept. 15 )

The truth: [More...]

While Alaska is a leading producer of crude oil, it produces relatively little natural gas, hardly any coal and no nuclear power. Its share of oil production has been declining sharply, and the state now ranks lower than Texas and Louisiana. Alaska is the ninth-largest energy supplier in the United States, accounting for a modest 3.5 percent share of the nation's total energy production.

Even when challenged on the statement by the non-partisan FactCheck.org which resulted in her modifying her claim, she continued to inflate the numbers.

After nonpartisan Factcheck.org pointed out Palin's error in her interview with Gibson, the governor revised her statement somewhat, limiting it to oil and gas. But data compiled by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) contradict her claim that she oversees "nearly 20 percent" of oil and gas production in the country. According to authoritative EIA data, Alaska accounted for 7.4 percent of total U.S. oil and gas production in 2005.

It is not even correct for Palin to claim that her state is responsible for "nearly 20 percent" of U.S. oil production. Oil production has fallen sharply in Alaska during her governorship. The state's share of total U.S. oil production fell from 18 percent in 2005 to 13 percent this year, according to the EIA.

Lies and distortions.

The Republican vice presidential nominee continues to peddle bogus statistics three days after the original error was pointed out by independent fact-checkers.

FOUR PINOCCHIOS: Real whoppers

Background here.

< Stump the Candidate: Open Thread | SUSA New Mexico Poll: Obama Leads By 8 >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    This statement about Plains expertise (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dave B on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:43:17 PM EST
    I have been an electrical engineer who specializes in electromagnetic power conversion equipment and electric utilities.  Been doing it for 23 years.  I would call myself somewhat an expert in the field of electrical energy.  But the field of energy is so broad, a statement such as that made about Palin's expertise is painfully naive.  This person with no technical background, a mayor from a small town in Alaska, who spent 1 1/2 years on some commission.  Good Lord, is that what passes for real experience?  What an insult to all those in our country that truly know something about energy...  

    I guess she's seen some oil rigs, and her husband, first dude works on the North Slope.  BFD!

    And frickin McCain wants to put her in charge of the country's energy policy?  Be very very afraid.

    Funny (3.50 / 2) (#2)
    by patriotgames on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 08:46:48 PM EST

    Says 14.3 percent.  In some cases that IS nearly 20

    I believe (none / 0) (#4)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:09:15 PM EST
    the 7.4% number is gas and oil production, while the 13% number is just oil...

    also, it doesn't say a lot (none / 0) (#5)
    by of1000Kings on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:11:33 PM EST
    for the other 8 energy producers in the US if Palin's 1+ year of experience has given her more knowledge in regard to energy than they...

    The fact that McCain's camp (none / 0) (#6)
    by prose on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:12:20 PM EST
    equates energy with oil and gas is troubling to me.  IT is VERY revealing as to the nature of how they would handle our energy problems and environmental concerns.

    Man (none / 0) (#7)
    by Steve M on Wed Sep 17, 2008 at 09:19:02 PM EST
    When I was in Alaska in 1999 the buzz was all about getting the natural gas pipeline built.  I can't believe they STILL haven't built it.

    Without the gas pipeline, Alaska is basically about oil oil oil.  Now, we could put someone with oil expertise in the White House, but I'll point out that we've tried that already.