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Sarah Palin emails: Palin defended gas pipeline project, scolding former ally

June 10, 2011|By Kim Murphy
  • Oil transit and other pipelines run into a gathering station at the Prudhoe Bay oil field on Alaska's North Slope.
Oil transit and other pipelines run into a gathering station at the Prudhoe… (Al Grillo / Associated Press )

Though many across Alaska had been predicting Sarah Palin's vision of an independent, state-controlled pipeline to carry gas from the North Slope was a pipedream, the then-governor in her emails lashed out at ex-Palin supporter Glen Biegel who suggested that the big oil producers on the Slope could be brought into the fold if they were provided some long-term tax stability.

Biegel suggested that a tax regime locked in for at least 30 years would entice companies like ConocoPhillips -- which forwarded a competing, privately-controlled pipeline plan with the oil company BP -- could be brought into the fold on the state plan.

Palin was withering in her response, echoing the damn-the-oil-companies stance she had taken not just on the gas line, but on raising production taxes on oil, too.

RELATED: Read the Palin emails

"Does he not understand that CP's 'proposal' doesn't meet the state's 'must haves' ... they admit it's far outside the [state gas line] law, and even CP has admitted locking up tax rates for 30 years as Glen suggests is unacceptable to the legislature, the Alaskan public, this administration and the Constitution. THEY don't even ask for a 30-year lockup,” she wrote.

She went on to scold Biegel for saying her campaign had backed "fiscal certainty" for the oil companies.

"Huh? And that he was the gas line consultant to the campaign? Huh? Tell that to the Magnificent 7 who publicly explained the folly of Murkowski's plan, and my willingness to embrace their advice and consultation," she said, referring to a previous plan, engineered by her predecessor, Frank Murkowski, that would have locked in tax rates in exchange for a gas line.

Bruce Anders, part of Palin's gas line team,

As it happened, with relatively low prices and abundant gas in the Lower 48, a $35-billion pipeline from the North Slope isn't looking good to anyone these days. The private producers in May said they were shutting down their pipeline proposal, lacking the necessary shipping commitments. The Palin-engineered plan remains on the table, but so far, only on the table.

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