The Dernogalizer

July 24, 2009

Senators Boxer and Kerry refute Palin

Last week, I made a quick post about how terrible Sarah Palin’s Washington Post op-ed was.  Today Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer strike back, with a well written rebuttal.  Reposted below.

What Palin Got Wrong About Energy

By Barbara Boxer and John F. Kerry

Friday, July 24, 2009

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin put the global warming debate front and center last week with a plea to avoid the “personality-driven political gossip of the day” and focus more “on the gravity of . . . challenges” facing our country.

We share her hopes for a substantive dialogue. But we want to put facts ahead of fiction and real debate ahead of rhetorical bomb-throwing.

Palin argues that “the answer doesn’t lie in making energy scarcer and more expensive!” The truth is, clean energy legislation doesn’t make energy scarcer or more expensive; it works to find alternative solutions to our costly dependence on foreign oil and provides powerful incentives to pursue cutting-edge clean energy technologies.

Palin asserts that job losses are “certain.” Wrong. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and American Clean Energy and Security legislation will create significant employment opportunities across the country in a broad array of sectors linked to the clean energy economy. Studies at the federal level and by states have demonstratedclean energy job creation. A report by the Center for American Progress calculated that $150 billion in clean energy investments would create more than 1.7 million domestic and community-based jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.

Palin seems nostalgic for the campaign rally chant of “drill, baby, drill.” But she ignores the fact that the United States has only 3 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves, while we are responsible for 25 percent of the world’s oil consumption.

In fact, the governor’s new refrain against global warming action reminds us of every naysayer who has spoken out against progress in cleaning up pollution.

Whether it was the debate over the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Superfund law or any other landmark environmental law, one pattern has always been clear: Time and again, pessimists — often affiliated with polluting industries — predicted job losses and great costs to taxpayers. Each time, our environmental laws have cleaned the water we drink, the air we breathe and the communities we live in at far lower cost than initially expected.

Take the acid rain program established in the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. The naysayers said it would cost consumers billions in higher electricity rates, but electricity rates declined an average of 19 percent from 1990 to 2006. Naysayers said the cost to business would be more than $50 billion a year, but health and other benefits outweighed the costs 40 to 1. Naysayers predicted it would cost the economy millions of jobs. In fact, the United States added 20 million jobs from 1993 to 2000, as the U.S. economy grew 64 percent.

The carefully crafted clean energy bill that we will present to the Senate, building on the Waxman-Markey legislation passed by the House, will jump-start our economy, protect consumers, stop the ravages of unchecked global climate change and ensure that the United States — not China or India — will be the leading economic power in this century.

By creating powerful incentives for clean energy, it will create millions of jobs in America — building wind turbines, installing solar panels on homes and producing a new fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles.

It will also help make America more secure. A May report by retired U.S. generals and admirals found, “Our dependence on foreign oil reduces our international leverage, places our troops in dangerous global regions, funds nations and individuals who wish us harm, and weakens our economy; our dependency and inefficient use of oil also puts our troops at risk.”

We do not charge that Palin wants to keep sending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas annually to import oil from countries that, in many cases, are working to harm Americans and American interests around the world — or that she wants another nation to lead the way to the innovative clean energy solutions that will be eagerly gobbled up by the rest of the world. But those would be the tragic results of the do-nothing policies she has espoused. Our nation’s approach to energy must be balanced and must provide incentives for all the available clean energy sources to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

We are already working every day in the Senate to pass legislation that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create millions of clean energy jobs and protect our children from pollution. We respectfully invite Gov. Palin to join that reality-based debate — one that relies on facts, science, tested economics and steely-eyed national security interests. Our country needs nothing less, and our planet depends on it.

Barbara Boxer, a Democrat from California, is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. John F. Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts, is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Gov. Sarah Palin’s op-ed, “A ‘Cap and Tax’ Dead End,” was published in The Post on July 14.

July 14, 2009

Sarah Palin’s Terrible Op-Ed

Alright, in the spirit of trying to forget Sarah Palin ever was a serious candidate for Vice President, it’s been a long time since I bothered writing anything about her on this blog.  Alas, I must pause and break that silence, thanks to a lousy column by Palin appearing in the Washington Post today assailing the Waxman-Markey climate bill.  I’m actually not going to write too much myself, I thought about it, but decided it still wasn’t worth the time.  I saw on Grist, one of their writers pretty much says what I was thinking, and I’m going to cross-post it below.  A couple things to note, why is this bill actually a net gain for the economy?  Because of the energy efficiency provisions in the bill.  The last thing the writer didn’t address was the one actual number Palin had in her column, which was $ 4.2 billion allocated over 8 years to help displaced workers by the bill.  Palin says “oh this must be for all the jobs it causes to be lost”.  The reality is this bill is a net jobs gain by far.  However, we’re obviously going to be producing less of some things like coal.  Be glad this money is there, it’s to help these workers retrain and transition into all the jobs the bill will be creating, without throwing their lives upside down.  Basically even though the bill does a lot more good than harm on the jobs front, what little harm it does has a well designed safety net.  Alright, I’m done.

Palin eschews facts and economics in blasting cap-and-trade bill

by Russ Walker

The cap-and-trade climate and energy bill passed by the House last month is not a perfect piece of legislation. Critics on the right and left have leveled tough criticisms at it, questioning whether it will do much to accomplish its stated goal of cutting carbon emissions or if it will overburden average consumers with high energy prices.

These criticisms, typically, come backed by well-reasoned arguments. The liberal critique of Waxman-Markey focuses on the questionable decision to give away emissions credits to polluters and concerns that the Agriculture Department, not the EPA, will review and regulate carbon offsets in the farming sector. Many conservatives, meanwhile, have argued that the best way to curb emissions and spur a clean-energy revolution is with a carbon tax, not a complicated cap-and-trade scheme.

So when the person John McCain once said knows more about energy policy than anyone else in America pens an op-ed for one of the nation’s highest-regarded newspapers, it’s time to pay attention and learn something.

Sarah Palin, the soon-to-be-ex-governor of Alaska, has an opinion piece (a screed, really) in Tuesday’sWashington Post in which she shrilly blasts away at “President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan,” calling it “an enormous threat” to the U.S. economy.

Juicy stuff. Ordinarily, we’d let David Roberts out of his cage to respond, but he’s happily away on vacation.Joe Romm will surely be along in the morning with a strong piece tearing apart Palin’s piece. But for now, here are some first thoughts from me:

Palin’s thesis comes loaded with plenty of rhetoric and zero facts. It offers nothing more than assertions about the emissions reduction part of the bill, ignores the energy investment and green jobs provisions, blames “Washington bureaucrats” for hampering oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (not Congress, where elected lawmakers have repeatedly expressed the American public’s desire to keep ANWR off limits), and fails to even take note of the underlying issue—catastrophic climate change.

Couldn’t Palin’s ghostwriters have cribbed from any of the well-researched, highly technical criticisms produced by just about every conservative think tank in the land?

Grist’s David Roberts and other contributors have answered every one of Palin’s “points” in the past:

Palin says the bill would result in skyrocketing energy prices.  Higher prices are surely likely, David noted last month, but not on the order of what Palin thinks.

Palin: “Many states have abundant coal, whose technology is continuously making it into a cleaner energy source.”

See David’s debate with clean-coal flack Joe Lucas. There’s no such thing as clean coal, and even if the technology appears in 10-15 years as predicted, it will be so costly as to effectively raise energy prices substantially on the regular folk Palin claims to be defending.

Palin: “Westerners literally sit on mountains of oil and gas, and every state can consider the possibility of nuclear energy.”

See Kate Sheppard’s piece from last summer. The oil shale pipe dream has been around since the 1970s. The fact is, the technology doesn’t exist yet to extract it cost-effectively, and won’t for many years (if ever). And extraction comes with a host of environmental problems.

As for the nuclear energy canard, the fact remains that most Americans don’t want to live anywhere near a nuclear power plant or a storage facility for highly radioactive nuclear waste. France is a place where bureaucrats truly hold enormous power, and that explains in part why the central government was able to push nuclear so effectively. Thankfully, our American system is more democratic.

Palin: “We have an important choice to make. Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact? Or, do we want to outsource it to China, Russia and Saudi Arabia? Make no mistake: President Obama’s plan will result in the latter.”

Governor, listen closely: oil is a commodity. Even if we increase domestic production, we’ll still be held prisoner to Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s ability to meet global demand—demand being driven by China, India and many other developing nations.

Ironically, Palin concludes her piece by asking, “Can America produce more of its own energy through strategic investments that protect the environment, revive our economy and secure our nation? Yes, we can.”

Yes, governor, we can accomplish that goal. And there are probably several ways of doing it. But each path requires thoughtful policymaking, not just hot air for hot air’s sake.

Russ Walker is a recent transplant to Seattle from the East Coast. He’s executive editor of the site, which means he spends a lot of time trying to be optimistic about cutting CO2 emissions.

**Update 7/17/09**  Congressman Ed Markey responds.

**Update 7/24/09**  Senators Barbara Boxer and John Kerry refute Palin.

March 18, 2009

Palin’s Pipedream

Filed under: energy — Matt Dernoga @ 3:56 pm
Tags: , ,

I want to preface this post by saying that I’m not taking a position one way or the other whether having a 4o billion dollar natural gas pipeline in Alaska is a good idea.  I would rather us take that 40 billion and invest it in renewables, but that’s an argument for another day.  However, I read a fascinating article today about how unlikely it is that such a pipeline is ever going to happen.  Additionally incredible is that the article lays the blame very convincingly at the feet of Sarah Palin, even though she can’t stop talking about how she’s building a natural gas pipeline.  Turns out that was a lie.  I’d also like to note that the writer of this article is clearly biased against Sarah Palin, and makes that very clear all throughout the article.  I’m also biased against her, which is why I find this latest debacle hilarious.  However, when the writer is laying out the facts, they are pretty damning.  It’s pretty long, 5 pages, but I highly suggest you read the whole thing and judge yourself.  ARTICLE


“Forget “Drill, baby, drill.” Sarah Palin says she’s building a $40 billion gas pipeline, which even President Obama wants. The only problem: It isn’t there. And it’s her fault.”

“To many outside of Alaska, it may therefore come as a surprise to learn that not only does such a pipeline not exist, but—even as Alaska’s deep winter darkness gives way to the first light of spring—the prospect that it will be built within Sarah Palin’s lifetime grows dimmer by the day.

“To many outside of Alaska, it may therefore come as a surprise to learn that not only does such a pipeline not exist, but—even as Alaska’s deep winter darkness gives way to the first light of spring—the prospect that it will be built within Sarah Palin’s lifetime grows dimmer by the day.”

“As Mike Hawker, the Republican co-chairman of Alaska’s House Finance Committee, told me one night in Juneau not long ago, “The only thing standing in the way of an Alaska gas pipeline is the Sarah Palin administration.””

“How better to defang the industry that had ruled Alaska like a colonial master for 40 years than to make sure its major players would be no more than spectators at the state’s next grand pageant, the building of a new pipeline that would carry natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope to what Palin called the “hungry markets” of the Lower 48?

In her zeal, however, Palin overlooked one salient fact: It was Alaska’s three largest oil producers—Exxon Mobil Corp., BP, and ConocoPhillips Co.—that controlled the natural gas the new pipeline would need if it were ever to pump anything more than hot air.

By writing the rules in a way that excluded the oil companies from the process, Palin—although she gained the short-term approval-rating points that made her seem attractive to McCain last summer—all but assured that the “largest private-sector infrastructure project in North America” would never be anything more than her personal field of dreams.”

I hope she runs for President in 2012, it would all but ensure another 4 years for Obama.

February 6, 2009

Palin versus Judd

Filed under: MD Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 1:11 am
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So I wish Sarah Palin would just disappear for 4 years, and re-appear so she can lose a race for president, and then go back away for another 4.  But she keeps showing up in the media.  I’m only posting this news story since it’s related to wildlife.  Basically Sarah Palin has an aerial wolf hunting program in Alaska to keep caribou population up.  Ashley Judd appeared in a commercial by Defenders of Wildlife exposing what is going on.  Palin doesn’t like it.


I’ve already given my opinion last September:

I’ll try and abstain from mentioning Sarah Palin in a post for awhile.

October 4, 2008

Biden/Palin Debate

Filed under: National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 1:22 am
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So I tuned into the VP debate Thursday night, and it went pretty much how I expected it to go. I expected that Palin would do better than the uber low expectations people had for her, and that people would make too much out of that. I hoped that Biden would not be too overbearing towards Palin and instead go after McCain. He did that.

Let me be clear, from a standpoint of substance, Biden won. He answered questions in depth and with expertise. Palin either dodged questions or answered them very broadly without specifics.

But your average American sitting down to tune into the debate hasn’t researched all of the positions of all of the candidates. They aren’t knowledgeable of the specifics. Far too many people identify with likability than a grasp of the issues. That’s how we ended up with George Bush. At least Palin is at the bottom of the ticket. My estimate is that this debate will have a similar effect that the Obama/McCain debate had. Your independent undecided voter is uncertain about Obama because of their perception of his inexperience. They are holding back because they aren’t sure whether or not Obama can be presidential, and in the Obama/McCain debate, Obama proved that he could when he went toe to toe with McCain. Some undecideds identified this, and it reflected in the polls, my estimate it boosted Obama by 3-4 points, and the economic crisis gave him another 4. These same undecideds were looking to see if Palin could fill the shoes of the presidency if necessary. In the eyes of the average independent undecided American, she proved she could. I think they are wrong, but I’m a Democrat, I live in MD, and I’m voting for Obama. Too many people don’t look at politics objectively when they’re analyzing something, I’m trying to do that.

So I expect Palin’s debate performance will negate Obama’s. I think McCain will jump 3-4 points in the national polls by next Tuesday. Ultimately though, unless there is a serious misstep by Obama, I think the economic crisis sealed the race for him. There are just too many landmines in the Electoral College for McCain to get the necessary votes to win, and not enough time to clear them all.

New Hampshire polls are showing Obama with double digit leads where McCain just led a couple weeks ago. The same with Michigan where it’s gone from a dead heat to Obama with a double digit lead, causing McCain to pull out his operations in Michigan and focus elsewhere. Obama is leading in places he shouldn’t and wasn’t expected to like Florida and North Carolina. And in the once pure toss-ups of Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvannia, and Minnesota, Obama has assumed leads ranging from 2-7 points. It’s worth nothing with many of these states, the polls survey “likely voters” which leaves out the vast majority of the new registered voters that the Obama campaign has worked fervently to register. I’d guess that most polls underscore Obama’s performance by 1-2 points.

So still a month to go, and stranger things have happened. This election has shifted all over the place suddenly an unexpectedly. But right now, unless there is a game-changer, the race is Obama’s to lose.

Oh, and my final take on the debate, and something I think and hope people will consider on voting day. McCain selected Palin because she would make him a better candidate. Obama picked Biden because he would make him a better president.

September 4, 2008

Palin Bashing Community Organizers

Filed under: National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 10:04 pm

Okay, for the sake of my sanity I’m going to try and make this the last time for awhile that I write about Sarah Palin. This is also about Rudy Guliani. Both mocked the fact that Barack Obama was once a community organizer, which I thought was very offensive and demeaning, even for politics.

I think that those attacks certainly struck a chord with me, considering the fact that I am an activist and have worked with and know many “community organizers”. These are some of the best people in the country, they work long hours for little pay to get people involved and active on the issues that affect them. They raise people up, empower them, fight for them, and most importantly teach people how to fight for themselves. All this even when they are given little to nothing in return.

Without community organizing, there wouldn’t be 40 hour work weeks. Without community organizing African Americans wouldn’t have have the right to vote, and neither would Women. Community organizers take on many forms, whether it be those who work for non-profits, thoses who work for civic groups, or those who work from or within churches. Without these fine people, a lot of the things we take for granted today wouldn’t exist.

I even heard and interesting line from someone that “Jesus was a community organizer”.

Learn to attack people on the issues, not to debase and demean their past accomplishments. I’ve heard very little about the issues during this Republican Convention. I’d like to hear something of substance, even if I disagree with it. The only person I’ve seen who talked about anything relevant was Mitt Romney. You know when Mitt Romney is the best speaker you’ve had to far that there is serious trouble.

Ultimately, one thing community organizers do is they get people to vote. They get people to register to vote. I think it would be most fitting that the very people Sarah Palin and Rudy Guliani are belittling are the people who mobilize enough support in November in the swing states to defeat them on election day. Karma could never top that.

September 3, 2008

Sarah Palin=Mike Vick

Filed under: National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 10:11 pm
Tags: , ,

To me, wolves are basically dogs, just wild. I’ve been hearing for over a year about this horrendous practice taking place in Alaska. It was one of the top reasons why Sarah Palin’s selection as VP turned me from a supporter of Barack Obama who felt ok about McCain to being completely “hell no” for him. This isn’t hunting, it’s slaughter. I think if all Americans knew about this, far fewer would be inclined to support this ticket. To me, the only difference between this and Mike Vick’s dogfighting activities is that what Vick did was illegal, Palin rewrote the laws to make this legal.

Do You Support Slaughter?

Do You Support Slaughter?

August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin

Filed under: Energy/Climate,National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 4:46 pm
Tags: , ,
God No!

God No!

Obviously my guess at Tim Pawlenty as the VP was wrong, as John McCain has chosen Sarah Palin, the two year governor of Alaska. From a perspective of how this affects the race, I really don’t know. Obama has held a slight lead in Alaska, and that state may now go to McCain, however it’s only three electoral votes, and there were other toss-up states such as Michigan where other VP selections would of had more of an effect on the electorate. How this affects the women’s vote? The funny thing is I don’t think Sarah Palin will represent any of the interests of women, but McCain having her on the ticket will get some of that vote. How much of that she yields will determine how much of a difference she makes in the electoral vote. At this point, I think that’s a toss-up, but no doubt some of the Hillary supporters who were upset Obama didn’t pick her may vote McCain/Palin.

From a political perspective, Sarah Palin hasn’t been in the game long. She was a mayor of a small town, and shes been Governor of Alaska for a couple of years. Take it how you will, it’s kind of ironic for the McCain campaign to attack Obama over and over again for not having enough experience and then pick Sarah. I really think that McCain is only picking Palin to try and get the women’s vote, I really think they had plenty of VP’s they would have picked over her, but saw this choice as making the most political headway. If they were going to pick a woman, I would’ve thought it would be Kay Baley Hutchinson, who has a lot more experience. The debate between Palin and Biden will be interesting, I quite frankly think Biden will clean house, but he has to do it in a non-jackass way to not alienate people watching who think hes talking down to her.

From a political perspective, I’m unsure how this will play out. However, from an environmental and energy perspective, this is extremely disturbing. Sarah Palin and Alaska are one of the MOST backwards states when it comes to energy, fighting climate change, and protecting the environment. In fact it’s so bad this pick has almost made me throw up. I truly hope that McCain wouldn’t listen to her on these issues if he were elected. For a state that may be the most affected by climate change in our country, Alaska’s policies have been mind boggling. They’ve spent hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars trying to fight all sorts of environmental protections whether it be ANWAR, polar bears as an endangered species, protections on environmentally sensitive areas from natural gas minings, they’ve performed aerial huntings of wolves even when there isn’t an overabundance of them, and they face the possibility of becoming endangered once again. Ironically, while Alaska led by Sarah Palin is in a complete state of denial about climate change, and the strongest advocate of environmental destruction within it’s own state, Alaska has been warming far more than the rest of our country. Alot of it’s infrastructure is built on permafrost, and that permafrost is now melting, softening the ground so that it’s like jello. This is causing billions of dollars of damage, far more than the residents are receiving back from the government for drilling and ruining their land while jeopardizing their children’s future.


Had to make sure that wasn’t missed. For more information of the environmental disaster that is Sarah Palin, heres a few more facts.

With the addition of Sarah Palin, the prospect of a McCain presidency for me goes from “might not be that bad” to “hell no”.

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