Palin: Obama can learn from gas pipeline deal

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, in an interview with Canadian television, said today that she is working to “grow the relationship” that Alaska has with Canada and called on president-elect Barack Obama to “see the light” and strengthen ties between the United States and its northern neighbor.

The former Republican vice-presidential candidate was interviewed on the CTV program “Canada AM” and suggested that Obama should take a page from her book, citing the deal she recently signed with TransCanada to design and build a $500 million natural gas pipeline as an example of the kind of cooperation that Obama can use as a guide to strengthen the bonds that exist between the two nations:

“I know Alaska is doing all we can to grow that relationship and we’ve gotta have faith that the newly elected administration will see the light on that and work very hard to increase and strengthen the relationship between our two countries.”

The governor said that the nearly 1,700-mile (2,700-km) pipeline project, due to enter the construction phase in 2011, will increase domestic energy supply by seven per cent and reduce dependency on foreign oil sources for the United States. She remarked that Alaska’s vast reserves of oil and natural gas are mostly being “warehoused” at the present time:

“It’s time to tap those, throw them into our own hungry markets so we can be less reliant on foreign sources and less beholden to some regimes that control energy that we import. Some of those regimes don’t like America,” she said.

Palin said she hopes that the new administration will enact tax cuts to spur small business development and save families more of their money to spend, which will help the ailing economy. But the Republican governor also said that she disagreed with Obama about changes he mentioned during the campaign that he wanted to make to the North American Free Trade Agreement:

“I think he was wrong to send a message that he would unilaterally want to go in and renegotiate,” Palin said.

“I do not support that, but I think…he’s going to see some conditions that will allow him to temper his position even on that.”

When asked about her own political future, Gov. Palin, not surprisingly, was less than specific:

“Some days politics make me roll my eyes and say ‘I don’t know if politics are in my future'” and “it’s certainly not the be-all, end-all for me personally.”

“If there are platforms, opportunities for me to be able to effect positive change in people’s lives, whether that’s political or another venue I will embrace that,” she said.

“But I don’t know if it’s going to be in politics or running for president in ’12.”

The CTV story is here, and a video of the seven-minute interview is here.

– JP