AK Democrats defend Sarah Palin on pipeline

The Juneau Empire notes that Alaska Democrats are defending Sarah Palin on the pipeline and demonstrates how poor a job the AP is doing:

Alaska legislators are criticizing a story on Gov. Sarah Palin by The Associated Press that challenged Palin’s top accomplishment as governor – jump-starting progress on a natural gas pipeline.”I thought it was a pretty shoddy reporting job, honestly,” said Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, among many Democrats and supporters of Barack Obama who are coming to Palin’s defense.

Note that the AP reporters that wrote on this probably don’t understand what exactly happened:

The AP reporters said seeking an independent pipeline ultimately favored TransCanada and excluded the producers, which was why the process was flawed.

This was the point indeed. The reason was that if the incumbent producers controlled the pipeline, then they wouldn’t sell access to anyone but themselves (extraction is way more profitable than shipping the stuff), and that would not spur development. By having a third-party own the pipeline means that there incentive is to ship as much as possible. Again, that was the point:

Sen. Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, Senate minority leader, called the story “way off base.””We just wanted the attributes of an independently operated pipeline company, one that would protect the interests of Alaska,” he said.The Legislature spent much of the summer in special session, considering and rejecting those arguments, Therriault and Wielechowski said.”The producers having complete control of the oil pipeline has cost the state of Alaska billions of dollars over the years; that’s a fact. We’ve had less exploration and less drilling on the North Slope because the smaller independents have been squeezed out and because they can’t pay exorbitant tariffs,” Wielechowski said.The AP story quoted only two legislators, Senate President Lyda Green, R-Wasilla, and Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, both in the minority who voted against the TransCanada deal.

In other words, the AP reporters got owned by probably corrupt Republicans in bed with the incumbent actors in the oil industry. I think that we’ve heard that story before. Right Ben and Ted?