Palin favors more offshore oil drilling, is a leading advocate for opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to oil exploration, and claims that there is no relationship between global warming and human activity or greenhouse-gas emissions.
As governor of Alaska, Palin sued the U.S. Interior Department over its decision to list polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, supports hunting wolves from the air, has pushed to build a controversial natural-gas pipeline from Alaska’s North Slope, and opposed a windfalls-profit tax on oil companies, which would have provided funding for renewable energy development.
Read more about Sarah Palin's energy and environmental record and positions. And read what leading environmentalists are saying about McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate and possible vice president.
Friends of the Earth Action President Brent Blackwelder:
Sarah Palin's record is not extensive--just two years ago she was the mayor of a city of less than 10,000 people--but what her record indicates is troubling. This spring, she opposed the listing of polar bears as a 'threatened' species. She supports the brutal aerial hunting of wolves. And she has been a friend of Big Oil, opposing a windfall profits tax on the oil industry that could fund affordable clean energy for more Americans.Sierra Club President Carl Pope:
With the pick of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for his running mate, John McCain's race towards the Bush administration's failed energy policy is now complete.League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski:
John McCain was once willing to stand up to his own party, but now that he is running for President, he supports the same Bush policies and powerful special interests that put us in the grip of the oil companies. One of the last remaining independent policies putting him at odds with Bush was his opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, yet he has now picked a running mate who has opposed holding Big Oil accountable and been dismissive of alternative energy while focusing her work on more oil drilling in a wildlife refuge and off of our coasts.
No one is closer to the oil industry than Governor Palin. Along with her support for drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge and off our coasts, she also opposes a windfall profit tax on the richest oil companies. Under her leadership, Alaska has sued the federal government for considering listing the Polar Bear as a threatened species even though global warming threatens its very existence. She has been dismissive of alternative energy, saying ‘alternative-energy solutions are far from imminent and would require more than 10 years to develop,’ when in reality it is the oil she would like to drill that would take a decade to bring to market.
Senator McCain has lost any chance of having a balanced or moderate ticket with this choice and has instead opted for the same, business-as-usual reliance on the outdated oil companies that has been the hallmark of the Bush-Cheney administration. On the third anniversary of the hurricane that knocked loose oil rigs and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf Coast that is bracing for another hit, McCain is sending a terribly indifferent message by selecting a candidate who only repeats Big Oil's talking points.
Unfortunately, with her support for drilling in the Arctic Refuge and off our coasts, Governor Palin will simply continue the failed policies of the Bush-Cheney Administration and their Big Oil friends -- policies that could make us even more dependent on foreign oil.Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund President Rodger Schlickeisen:
Governor Palin characterizes McCain’s flip-flop on drilling offshore as a positive step in his transformation from maverick to Big Oil's best friend. She has implored McCain to change his position against drilling in the Arctic—something she will have plenty of opportunities to pursue as his running mate.
In addition to supporting backward-looking energy policies, Governor Palin has also opposed a crucial clean water initiative, sued the federal government for listing polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and opposed other important wildlife protection measures.
Senator McCain’s choice for a running mate is beyond belief. By choosing Sarah Palin, McCain has clearly made a decision to continue the Bush legacy of destructive environmental policies.Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images
Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP (formerly British Petroleum), has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaska’s coasts, and put special interests above science. Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming. Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration.
This is Senator McCain’s first significant choice in building his executive team and it’s a bad one. It has to raise serious doubts in the minds of voters about John McCain’s commitment to conservation, to addressing the impacts of global warming and to ensuring our country ends its dependency on oil.