Alaska's governor, thrust Friday into national politics as John McCain's surprise pick for vice president, has a varied and complicated stance on green issues.
She has been supportive of some of Barack Obama's energy policies and opposed oil companies in the past.
She also wants to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and has sued to stop the federal government from making the polar bear an endangered species.
On Aug. 4, Sarah Palin was particularly enthusiastic about Obama's intentions to complete a natural gas pipeline in Alaska and to give families a $1,000 energy rebate. On the rebate, she said:
"This is a tool that must be on the table to buy us time until our long-term energy plans can be put into place. We have already enjoyed the support of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, and it is gratifying to see Senator Obama get on board."
Palin's husband is a seasonal worker for British Petroleum, but the Alaska governor frustrated an effort by BP and the two other oil companies in the state to build the new natural gas pipeline from the North Slope.
In May, Palin said she would sue the federal government after it declared polar bears an endangered species. Here's what the Anchorage Daily News reported:
She and other Alaska elected officials fear a listing will cripple oil and gas development in prime polar bear habitat off the state's northern and northwestern coasts...
Climate models that predict continued loss of sea ice, the main habitat of polar bears, during summers are unreliable, Palin said.
The announcement drew a strong response...
"She's either grossly misinformed or intentionally misleading, and both are unbecoming," said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity. ...
"Even the Bush administration can't deny the reality of global warming," she said. "The governor is aligning herself and the state of Alaska with the most discredited, fringe, extreme viewpoints by denying this."
A plank of her first annual State of the Union address: getting the 19-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge open for drilling and other development. The refuge has been a federal protected area since the Eisenhower administration. Both Obama and Palin's new running mate have opposed the measure, although McCain has wavered (and did reverse his longtime opposition to offshore drilling this summer).
"Having a clean record on environmental regulation,'' Palin said, "is critical to getting ANWR open.''
In Bristol Bay, home of the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world, Palin has supported miners on a project the fishermen say threatens their livelihood, as well as populations of bears and caribou. In 2007, Palin welcomed President Bush's lifting of a ban on oil and gas development in federal waters off the bay and the Aleutians Islands.
What do you know of Palin's environmental and energy record? What do you think of her candidacy? Here's a peek below from cartoonist Dan Wasserman's sketchbook (more here).
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