One-time Alaska Gov. and GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin argues in a National Review column Friday that environmentalists are working against their own interests by blocking domestic drilling, which forces the U.S. to import oil from countries with no environmental-protection laws.
"Those who oppose domestic drilling are motivated primarily by environmental considerations, but many of the countries we’re forced to import from have few if any environmental-protection laws, and those that do exist often go unenforced," her column reads. "In effect, American environmentalists are preventing responsible development here at home while supporting irresponsible development overseas."
In her article, Palin says the U.S. needs to "drill here and drill now" because "building an energy-independent America will mean a real economic stimulus," and "decreasing our dependence on foreign sources of energy will reduce the impact of world events on our economy."
She credits herself and her home state for showing the country how oil drilling can become synonymous with energy conservation, claiming 20 percent of Alaska's electricity comes from renewable resources. Palin also says the U.S. needs to build more oil refineries at home, lamenting that "due to major environmental restrictions, we haven't built a major new refinery since 1976" and the number of U.S. refineries has sunk to 150 from roughly 300 in the 1970s.
The column appeared in the National Review just as Gallup was reporting that Palin's popularity has hit an all-time low. The pollsters report that just 40 percent of the American public they surveyed see her favorably, while 50 percent have an unfavorable view of her. According to Gallup, her popularity ratings are the lowest they've been since she hit the national stage a little more than a year ago at the Republican convention and scored a 53 percent favorability rating.
As the former vice-presidential nominee herself tries to refurbish her image, she equates energy independence with "freedom and confidence."
"It’s about building a more secure and peaceful America, an America in which our energy needs will not be subject to the whims of nature, currency speculators, or madmen in possession of vast oil reserves...," she concludes. "There’s no getting around the fact that we still need to “drill, baby, drill!” And if those in D.C. say otherwise, we need to tell them: “Yes, we can!”