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Investors Business Daily & Exxon: Gov Palin's Pipeline “VERY BIG HOME RUN”

Friday, June 12, 2009 3 Responses

Energy: Exxon Mobil's surprise decision to join Trans-Canada on a vast Alaska gas pipeline project is a big step toward making the U.S. self-sufficient in domestic energy. By defying naysayers, Sarah Palin is now vindicated.
It must be sweet vindication for Alaska's governor. Against critics who said her 1,712-mile natural gas pipeline project would never get off the ground, who should the project bag but the "big gorilla" of American energy -- Exxon Mobil.

In a major surprise, Exxon announced Thursday that it had forged a partnership with TransCanada, the Canadian pipeline company that holds the state license for Palin's $126 billion Alaska Gasoline Inducement Act project.

It's a big vote of confidence in Palin's top project from a by-the-books company known for its rigid investment standards. "We evaluated all the options and it came down to our belief that this approach with TransCanada and Exxon Mobil was going to be the most successful project," said Marty Massey, U.S. joint interest manager of Exxon Mobil Production Co. He said Exxon might look at expanding its participation.

Rival oil firms had whispered to IBD that it would never happen. "It's gonna happen and we're very excited about this development," Palin told "Good Morning America" on Friday.

Doubters of Palin's pipeline plan were numerous. Some said the pipeline would be too big to work, and that a rival BP/ConocoPhillips project, called Denali, would doom Palin's plan because Alaska didn't have enough natural gas for both.

Exxon's tilt toward TransCanada suggests the oil giant believes that's not true. Exxon is America's largest company, with extraction rights to a third of all Alaska's gas reserves. It can use them to fill either pipeline. "We will make a decision based on commercial reality," Massey said. "But ... why would we put our money and not our gas in the pipeline?"

Obama administration officials who had nothing to do with this, like Energy Secretary Ken Salazar, rushed to claim credit too.What better vote of confidence could there be?

Other doubters had suggested the pipeline could never happen because of a global gas glut, making the pipeline uneconomical. But with the project slated for completion in 2018, and the need for natural gas expected to rise between 20% and 40% by 2030, it's precisely now that such a project should be built.

"I think it's very shortsighted" to assume that"market conditions are going to stay as they are today," Palin told CNN. In an interview with IBD last July when gasoline hit $4 at the pump, she noted that if drilling had started in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge just five years ago, when policymakers were dismissing the idea of $100-a-barrel oil, "we wouldn't be in our predicament today."

This is another in a series of successful steps to build the world's largest commercial construction project. For this, credit Palin. Despite the too-hip ridicule of comedians like David Letterman, she was the one who got the pipeline past Alaska's legislature, something governors had tried -- and failed -- to do for 30 years. Other partners are sure to join, and the near-impossible task of bringing Alaskan energy to the continental U.S. is that much closer.

If there are any doubts left, note that it's Alaska's officials giving Palin the most credit. As Deputy Natural Resources Commissioner Marty Rutherford told IBD, Palin relentlessly drove this project, walking the process through the bureaucracy, asking questions, even going to Texas on Thursday to hear from Exxon itself.

"We're sitting here and in a short two-and-a-half years we have two premier companies in the world moving this process forward," said Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin. "Thank you Gov. Palin, thank you participants and thank you Alaskans." With praise like this, maybe it's time Palin started getting some attention for helping to secure America's energy future -- and less for having to defend herself from the dirty jibes of over-the-hill comics. For Americans tired of high energy prices and dependence on foreign energy, Palin's hitting some very big home runs indeed.

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Governor Palin: “would like to see more from Øbama in his support for Israel”

Friday, June 12, 2009 1 Response

Asked if she definitely plans to seek re-election in 2010 -- a move unlikely for someone seeking the White House -- Palin told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "I'm not definitely going to do anything yet."

In the past week alone, the former Republican vice presidential nominee appeared at a GOP fundraiser in Washington, attended a baseball game in New York and led a small-town parade on the East Coast thousands of miles from home. But Palin said, for now, she's focusing on her state and her family. "So, no decision yet on either 2010 or let alone 2012?" Blitzer asked. "No decision that I'd want to announce today," Palin responded in an interview that will air at 6 p.m. ET Friday on CNN's "The Situation Room."

Asked her thoughts on President Obama, Palin said she thinks he is "growing government way too quickly." "He's digging that hole of debt for our country that we're going to pass on to our children and our grandchildren, expecting them to pay off debt for us. It's a selfish thing that we're doing right now if we think that is OK," she said. Palin said she does, however, like Obama's message about "reining in spending and finding efficiencies within government." "I encourage him to follow through on that," she said.

Palin also said she'd like to see "more passion" from Obama in voicing his support for Israel. "I would certainly like our president to stand very, very strong and bold in his statements about our protection of Israel that so many of us believe in," Palin said. In his wide-ranging address on American and Muslim relations last week, Øbama explored the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, endorsing a two-state solution and urging compromise and understanding between "two peoples with legitimate aspirations." Asked if she was suggesting the president is not pro-Israel enough, Palin said, "I'm sure he is pro-Israel. "I would have liked to see more passion in the talk he gave regarding our friends in Israel, our strongest ally, making sure they know that we are here for them. We're going to stand by their side; we're going to help them."

Palin also discussed the $26 billion natural gas pipeline in her state, saying demand for natural gas is on the rise in the United States. "By 2030, we'll see about a 40 percent increase in demand for natural gas," the former Republican vice presidential nominee said. "Domestically, we have the supply. The resources are up there in Alaska, and it's time that we build this infrastructure and flow that very valuable resource into hungry markets throughout the U.S." Palin's comments come as some critics have questioned whether there's an adequate demand for such a massive expenditure. The Alaska governor called those views "shortsighted," saying the project is "right for our nation's security and for our environment, for our economy." Palin also said some politicians questioning the pipeline are up for re-election and accused politics of playing a role in their criticisms.
"Really, Wolf, I think they do support it. They voted for it. I think there's just some political wrangling going on right now to position themselves," she said.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/12/palin/index.html

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Governor Palin Discusses Historic Exxon/TransCanada Pipeline On CNN 6pm

Friday, June 12, 2009 0 Responses

Dallas, Texas - This morning, Wolf Blitzer interviewed Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) on a variety of topics, including the new Alkaska natural gas pipeline, the Obama presidency, the fued with David Letterman and whether she will run in 2012. The interview will be shown on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer this afternoon at 6pm EDT.

TransCanada Corporation and ExxonMobil announced Thursday they have reached terms on a gas pipeline development agreement. TransCanada and ExxonMobil have agreed to work together to progress the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) Gas Pipeline Project.

AGIA was created as a commercial vehicle for advancing the Alaska gas pipeline project through the first stages of development of what will be the largest private energy project in the world. "In a volatile world with growing energy needs, the time is now to develop Alaska's valuable resource for the environment, economy and national security,” Governor Palin said. She further described this historic announcement as “very encouraging and exciting, but certainly no surprise, because AGIA was crafted to allow just this type of commercial alignment to take place.”

Wednesday in Dallas, Governor Palin met with Hal Kvisle, TransCanada president, and Rich Kruger, president of ExxonMobil Production Company, to discuss the proposed alignment. Governor Palin said, “The meeting not only confirmed TransCanada’s commitment to the AGIA License, but also ExxonMobil’s commitment to continue to advance the Alaska Gasline project with TransCanada, including as additional alignments are reached with other stakeholders.” For TransCanada and ExxonMobil, the alignment provides a mutual benefit by bringing together the key skills of two world-class companies to effectively advance a project of maximum value and mutual benefit. For other producer and explorer companies, this project ensures their discovered resources can be transported to market, and at the lowest reasonable transportation cost. For America, this announcement means an affordable and clean source of energy is on its way and that, as a nation, we are much closer to domestic energy independence. “ExxonMobil recognizes that the State of Alaska has set a course for commercializing the North Slope’s trillions of cubic feet of known natural gas reserves,” the governor said. “By recognizing the value of Alaska’s relationship with TransCanada, ExxonMobil has made a strategic decision that I believe makes good sense. Alaskans will also be pleased to know that TransCanada’s obligations to the state as the AGIA licensee are 100 percent intact and unaltered by this alignment with ExxonMobil,” a fact that was echoed by Kvisle. AGIA involved an open and competitive bidding process and resulted in granting a license to TransCanada to move the project forward through one or more Open Seasons and eventual FERC certification. By providing matching funds during the risky development phase of this project, the state has secured commitments from TransCanada to conduct an Open Season by 2010.

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