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Sarah Palin's renewable ambition

January 19, 2009 |  7:27 pm

Palin Whatever happened to "Drill, baby, drill"?

Last week, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called a news conference to announce "a future where, ideally, 50% of Alaska's electricity is generated from renewable resources by 2025."

That's from the governor who can't wait to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and who sunk $500 million into a yet-to-be built gas pipeline. But now, she said, she would move to wean the state's far-flung villages from diesel oil to wind and geothermal and make the state's six utilities cease their in-fighting to more efficiently serve populated areas.

Palin's 50% goal one-ups California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who touts himself as the nation's green governor: Two months ago, he signed an executive order requiring 33% of Golden State electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2020. President-elect Barack Obama, whose home state of Illinois is a major coal producer, has called for 25% renewable energy use nationwide by 2025.

Palin's staff said she would introduce legislation in the 90-day session which begins Tuesday. But some Alaskans are skeptical. "Sounds good but has no substance," wrote Moosemom, one of more than 530 commenters on the report in the Anchorage Daily News. Riverspots opined that the governor should have used the $500 million for the gas pipeline "to build a wind farm that could power all of Anchorage." And Polarbearlost huffed, "Gov. Palin is a visionary only for herself... Visionary to her means she can see Russia from her house."

--Margot Roosevelt

Photo: Gov. Sarah Palin winks during her vice presidential debate against Joe Biden in October. Credit: Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

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