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Palin Repeats GOP's Big Energy Lie -- Plus Four Other Energy Lies, Too

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Sarah Palin sounds authentic while lying through her teeth, seems decent while saying indecent things. And that, of course, is why the GOP faithful love her. But the most revealing lies in her big convention speech were on energy:

"Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems - as if we all didn't know that already. But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all. Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines...build more nuclear plants...create jobs with clean coal...and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources. We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers."


LIE #1 shows chutzpah, I'll give her that much. Just two months ago, Palin said "I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can't drill our way out of our problem." Perhaps someone told the would-be energy expert that even billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens knows her July claim was absurd (see "Pork queen Palin is an earmark expert, NOT energy expert").

LIE #2 is that her "opponents" want to do "nothing at all." Aside from the fact that Obama is willing to compromise on offshore drilling (see "Since offshore oil is de minimis, why shouldn't Obama and the Dems make a deal? Part 1"), his energy plan is by far the most comprehensive one ever put forth by a candidate from a major party (see "A real energy plan for America: Efficiency now, 10% renewables by 2012, and one million plug-in hybrids by 2015").

LIE #3 is that "a McCain-Palin administration" would "move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources." Sorry, she and McCain are soulmate Luddites. She thinks "Alternative-energy solutions are far from imminent and would require more than 10 years to develop." McCain thinks "The truly clean technologies don't work",which is why he has consistently voted against renewables, even though, like Palin, he claims to support them (see "Why McCain hates renewables but pretends he loves them" and "Anti-wind McCain delivers climate remarks at foreign wind company").

LIE #4 -- perhaps the most revealing of all -- came when Palin said

To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of the world's energy supplies....

Not even close. Yes, if you live in a world where the only energy source is oil, then the Persian Gulf countries do produce 20% of the total world supply -- although it would be next to impossible for Iran to cut it all off. And kind of stupid, since they'd lose tens of billions of dollars in revenues themselves.

But we don't live in a world where the only energy supply for the world is oil -- well, maybe Palin and the McCain campaign does, but the rest of us don't. In the world the rest of us live in, oil is maybe 20% of total world energy usage. And I'm going to ignore efficiency, even though it is certainly the largest energy resource (see "Energy efficiency, Part 2: The limitless resource").

Bottom line: A really self-destructive Iran might in fact be able to cut off a few percent of the world's energy supply.

And one more thing. If you were really worried about the possibility Iran might cut off a fifth of the world's oil supply, cut off some 20 million barrels of oil a day, then it is inane to say you congfront that threat by saying "we need to produce more of our own oil and gas." If you opened every conceivable area now off-limits to drilling, you might get 1 million barrel of oil a day starting in 10 years.

The only way to prepare for losing a fifth of the world oil supply -- or, more realistically, to prepare for the reality peak oil --is to transform our transportation system into one that can also run on electricity (see "Why electricity is the only alternative fuel that can lead to energy independence")

LIE #5 is "The Big Energy Lie," which subsumes all the other lies in her entire remarks on energy. The Big Energy Lie is that either John McCain or the Republicans in Congress actually believe in an "all of the above" energy policy (see The Big Energy Lie). Congressional Democrats will hopefully force votes this fall that will show that claim for the disingenuous deceit it is (see Congressional Dems get smart on pushing "all of the above" energy vote).

Perhaps the only truth thing Palin said on energy that is true is "We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers." I could not agree more. That's what energy efficiency and wind power and solar PV and solar baseload are (see "Is 450 ppm possible? Part 5: Old coal's out, can't wait for new nukes, so what do we do NOW?").

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