The Friday release of Sarah Palin's emails from her relatively short tenure as Governor of Alaska and rise to fame nationally (leading up to the 2008 election) have resulted in feverish scanning by journalists worldwide. One particular story of interest concerns her efforts to get BP behind a 1,700-mile gas pipeline that would cross North America... one year after the state's worst oil spill in history, a BP oil spill.
Some of the most interesting points of that story, for me, are related to Palin's borderline inappropriateness in relation to BP. "At times, Palin's desire to cultivate a close relationship with BP appears to threaten a conflict of interest," as reporters from Guardian News and Media write.
Palin was asked by her office to respond to an email from a local Republican politician about who should sit on BP's Benevolent Giving Board. Palin shoots the reply: "My sister. If not her, then a missionary friend of mine – I'll get her name."
Todd Palin, Sarah's husband, worked for BP until 2009 and was somewhat of a "liability" for her as a result. Sarah sent the following somewhat jokey question to a colleague in 2007: "If we, er, when we get a divorce, does that quell 'conflict of interest accusations about BP?' "
In another situation, an oil industry expert, Chuck Hamel, chastised the state for inadequately reviewing a BP-related fire. An August 6, 2007 email referring to Hamel's letter revealed the claim that the official investigation "only supported BP's position and did not adequately review the severity of BP's failed preventative maintenance." Can't imagine that happening under Sarah's oversight!
In trying to get a talk lined up with now-infamous Tony Hayward (the former CEO of BP who was forced to resign after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which Sarah Palin responded to ridiculously) to try to convince him to get behind her plan to pipe Alaskan gas to the continental US, Palin would feverishly rearranged her schedule and then made sure her office gave him all her personal and official phone numbers after his office needed the phone meeting to be rescheduled.
Sarah clearly has a history of deep ties to the oil and gas industry. These newly revealed emails show us, a little more, how she relates to the industry.
Any more thoughts on this story?
Image Credit: geerlingguy via flickr/CC license