Palin on the Environment, Beyond the Sound Bites
We've all heard the big ones by now: Sarah Palin doesn't believe in global warming (as a result of human practices, at least), she's suing the federal government to get polar bears removed from the endangered species list, and she vigorously supports opening the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve up for drilling.
But Palin's stance on environmental issues is far more detailed than those simple, sound bite-friendly talking points. A recent Associated Press article delves into her repeated run-ins with environmentalists and federal marine scientists and breaks down her votes on a slew of environmental issues. Take a look at some of the Alaskan governor's votes and stances:Palin's Votes on Alaskan Environmental Issues
(from the AP ):
-Her administration disputes conclusions by the federal National Marine Fisheries Service and its science advisers that the beluga whale population is in critical danger. The state argues that 2007 data shows the whale rebounding.
-Palin opposed a state ballot initiative to increase protection of salmon streams from mining operations. It was defeated.
-She also opposed a ballot initiative barring the shooting of wolves and bears from aircraft except in biological emergencies. It was also defeated.
And then there's this:
Under Palin, the state Board of Game authorized for the first time in 20 years the shooting of wolves by state wildlife officials from helicopters. The order resulted in the controversial shooting this summer of 14 one-month-old wolf pups taken from dens on a remote peninsula 800 miles southwest of Anchorage — an act that environmentalists claim was illegal.
State officials characterized the killings as humanitarian, saying the pups would have suffered and eventually died without the care of their parents. Environmentalists argued they were killed to boost caribou populations to the benefit of hunters.
Additionally, she enacted a policy that provides a bounty of $150 for each freshly killed wolf turned in to the state, which is paid for with state funds.
In Palin's Defence
Palin's defenders, as cited in the article, say that she's acted to preserve the economy of state, since "the extraction of oil, natural gas, gold, zinc, fish and other natural resources is the primary source of state income and jobs."
And that very well may be the case—but it doesn't mean she couldn't look into more environmentally responsible methods of obtaining resources; like creating sustainable fisheries, for instance—instead, she seems to possess a genuine impulse to vote against the environment when it imposes any economic restrictions to her state and not look back.
The Environment Under Vice President Palin
The sheer number of times she's voted against the interests of environmental preservation is also a pretty clear indicator of her attitude towards the matter (as is perhaps Palin's office dÃ©cor)—which is worrisome, to say the least, to those who believe that environmental threats like global warming constitute some of the most important issues the next vice president (and potential president) may face.