Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Alaskan Democrats join defense of Palin, natural gas pipeline

Lawmakers say report by Associated Press was unfair to governor
By Pat Forgey Juneau Empire
Alaska legislators are criticizing a story on Gov. Sarah Palin by The Associated Press that challenged Palin's top accomplishment as governor - jump-starting progress on a natural gas pipeline.

"I thought it was a pretty shoddy reporting job, honestly," said Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, among many Democrats and supporters of Barack Obama who are coming to Palin's defense.

The story, written by AP reporters Justin Pritchard and Garance Burke, concluded that the Alaska Legislature used a flawed process when it chose TransCanada Corp. to develop a pipeline to bring Alaska's gas to the U.S. Midwest, and blamed Palin for the decision.

The Legislature and Palin sought to make sure the pipeline was operated as an independent pipeline, whether it was owned by one of the state's major oil and gas lease holders or an independent company.

The AP reporters called that process "flawed" and linked it to an alleged conflict of interest by a Palin administration staff member.

The AP reporters said Palin had been warned, including twice by Vice President Dick Cheney, to bring in the oil producers to the pipeline project. On Alaska's North Slope, Exxon Mobil Corp., BP and ConocoPhillips Co. produce the bulk of the state's oil and hold most of its discovered gas reserves.

The Legislature nearly unanimously established rules that required an independently operated pipeline, but allowed the producers to submit their own bid under terms resembling an independent pipeline.

The AP reporters said seeking an independent pipeline ultimately favored TransCanada and excluded the producers, which was why the process was flawed.

Sen. Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, Senate minority leader, called the story "way off base."

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I have noticed the respected Associated Press is in the same category as CNN and MSNBC when it comes to bias for Obama. I first noticed this during the primary when they seemed to lead with some story that was then picked up by the networks - a story which cast Hillary Clinton in a bad light.

After this election, many, many people should be the wiser about their tactics.