An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Sarah Palin's $40 billion Pipeline is full of corruption

Sarah Palin has achieved very little in her Government service. One of her biggest achievements seems to be the $40 billion pipeline in Alaska to Lower 48 (states) – the 1715 mile pipeline.

Now, it turns out that the bidding process for granting that $40 billion project was actually tampered and slanted to favor just one company (not American!!) – TransCanada. And they don’t even have the complete financial wherewithal to complete the project currently as they are going through a financial crisis of their own.

Associated Press has found the following on review of records and in their interviews:

– Instead of creating a process that would attract many potential builders, Palin slanted the terms away from an important group — the global energy giants that own the rights to the gas.

– Despite promises and legal guidance not to talk directly with potential bidders, Palin had meetings or phone calls with nearly every major candidate, including TransCanada.

– The leader of Palin’s pipeline team had been a partner at a lobbying firm where she worked on behalf of a TransCanada subsidiary. Also, that woman’s former business partner at the lobbying firm was TransCanada’s lead private lobbyist on the pipeline deal, interacting with legislators in the weeks before the vote to grant TransCanada the contract. Plus, a former TransCanada executive served as an outside consultant to Palin’s pipeline team.

– Under a different set of rules four years earlier, TransCanada had offered to build the pipeline without a state subsidy; under Palin, the company could receive a maximum $500 million.


Also, the McCain-Palin duo have been touting all over their disdain for the lobbyists and how they would eliminate them. Well, this project is a great example of how Sarah Palin’s team was led by a lobbyists who had earlier represented – guess who? – TransCanada!

Palin’s team was led by Marty Rutherford, a widely respected energy specialist who entered the upper levels of state government nearly 20 years ago. Rutherford solidified her status when, in 2005, she joined an exodus of Department of Natural Resources staff who felt Murkowski was selling out to the oil giants.

What the Palin administration didn’t tell legislators — and neglected to mention in its announcement of Rutherford’s appointment — was that in 2003, Rutherford left public service and worked for 10 months at the Anchorage-based Jade North lobbying firm. There she did $40,200 worth of work for Foothills Pipe Lines Alaska, Inc., a subsidiary of TransCanada.

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