Top 4 Energy and Environmental Lies in Sarah Palin's 'Going Rogue'


Well, that didn't take long. Sarah Palin's hotly anticipated memoir, Going Rogue, is hardly out the gates, and it's already facing a torrent of criticism from mainstream news sources for including various untruths and flat out lies. It appears that everyone's favorite vice presidential candidate has gone rogue with some of the facts. Naturally, a great deal of these focus on energy and the environment--the former subject of which she is allegedly an expert on, and the other on which she's got some highly controversial views. Here are the top whoppers Palin tries to sneak by her readers.

1. The poor will be hit hardest by clean energy legislation.

In her book, Palin falsely charges once again that people in low income groups will suffer at the hands of the climate bill. From Media Matters:

Palin: Obama "admitted" cap and trade will cause "electricity bills to 'skyrocket' " and "those hit hardest will be those who are already struggling to make ends meet." Palin falsely suggests that "those hit hardest [by cap and trade] will be those who are already struggling to make ends meet" and that " She added: "So much for the campaign promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year. This is a tax on everyone." [Going Rogue, Pages 390-391]

Not. Much of the revenue from a cap and trade will go towards providing a buffer for the poor in the form of tax rebates. The CBO has found that by as soon as 2020, low income families will actually besaving $125 a month on electricity bills.

2. Obama has "admitted that the policy he seeks will cause our electricity bills to 'skyrocket.'"

Wrong again--Obama has never "admitted" any such thing. As noted by MM, "Obama was talking about a different plan causing energy costs to "skyrocket." As the Associated Press noted in fact-checking Palin's book, Obama was not talking about the cap-and-trade legislation that has since passed in the House when he referred to energy costs "necessarily skyrocket[ting]." He was actually talking about a hypothetical version of any cap and trade system that would auction off 100% of the emissions permits (the version that passed the house gives nearly all of them away for free), and was discussing no particular piece of legislation.

3. She vetoed Alaska stimulus funds for energy efficiency because they mandated building codes.

This one has already been proven false, yet she repeats the debunked logic in her book. Once again, MM:

Palin claims that she vetoed a $25 million "earmark for energy conservation" available through the stimulus because Alaska would have needed to adopt "universal energy building codes" to be eligible for the funds. "Universal building codes -- in Alaska! A practical, libertarian haven full of independent Americans who did not desire 'help' from government busybodies. A state full of hardy pioneers who did not like taking orders from the feds telling us to change our laws. A state so geographically diverse that one-size-fits-all codes simply wouldn't work." [Going Rogue, Pages 361-362]

Of course it wouldn't work--made-up rules tend not to. The rebuttal, via PoliFact: "municipalities are not forced to accept the specific standards and, given that local governments set their own codes, the feds would be satisfied if Alaska merely promoted such building codes." Woops. And PolitiFact also notes that a Department of Energy official "wrote that the provision 'provides flexibility with regard to building codes' and 'expressly includes standards other than those cited so long as the standards achieve equivalent energy savings.' " Sigh.

4. She never supported aerial wolf hunting

This is another one that's just patently false. On page 327 of her book, Palin says that aerial wolf hunting is something that "Alaskan's don't do." And yet, she actually signed a bill validating aerial hunting. MM says: "In 2007, Palin introduced a bill to "simplify and clarify Alaska's intensive management law for big game and the state's 'same day airborne hunting' law." Enough said.

For more in depth analysis of Palin's energy fibs, see Climate Progress.

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