Douglas Brinkley: Sarah Palin 'Has Been A Mouthpiece For The Oil Industry In Alaska'

Now that "drill, baby, drill" has become "pray, baby, pray" at least one person allowed on the mainstream media has called out Palin as being nothing
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Now that "drill, baby, drill" has become "pray, baby, pray" at least one person allowed on the mainstream media has called out Palin as being nothing more than a mouthpiece for big oil. Thank you Douglas Brinkley who actually gives a damn what happens to the economy of Louisiana and New Orleans, unlike Palin who's concerned with little else than lining her own pocket and scoring political points with her now unfortunate rhetoric like "drill, baby, drill". As I noted in my previous post on Brinkley, Digby had the best one liner on Palin that I've read lately -- How's That Oily Drilly Thing Working Out For Ya?*.

Sorry Sister Sarah but all the prayer in the world isn't going to make your "drill, baby, drill" any less of a laughing stock given the real world implications of you and your ilk playing sock puppets for the oil industry and their irresponsible behavior and the real cost to taxpayers and other industries as a result of it.

Transcript via CNN.

GUPTA: And updating on our breaking news now: Alabama joining Louisiana, declaring a state of emergency, as that massive oil slick continues ashore, forecasters anticipating a break in the weather, though, a shift in wind direction tomorrow that might, just might keep, some of the spill away from land.

Continuing the conversation about all this especially accountability, "Keeping Them Honest" with retired General Russel Honore and historian Douglas Brinkley.

Doug, I want to show you something. Sarah Palin posted something on her Facebook page today. I don't know if you saw this, but I want to read you a quick quote. She wrote this. It says: "No human endeavor is ever without risk, whether it is sending a man to the moon or extracting the necessary resources to fuel of civilization. I continue to believe in it because increased domestic oil production will make us a more secure, prosperous and peaceful nation."

And, before you answer, Doug, to be fair, she also said that any country found to be negligent should be held accountable.

Is she making a fair argument?

BRINKLEY: No. She -- Sarah Palin has been a mouthpiece for the oil industry in Alaska. In fact, Todd Palin worked for British Petroleum for a long time.

GUPTA: Right.

BRINKLEY: BP had the big oil spill. Anybody can look it up online. And the -- it ended up pouring hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil into the Arctic.

GUPTA: Right.

BRINKLEY: And that -- what is happening now is an attempt to drill in ANWR. And when people say, drill, baby, drill, it is taking a wildlife refuge that Dwight Eisenhower created 50 years ago this year and try to drill in it.

What President Obama needs to do, and I know Interior has been looking at, is to create national wildlife monument and do permanent protection for the wildlife in Alaska, because the birds up in ANWR come south. And this is going to be a devastating event for the wildlife, because all of these birds fly down to the Mississippi flyway into these offshore islands that we're going to be seeing.

You showed one bird picture. And there are many more to come.

GUPTA: And I tell you, in fact, we -- I don't know if you saw this at the beginning of the show, professor. We had some pictures of the birds, actually, some of them already being affected by the oil. Their feathers are supposed to be very white, but, obviously, they're really affected by this quite a bit. And we're going to see a lot more images.

But picking up on the point you made, General, as someone with such strong roots in Louisiana, like you, do you accept offshore oil drilling as something that's necessary, or would you like to see it scaled back?

HONORE: I would like to see it better protected.

We need a regulatory commission with the empowerment like we have that regulate nuclear power plants, because, when we have a disaster in the Gulf, as we see this one unfold, you can't take it back. So, we need the systems with checks, double-checks, and we need some national research centers focused on how we make that industry safe.

And, as was presented earlier in the early part of the program, we're now finding out that shortcuts may have been taken in the safety valves that are being used.

GUPTA: Right.

HONORE: That has to work. And then the safety valve has to have a backup to it.

I don't think we can wean ourselves off that oil at this point in time, but it has to be made safer and regulated. GUPTA: And talking about domestic oil production, specifically, Doug, as you know, President Obama restated his commitment to domestic energy production today.

The political path going forward is not going to be easy, of course, but what do you think about that? What do you -- how do you see this playing out?

BRINKLEY: Well, only 6 percent of Americans' oil is coming from offshore, but a lot of our future oil is offshore.

I think we have got to make a difference between BP negligence and offshore drilling. It can be done safely. It is being done off the coast of Norway or Brazil and other places. And, so, let's not go after an entire offshore industry.

This has been a big problem with British Petroleum in Alaska, in the Arctic, and now in the Gulf of Mexico. This is their third major disaster in the United States from a foreign company over the last five years.

GUPTA: Right.

BRINKLEY: And that's where you're saying who to hold accountable. There are going to be other companies that BP farmed things out to, but that petroleum company has been grossly negligent in both Alaska and now the Gulf of Mexico.

GUPTA: And, moving forward, General, I mean, now what needs to be done? Let's say you have all the resources to try and clean -- clean this up and try to protect the Gulf as much as possible. What are your fellow Louisiana residents saying? What does the response need to be at this point?

HONORE: Mm-hmm. Yes, I'm headed down to Plaquemines Parish tomorrow morning.

And the word I'm getting back, Anderson (sic), from fishermen in that area is -- and I live here now in Louisiana -- is that they're looking at a devastating impact on their shrimping industry. As you know, shrimp skim the water. They are looking at a lot of them at the height of the crop will be killed by this event.

And the long-term impact on our wildlife in that area, while Katrina was a human tragedy, this will be a tragedy of wildlife and fishery that could take years to come back from, once we have figured out how to get this oil off the...

GUPTA: Right.

HONORE: ... soggy Gulf Coast of Louisiana.

GUPTA: That's right.

HONORE: This is not a rock-based formation. This thing will absorb in there and will kill the grasses that are protecting the coastline.

(CROSSTALK)

GUPTA: And we learned after the spill of Valdez, that, obviously, the oil can stick around for a long time.

This is a developing story. We're going to stay with it.

General Russel Honore, Douglas Brinkley, thanks so much for joining us.

BRINKLEY: Yes. .

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