As Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has had a hand in some of the worst environmental neglect of the Bush White House. The neglect has been so bad, some of it has even been against the law.
Take, as an example, the beluga whales of Cook Inlet. Cook Inlet is surrounded by four public parks: Kenai Fjiords National Park, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Katmai National Monument, and Chugach State Park. The area is a national treasure.
Yet, Sarah Palin treats it like a dump.
As Governor, Sarah Palin gave special permission to Chevron to dump toxic waste into the waters of the Cook Inlet – 300 percent more than Chevron has ever done before. Palin also is pushing for oil drilling operations to be placed up and down the inlet.
This is in spite of the fact that the beluga whales who live in the Cook Inlet are under review for protection under the Endangered Species Act. As the Green Man explained back in July, a petition seeking a decision on protections for the Cook Inlet belugas was required by law to be given back in April – but the Bush White House saw to it that no such decision was given. To this day, political appointees of George W. Bush continue to break the law by refusing to provide a decision about whether the belugas are entitled to protection.
Sarah Palin has taken part in this illegal neglect of the Cook Inlet belugas. Even though the population of belugas in the Inlet has plunged dramatically from over 1,300 in the 1980s to fewer than 375 now, Sarah Palin supported George W. Bush’s inaction, claiming that the research by federal scientists concluding that the belugas require protection is wrong. “Unwarranted,” she called it.
On what basis did Sarah Palin contradict the scientific research? Had she commissioned any scientific studies on the subject herself? No. Does Sarah Palin have any degrees in science? No. Sarah Palin has an undergraduate degree in Communications – how to talk pretty – that she earned by attending several different colleges over a period of six years.
Sarah Palin, like George W. Bush, believes that scientific research is irrelevant. She is less interested in the facts about the environment than she is interested in the economics of the matter. The important economics of the matter, as Sarah Palin sees it, is that big oil companies like Chevron are willing to arrange for their executives to write big checks and send lobbyists to make special arrangements to cater to the needs of politicians like herself. Beluga whales hire no lobbyists, and they write no checks.
Country first? Dumping toxic wastes and drilling for oil in the waters off a national park isn’t country first. It’s Chevron first.
Here’s a tip: If you want to visit Alaska, do it now, before Sarah Palin poisons all the whales.
Hear about the problem straight from the lips of Benito the Beluga.