I'm standing at the base of Mendenhall Glacier outside Juneau Alaska. Gorgeous is an understatement. A local lady comes by out of breath. "If you go around the corner, " she says smiling, " you'll see the bald eagle in the tree. Oh, and do so hope that we can see the bear today!"
BEAR? That's what she said, a bear lives in these parts. So I'm quickly going through my check list of what do when and if I see the bear. Run comes to mind. And then I remember that it's the female bear that is the most dangerous, particularly if she's with cubs. Mark that down as you run.
Then it dawns on me. I may have just interviewed my first Alaskan female bear--Governor Sarah Palin. She's Alaska's first female Governor, and likely the very first to be listed as 'hot' on a few websites. She's an attractive, 42 year old mother of four, who has been in office now just about a year. She's an engaging interview. And she's a "bear" when it comes to protecting Alaska's right to a fair shake from the oil and gas companies.
"It's something Alaskan's were smart enough to put in our state constitution ever before we were a state. Our promise to be self sufficient and to provide our natural resources for the general good of the country. We promised to do that as long as we got a fair shake. It's time to get that for all Alaskans." She tells me this as we walk along the path in front of the waterfall that runs next to the glacier.
She's currently working in special session to increase the revenue that Alaska receives from the oil producers in her state. They are calling it a tax, she's calling it a "fair deal". She's likely to win. She's also in the process of pushing for a pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska's North Slope to the lower 48. A pipeline she has opened to all bidders, not just big oil. Something else they don't like. Doesn't phase her a bit. "It's time we're the "head" instead of the "tail" when it comes to American energy policy," she says. "And this is the start."
She's fiercely protective of her state's natural resources, its natural beauty too. But she believes that the times and the technology are right to be able to do both---mine U.S. energy resources and protect wildlife and the beauty that we're both looking at out over Mendenhall.
A bear huh? It'll be no match for Sarah Palin.
'MOA' is on it's way to South Dakota, best pheasant hunting in a decade I'm told. We'll see you in the corn fields this weekend. Here's an early heads up, set your Tivos for 11 am eastern on Thanksgiving Day--a whole hour of MOA on CNBC.
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