Wearing her giant polar bear pin and touring a thin-film solar plant, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin looked ready to embrace the cleantech world with a major policy speech on energy today.
Alas, it was not to be. Instead, Palin delivered a speech on “energy independence” that made just a brief mention of “alternative sources of energy, like wind and solar.” Speaking at thin-film solar startup Xunlight’s Toledo, Ohio facility (previous coverage here), Palin reiterated her call to “drill here and drill now!” We’re not sure how much oil there is under Xunlight’s facility, and the startup has yet to return phone calls.
Snark not withstanding, Palin’s speech offered nothing new in terms of hard policy, but pulled the Republican’s energy plan into sharper focus using the lenses of energy independence and national security. While oil prices have slipped far from their summertime high, Palin warned that “the dangers of our dependence on foreign oil are just as they were before” and said that our enemies might use “energy as a weapon.”
While she admitted that no, we can’t “drill our way out of the problem, entirely,” Palin’s solution seems to be “we can drill out of the problem, mostly.” Offering a laundry list of energy-creating verbs, Palin wants to “drill, and refine, and mine, enrich, reprocess, invent, build, conserve, grow, and use every available means to regain our independence.” Presumably in that order.
We took a copy of Palin’s remarks as prepared for her and ran it through a tag cloud generator. While not very scientific, the results, embedded below, are interesting and at a glance give you a pretty good idea of what Palin’s energy priorities are. Sadly, no alternative or renewable sources were mentioned enough to even appear in the cloud.