Palin came into the governor's office and found a mess on her desk. The oil deal struck by defeated Republican governor Frank Murkowski wasn't working. Through creative accounting by big oil and ambiguous reporting standards, the Murkowski plan just wasn't giving the State of Alaska the pay-off that was expected. So the former mayor of Wasilla (population 9,000, as the MSM always points out) demanded that the agreement be renegotiated and the terms be nailed down. They laughed when she sat down to negotiate, but in the end she had a new deal that delivered 50 percent of the oil revenues to the Alaska Permanent Fund, and enabled Palin to send a check for $1,200 to every qualified Alaskan citizen.
Now one of the major companies involved was BP, a.k.a. British Petroleum, before that, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. It was Anglo-Iranian, at that time a British parastatal (70 percent owned by the British government and the Bank of England) that started the Middle East conflict in 1953. Anglo-Iranian was using creative accounting and payments to dummy corporations to pretend to the Iranian government that there was virtually no profit. They demanded that the Iranian government uphold the original contract made decades before. Prime Minister Mohammed Mossedegh threatened to nationalize Anglo-Iranian. The British responded with a naval blockade of Iranian ports.
The Americans stepped in to help. U.S. Ambassador George McGehee, an experienced former petroleum engineer, and Gen. Richard Walters, the linguistic wizard, huddled with Mossedegh in sessions in Washington and New York. They got him to agree to accept a 50-50 split, a reasonable proposal by the then international standard, similar to the contract that U.S.-owned Aramco had renegotiated with Saudi Arabia. But the British refused. Instead they plotted a coup against the Iranian government, and then prevailed upon on the incoming Eisenhower administration to implement it with the assistance of British agents on the ground. Iranian production was taken over by an international coalition that agreed to the 50-50 split. There was plenty enough blame to go around on all sides, but one of the first acts of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 was to toss out all foreign oil companies and confiscate their assets.
Today BP, the former Anglo-Iranian, is the third largest global energy corporation. It now claims to be privatized, and it is estimated that 70 percent of the shares are owned by British investors. At one time the Kuwait Investment Office held over 21 percent of the shares. It tried, and failed, to merge the two companies, but was blocked by a British government inquiry. Under Prime Minister Thatcher, the company went private and on a spending spree. BP bought up Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio), Standard Oil of Indiana (Amoco) and Atlantic Richfield (Arco). BP became a major player in the U.S. petroleum industry, including Prudhoe Bay and the Alaska Pipeline. And despite its advertising campaign trying to suggest that BP means "Beyond Petroleum," the company has one of the worst environmental records in the United States with its refineries blowing up and its pipelines bursting, the result -- as testimony showed -- of parsimonious budgets for maintenance. It is a formidable corporation.
So enter the PTA community organizer from Wasilla. Without preconditions she took on a company that has a market cap of $205 billion and annual revenues of $291 billion in worldwide operations. Its budget is larger than that those of most sovereign countries, yet she won on her terms. If she can outsmart BP, the company that started the Middle East conflict, she can easily outsmart Ahmadinejad, if need be.
Then to follow up that act, she got the Alaskan Legislature to approve development of the TransCanada gas pipeline, a $40 billion deal that will go 1,715 miles from the treatment plant at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to the Alberta hub in Canada, from which it will be transferred to the United States. This project had been sitting around for 30 years on hold because the big energy companies didn't think it would be profitable, and their corrupt cronies in the legislature obediently kept it on the shelf. Crusading against corruption and negotiating across the aisle, Palin not only got it passed in record time, but opened up the bidding when the U.S. companies were reluctant to jump in. So she went ahead and awarded the contract to low-bidder TransCanada Alaska, a firm that has already built 36,000 miles of pipelines in North America. As a final fillip, the Governor signed the bill at the Alaska AFL-CIO biennial convention. While Barack Obama's solution to the energy problem is to urge us to check the air in our tires, Palin's solution is to start building a $40 billion gas pipeline, without Federal government assistance.
Read the whole thing!
And here is a very interesting read on Obama