美國共和黨總統參選人馬侃（John McCain），8月26日宣佈他的競選搭檔為阿拉斯加州長帕林（Sarah Palin）。此一選擇將使得能源與環境雙議題成為在2008總統大選的競選主軸。「身為一個強力的地方首長，帕林州長在其任內已證明她具備足以勝任國家元首的能力。｣ 馬侃在達頓的演說中表示：「帕林州長在為新能源發展而奮鬥時，挑戰了大型石油公司影響力，她領導著一個對全美至關重大的一州。阿拉斯加州有著極為重要的能源資源，她已成為爭取美國能源獨立自主的領袖。｣
實際上，不為美國民眾所知的是，提名帕林為共和黨副總統候選人對「共和黨環境保護組織」的政策主管底比索（Jim di Peso）而言，可說是相當震驚。「當我聽到消息，我真的嚇呆了，真是太令人驚訝了｣ 他在接受ENS訪問時說，「我不認為任何人預見這個結果。我認為可能的人選包括普藍提、羅姆尼，或是利伯曼。顯然，我們仍將支持馬侃，我們支持他所挑選的競選伙伴。我們試圖理解這個抉擇所代表的意義。｣
目前整著手拯救受氣候變遷威脅的「野生物保衛者行動基金會」執行長史力克森（Rodger Schlickeisen），也聲稱對選擇帕林為副手的決定感到「震驚｣。「帕林女士已經透過行動清楚地表明在處理全球暖化影響方面，她不願比布希政府做的更多｣ 他說。
「她最近的作為是控告美國漁業暨野生動物局，令其將北極熊自瀕危物種名單中移除，把大石油公司看得比堅實的科學還重。的確難以置信，她的主張等於讓自身置於比布希政府還右派的位置。｣ 「帕林的丈夫為英國石油公司工作，當涉及環境時總是優先考量特定利益。在政績乏善可陳的兩年州長任內，她積極游說開放北極國家野生動物保護區沿岸，以進行石油探勘，並把特殊利益置於科學之前｣ 史力克森說。
在明尼阿波利斯國家保守黨領袖的會議時，史戴夫說，「她已經不僅談論能源危機，她已經積極工作建立解決辦法｣。但是保育選民聯盟今天表示對馬侃的選擇「深深的失望｣ 。 「令人遺憾地，從她支持在北極保護區和離岸進行石油探勘， 帕林州長不過只是繼續布希，─錢尼政府和其大石油公司的失敗政策，使我們更倚賴國外石油進口｣ LCV總裁吉恩卡賓斯基說道。「她已經請求馬侃改變他反對在北極探勘的立場，身為一個競選夥伴，她將有許多機會進行勸說。｣
U.S. Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, today announced that he has selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate and to serve as his vice president. His choice puts the twin issues of energy and environment at the center of the 2008 election campaign.
Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president," McCain said today in Dayton.
"Governor Palin has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources," said McCain. "She leads a state that matters to every one of us - Alaska has significant energy resources - and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent."
Palin said she would not abandon her responsibilities as governor during the presidential race. "As the mother of five, I know how to multi-task, and I will continue to promote the path of reform that we set out on together in the state of Alaska," she said.
Virtually unknown to the American public, Palin in the role of the Republican vice presidential nominee came as a shock to Jim di Peso, policy director of the advocacy group Republicans for Environmental Protection, or REP America.
I was bowled over when I heard the news - what a surprise," he told ENS in an interview. "I don't think anyone saw this coming. I thought Pawlenty, Romney, possibly Lieberman. Obviously, we support McCain, we're going to support his choice of running mate. We're trying to figure out what it all means."
"Any elected leader in Alaska is in favor of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling," said di Peso. "That's just part of the furniture in Alaska politics."
But McCain is opposed to drilling in the refuge, and now Palin "will have to abide by his wishes," said di Peso. "The ensign doesn't get to tell the admiral what to do."
He said REP America supports Governor Palin's moves to move Alaskan natural gas south with a new pipeline.
On Wednesday, Palin signed a bill into law giving the state of Alaska authority to award TransCanada Pipelines a license to build and operate the $26 billion dollar 1,715-mile pipeline. It will transport natural gas from the North Slope through Canada to the lower 48 states. Another consortium, including BP, that had sought pipeline rights was left out of the deal.
"That energy pipeline enjoys broad support," said di Peso. "It is useful in increasing the use of gas as a bridge fuel to a clean energy future."
In response to high oil and gas prices, and the resulting Alaska budget surplus, on Monday Palin signed legislation providing a one-time special payment of $1,200 to every Alaskan eligible for the 2008 Permanent Fund dividend. The bill'also suspends the state's motor fuel tax on gasoline, marine fuel, and aviation fuel for a year.
"In rural Alaska, particularly, many people are facing a choice between feeding their families and heating their homes, and they could use this payment from the state's energy-generated surplus to cover some of those bills," Palin said.
In May, Palin objected to the decision of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to list polar bears as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. She threatened a lawsuit to stop the listing, fearing that it would hurt oil and gas development in the bears' habitat off Alaska's coasts.
She says the climate change models cited by Kempthorne and environmentalists that predict melting of Arctic ice due to climate change are "unreliable."
Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, has worked to protect the polar bear from climate change. Today he called the choice of Palin "shocking."
"Ms. Palin has made it clear through her actions that she is unwilling to do even as much as the Bush administration to address the impacts of global warming," he said.
"Her most recent effort has been to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the polar bear from the endangered species list, putting Big Oil before sound science. As unbelievable as this may sound, this actually puts her to the right of the Bush administration."
"Sarah Palin, whose husband works for BP, formerly British Petroleum, has repeatedly put special interests first when it comes to the environment. In her scant two years as governor, she has lobbied aggressively to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, pushed for more drilling off of Alaska's coasts, and put special interests above science," Schlickeisen said.
Conservative Republicans are behind McCain's choice. Mathew Staver, chairman of Liberty Alliance Action, chairman of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, called the choice of Palin "absolutely brilliant."
Attending a meeting of national conservative leaders in Minneapolis where the Republican National Convention opens on Monday, Staver said, "She has not merely talked about the energy crisis, she has actively worked to create solutions."
But the League of Conservation Voters today expressed its "deep disappointment" with McCain's choice.
"Unfortunately, with her support for drilling in the Arctic Refuge and off our coasts, Governor Palin will simply continue the failed policies of the Bush-Cheney administration and their Big Oil friends - policies that could make us even more dependent on foreign oil," said LCV President Gene Karpinski said. "Governor Palin characterizes McCain's flip-flop on drilling offshore as a positive step in his transformation from maverick to Big Oil's best friend," Karpinsky said. "She has implored McCain to change his position against drilling in the Arctic - something she will have plenty of opportunities to pursue as his running mate."
This ticket now stands in even starker contrast to the visionary energy plan laid out by Senator Obama last night, which will create millions of new jobs, improve our national security, and reduce global warming pollution.
When she took the oath of office on December 4, 2006 at the age of 42, Palin became the first female governor of Alaska, the youngest, and the first governor born after Alaska achieved statehood.
Born in Idaho and raised in Wasilla, Alaska, Palin earned a journalism degree from the University of Idaho and returned to Alaska where she worked as a commercial fisherwoman with her husband, Todd, who now works for the energy corporation BP at an oil field on Alaska's North Slope in winter and continues to fish in summer.
Palin served two terms on the Wasilla City Council from 1992 to 1996, when she became mayor of Wasilla, a small town 43 miles northeast of Anchorage.
In 2003, Palin was appointed ethics commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. She resigned the following year in protest over what she called the "lack of ethics" of fellow Alaskan Republican leaders, who ignored her complaints of legal violations and conflicts of interest. She filed formal complaints against two Republican officials, who both resigned.
As governor, Palin has promoted oil resource development in Alaska, but also helped pass a tax increase on oil company profits. She has announced plans to create a new sub-cabinet group of advisors to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Alaska.
Palin proclaimed September as Energy Efficiency Month in Alaska. The proclamation encourages Alaskans to lower their costs by conserving energy and by using existing energy more efficiently.
REP America's di Peso says the McCain-Palin ticket will be good for a healthy debate on environmental issues.
"One of the things we're trying to accomplish as an organization is to move the environment from being a partisan poltical football - an issue that Republicans disdain and Democrats assume that they've cornered the market on," he told ENS.
We've got to get it out of the partisan box," he said. "The value of McCain is that he has moved in that direction. He has confronted issues that most Republicans have shied away from. McCain is willing to treat the issue of environmental protection on its merits as a serious concern."