Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, touted by GOP presidential candidate John McCain as his expert on energy, seemed to have problems Thursday explaining whether the government bans oil exports — especially from her state's North Slope fields.
A questioner at a town hall-style meeting in Wisconsin said he had heard that at least 75 percent of the oil drilled in Alaska was being sold to China and said, if true, he would like to know why.
"No. It's not 75 percent of our oil being exported," Palin said, suggesting some of Alaska's oil, in fact, may be going abroad but not that much.
"In fact," she added, "Congress is pretty strict on, um, export bans of oil and gas especially."
No Alaska oil has been exported since 2004, and little if any since 2000, according to the Energy Information Administration and the Congressional Research Service.
And Congress has never imposed outright bans on oil exports. Congress prohibited exports of Alaska oil in 1973 when the Alaska oil pipeline was built. But that ban was lifted in 1996 when there were large volumes of Alaska oil coming down from the North Slope and U.S. demand was soft.
The Alaska ban has never been reinstated.Oops. Imagine what she knows about issues where she isn't supposed to be strong.