I thought all of you might be interested in reading this. It's an investigation conducted by the AP (Associated Press) into the pipeline Palin claimed to conduct during the VP debate. Here are some interesting highlights from the article:
McCain-Palin spokesman Taylor Griffin claimed: "There was an open and transparent
process that subjected the decision to extensive public scrutiny and due diligence."
But the AP found the following:
Instead of creating a process that would attract many potential builders, Palin slanted the terms away from an important group — the global energy giants that own the rights to the gas.
Despite promises and legal guidance not to talk directly with potential bidders, Palin had meetings or phone calls with nearly every major candidate, including TransCanada.
The leader of Palin's pipeline team had been a partner at a lobbying firm where she worked on behalf of a TransCanada subsidiary. Also, that woman's former business partner at the lobbying firm was TransCanada's lead private lobbyist on the pipeline deal, interacting with legislators in the weeks before the vote to grant TransCanada the contract. Plus, a former TransCanada executive served as an outside consultant to Palin's pipeline team.
Under a different set of rules four years earlier, TransCanada had offered to build the pipeline without a state subsidy; under Palin, the company could receive a maximum $500 million.
TransCanada's Palmer described communication with state officials as nonexistent.
According to the governor's official schedule, however, Palin called TransCanada President and CEO Hal Kvisle on Aug. 8, 2007. Asked about that call, Palmer said it was to clarify the bidding process.
Griffin said that in keeping with legal guidance, Palin never spoke in any of the meetings about the competitive bidding process
"Most definitely TransCanada got a sweetheart deal this time," said Republican Sen. Bert Stedman, who voted against the TransCanada license. "Where else could you get a $500 million reimbursement when you don't even have the financing to build the pipeline?"
Source: AP News