Lisa Murkowski, as is her wont, spoke with several western Alaskan radio reporters this morning. I enjoy these conversations, particularly because I find that Lisa gives involved answers to complicated questions, when the tendency among others in her position might be to gloss over the issue with some nice sound bites.
- She explicitly said she won't begrudge any Alaska native community that takes fuel from Citgo and even said that the program should force Alaskans to ask questions about how we use our oil wealth. When there's $34 billion dollars in the Permanent Fund, she noted, why should people be forced to accept fuel from Venezuela?
- Her analysis of Chavez again showed some slippage, though she didn't explicitly say he was an "evil" man.
- She commented frequently that energy policy in Alaska and the country is "broke." She said that the Energy Policy Act of a few years back was a fine start but there hasn't been any appropriations lately to back up the ideas there. She said there needs to be lots more time and money invested in alternative energy sources.
- She was really worked up about the whole energy topic as her answer to this question was longer than any of the others.
- She said there's no doubt in her mind Alaska needs all the federal money it gets but agreed the fight to get that money is getting more difficult since so much of it comes through earmarks while the rewards are getting smaller.
- It's curious to me that she's still in Washington when there's a campaign going on at home. We didn't ask her about the gubernatorial race but I wonder how seriously she's into Sarah Palin... might she cast a vote for her old pal Andrew Halcro?