Governor Sarah Palin has been selling herself as an expert on energy policy, but she apparently is not that clear concerning her own state’s energy situation. A questioner at a town hall style meeting in Wisconsin asked her if it was true that 75% of oil being drilled in Alaska was being sold to China, and, if true, could she explain it. Governor Palin responded: “No,it’s not 75 percent of our oil being exported” and indicate some oil might be exported but it was not very much. She added, “in fact, Congress is pretty strict on, um, export bans of oil and gas especially.” Later, she added, “It’s not a huge portion of any domestic supply being exported.” Of course, the second statement contradicted the first statement.
According to the Energy Information Administration and the Congressional Research Service, not Alaska oil has been exported since 2004. But, Congress has never imposed outright bans on US oil or natural gas exports.In 1973 when the Alaska oil pipeline was built, Congress prohibited export of oil, but the ban was lifted in 1996 and never reinstated.