GIBSON: If it gets built. You put up $500 million of state money, no guarantees the thing's going to be built. PALIN: It's going to be built because there are hungry markets craving this resource, and Alaska has hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of clean, green natural gas and it's ready to flow.
GIBSON: But you're building it to ship gas that's controlled by the major energy companies and they don't want your line, I understand.
PALIN: Well, you know I haven't made a lot of friends in the oil industry, if you will, because we have said they have leases that they have held onto here in the state of Alaska, some leases for decades, and they still haven't produced in some of the fields that are rich and ripe for production. But they have a duty to develop, they have provisions in their leases, in the contracts that they signed years ago, that when it was economic, when the price was right, they'd be developing. Now the price is right, it is time to develop.
They didn't like the message that I sent there over these last two years. The people of Alaska, they have liked that message, they have understood that we as a sovereign Alaska, owning the resource underground, we have a right to hold them to those provisions in their leases. And we have a mutually beneficial relationship of course, the oil companies here in Alaska and state government. But it's state government who has the position of strength as we negotiate with these oil companies on developments. Our position of strength is our state constitution.
GIBSON: You fought the energy companies on this, but energy, oil and gas taxes really produce about 80 percent of the revenue of this state.
PALIN: Even more than that.
GIBSON: And a lot of people say this state is really in the pocket of the big energy companies.
PALIN: Well, not anymore. And we did have some rogue legislators who are serving prison time right now, Charlie, for having accepted bribes from oil service company executives. Those executives having plead guilty to corrupting lawmakers, we've broken that and that, I believe, is the reason that I got elected governor, is because I promised that we weren't going to put up with that anymore.
GIBSON: Let me talk to you a bit about environmental policy because this interfaces with energy policy and you have some significant differences with John McCain. Do you still believe that global warming is not manmade?
PALIN: I believe that man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change. Here in Alaska, the only arctic state in our union of course, we see the effects of climate change more so than any other area with ice pack melting.
Regardless though of the reason for climate change, whether it's entirely wholly caused by man's activities or is part of the cyclical nature of our planet, the warming and the cooling trends, regardless of that, John McCain and I agree that we've got to do something about it and we have to make sure that we're doing all we can to cut back on pollution.
GIBSON: But it's a critical point as to whether this is manmade. He says it is--you have said in the past it's not.
PALIN: The debate on that even really has evolved into—okay, here's where we are now. Scientists do show us that there are changes in climate. Things are getting warmer. Now what do we do about it? John McCain and I are going to be working on what we do about it.