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Palin’s emails on Texas show Alaska Gov.’s focus on energy

In response to open records requests, the state of Alaska has finally released 24,199 pages of email correspondence sent and received by Sarah Palin during her governorship. Mother Jones, msnbc.com and ProPublica have teamed up to make all the emails available in a searchable database.

Searching for the term “Texas” yields an exchange between Palin and her communications director in which the former vice presidential candidate moves the direction of her keynote speech – delivered at the Republican Governor’s Association Energy Conference held in Dallas in 2008 – to focus on energy instead of ethics and education.

From press secretary Rosanne Hughes:

“We’re finishing up your remarks for the Governors meeting in Texas. You have two sets of remarks — one is a 15-minute speech and the other is a three-minute overview of accomplishments and happenings in your state. On the three minute remarks, we focused on AGIA, ethics and education. Would you like to include anything else , or have us change the focus?”

Palin replies:

“I think janice said the focus is on energy — these guys want to know about our resources, it’s not the educ/ethics kinda crowd.”

The exchange also highlights Palin’s eagerness to attend the Texas RGA meeting due to the presence of major oil supplier Shell. She says:

“CEO of Shell and others will be at the Texas RGA mtg. I’d like to plan on that one April 16-17, i realize it’s right after session but would like to go be it’s an Energy Conf.”

Palin, a champion of oil drilling, has been criticized for her support of oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and for advocating to remove polar bears’ status as an endangered species. Carl Pope, head of the Sierra Club, has said “No one is closer to the oil industry than Governor Palin,” for those reasons as well as her “dismissive” attitude toward alternative energy and for opposition toward a windfall profit tax on the most profitable oil companies.

The Los Angeles Times reports that emails relating to oil leases with companies, such as ExxonMobil, have been redacted from the records request.

The search resulted in 50 pages of mainly congratulatory praise from Palin fans based in Texas, messages about Palin and Alaska’s enthusiasm toward a 2008 amicus brief in support of the Second Amendment issued by the state of Texas, and some light wrangling over ensuring a press release endorsing the brief did not get sent before Texas’ official statement.

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