October 15th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
14 years ago

Palin unaware of Russian energy meeting in Alaska

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/palin4.jpg caption="Palin did not know that Russian oil officials would be visiting her home state this week."]
DOVER, New Hampshire (CNN) - The campaign of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said the Alaska governor was unaware of a visit by Russian energy officials to Anchorage on Monday.

Eight high-level officials from Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy conglomerate, traveled to Anchorage earlier this week to meet with the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the chief executive of ConocoPhillips to discuss energy projects and the possibility of expanding into new markets.

The meeting on Alaskan soil comes at a time of chilly relations between Russia and the United States following Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August. Both Palin and John McCain have been critical of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail, and Palin raised eyebrows last month in an interview by saying that Putin “rears his head” by dispatching Russian jets into Alaska’s airspace.

Palin has argued that her state’s proximity to Russia, as well as trade missions between Alaska and Russia, have helped give her the foreign policy experience necessary to be Vice President. But the campaign said the governor did not know that the Gazprom delegation was meeting with the commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, who is a Palin appointee.

Asked if Palin supports Gazprom doing business in Alaska, an aide to the governor said that “Alaska state officials routinely meet with government representatives from energy companies around the world.”

“Alaska has been, and will remain, very selective about companies with whom they do business,” said Palin spokesperson Tracey Schmitt.

UPDATE: The commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources, Tom Irwin, tells CNN he informed Palin’s chief of staff, Mike Nizich, about the meeting before it took place two days ago. Irwin did not know if Nizich had passed the information along to the governor.

Irwin told CNN that he exchanged emails with Palin on Wednesday about energy issues, but that neither of them mentioned the Gazprom meeting in their messages. Despite Palin's absence from the state, Irwin said “it remains business as normal, and the governor has stayed very involved in state activities and is still leading state government.”

He noted that Monday's meeting with the Russian officials actually took place in the governor’s conference room in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, which he said is a common practice for large meetings and only requires on-site approval by office staffers.

Irwin stressed that the meeting with the Russian delegation was simply “a presentation of what they do” and that there was no specific pitch made about any business interest in Alaska.

Watch: Palin on McCain's new economic plan

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. John in Washington

    Which part don't you idiots understand? State officials regularly meet with officials from different countries to discuss energy markets. That's why these people are appointed, and why business leaders are in the positions they are... A President does the same thing when he/she appoints a cabinet. The President/Govenor gives them autonomy, and only gets involved if there are severe policy issues. Once again you fail to recognize what executive experience is, and put your trust in a man who has smoked pot, snorted cocaine, and criticizes everyone elses hard work.

    October 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. s=dav

    How in the world can someone take this moron seriously?
    Lipstick pit-bull dog lady I thought you were just a misunderstood Nazi. For what you are trying to do to this country I hope after this election is over you get the impeachment you disserve

    October 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Karen

    Gee, you'd think they would have wanted their "energy expert" there. Did they just take the row boat over from Russia?

    October 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Tracey

    These republicans are indeed running out of tricks! Wow! Let's see what they are going to come out with next?

    October 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Chad

    The Pentagon proved her wrong saying that no Russian military aircraft has had an incident. She really isn't a very informed person is she?

    October 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Beth

    I know, I know!!!!!

    None of the many newspapers that she reads mentioned this meeting, so how could she know?
    Governor Palin; go home and please take Senator McCain with you!! As soon as you can!!! The American people are smarter than electing your lying ticket!!

    October 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Scott Tucson

    So what's the issue?? Obama is still unaware that he started his politcal career in the living room of an ex-terrorist.

    October 15, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Phil, CA

    Why does it sound more and more like her husband is actually running things up there? And no, I'm not being sexist, it just seems that she really has no clue at all about government. This could be just like in Latin America where there's something in a man's closet that would prevent them from being electable (like Todd's ties to Alaskan secessionists) so they have the wife run by proxy.

    October 15, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  9. Jeffrey in MI

    Truly a dope. Enough said.

    October 15, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  10. Kate

    I've been saying she's about as smart as a pet rock; I would now like to apologize for insulting pet rocks.

    October 15, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. chad - Indianapolis

    She's a complete IDIOT!!!

    Also, why is her husbend still a member of a group to have Alaska leave the union, had a DUI, and never gratuated.

    She pushes for abstience and has a knockup daughter, cant have an abortion but can buy a gun and shoot animals and people....



    October 15, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. cool onlooker

    Why bother to inform the Gov.? Her plate has been tooooo full.

    Trooper investigation pending;
    preparing for end-term paper like any sixth-grader;
    nursing her 6-month-old new born; (by the way very disturbing scene to be shown on TV doing nursing; a gov. nursing in front of TV viewers? euuu....);
    worst of all, parenting her teenaged pregnant daughter...

    She is not super-human, she is earth person. she is too occupied. why bother with Russia's visit?!

    Set her free to do what she belongs to do...

    October 15, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |

    I guess she can still see them from her house. LOL. Wow it appears that they are in her back yard

    October 15, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  14. Scott

    Aww Shucks!

    Palin misses the one opportunity to tie proximity to Russia and foreign policy experience.

    October 15, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. McWho??

    Shows just how much of a vital role she played in those 'trade missions' & how much of an expert she is on energy that they didn't ask her input..lol. Matter of Fact nobody asked for her input not even John McCain. ( he only asked her to smile and look pretty) .

    October 15, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  16. Aaron

    One slightly more serious note from a self admitted "looney lefty"... I just started checking out these posts – I completely sympathize with the anger and frustration I hear from those (most of us) who have been excluded these last 8 years, and I certainly hope Obama wins and can actually follow through with the kind of change he espouses (Nader would be my guy, but THAT's never gonna happen ;-). Whatever does happen though, it is important that we start to CALM the anger towards each other. I hope the left can be gracious in victory (God willing) and remember that we are ALL Americans. Things have gotten so divided and vitriolic that I'm reminded of when Abraham Lincoln after the civil war had to remind the Union soldiers not to celebrate, because those injured and defeated Confederate soldiers were once again their fellow countrymen.

    So while I am personally so far left that I know my first choice will never win, I do recognize the NEED to find common ground even with those fellow Americans with whom I have the deepest and most fundamental disagreements. Remember that when this media orgy we call an election is over, we'll have to do the same... It is the ONLY way our country can move forward.

    Now off my soapbox.

    October 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  17. Frank,MO

    That just because she cannot see Russia nor Alaska from the campaign trail – otherwise she would have been 'of course' fully informed. Sure.

    Question is : Who is watching Russia right now. How did the Russians make it through the air space "everybody in Alaska is watching" ?

    October 15, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  18. LIP

    Basically, Sarah Palin is a good person and no matter what the liberal Republican haters say, they will not change my mind. This is someone I can vote for, someone who has more executive experience than Obama has ever dreamed of. Besides Biden said it best when he said "Obama wasn't fit to be President".

    October 15, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. Linda32

    I guess rearing their heads into the air space didn't send the alert memo to Palin.

    October 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. Women for Obama/Biden

    Really sad i mean really sad

    October 15, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9