Sarah Palin, energy expert

John McCain says Palin "knows more about energy" than anyone in the U.S., but she couldn't even manage a logical answer to a question about oil exports.

Published September 19, 2008 10:06PM (EDT)

Remember those times in college when instead of doing the reading for your class the next day, you went out partying with your friends? And remember how when your professor asked you about the material you didn't read, you stammered, and hemmed and hawed, and finally just said whatever came to your mind, hoping beyond hope that it was at least mildly coherent?

Apparently, six colleges later, Sarah Palin does too.

At a town hall on Wednesday night, Palin was asked how she would keep domestically produced oil and coal in the U.S. Here's her answer:

Of course, it's a fungible commodity and they don't flag, you know, the molecules, where it's going and where it's not. But in the sense of the Congress today, they know that there are very, very hungry domestic markets that need that oil first. So, I believe that what Congress is going to do, also, is not to allow the export bans to such a degree that it's Americans who get stuck holding the bag without the energy source that is produced here, pumped here. It's got to flow into our domestic markets first.

One courageous blogger, Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings, attempted to decipher Palin's response. Hilzoy thinks, with good reason, that Palin might have been suggesting a ban on oil exports.

That seems like a bad idea.

While Canada and Mexico are the two largest importers of U.S. crude oil and petroleum products, they're also our two largest suppliers. It's probably not smart to risk a trade war with them.

So perhaps John McCain overstated the case just a bit when he said that his running mate "knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America."

Here's video of Palin's comment:

By Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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