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Palin: Eliminate All Energy Subsidies

Palin: Eliminate All Energy Subsidies

By Scott Conroy - May 31, 2011

DILLSBURG, Pa. -- Asked Tuesday whether she supports the federal subsidy of ethanol, an always critical issue in the presidential nominating cycle, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin went one step further and called for the elimination of all energy subsidies.

"I think that all of our energy subsidies need to be relooked at today and eliminated," Palin told RCP during a quick stop at a coffee shop in this picturesque town tucked into the south-central Pennsylvania countryside. "And we need to make sure that we're investing and allowing our businesses to invest in reliable energy products right now that aren't going to necessitate subsidies because, bottom line, we can't afford it."

If she runs for president, Palin plans to make energy issues a centerpiece of her campaign and will tout her record as governor on restructuring the oil tax regime in Alaska and initiating a massive natural gas pipeline project, which currently remains in limbo.

Her emphatic stance against ethanol subsidies may ruffle some feathers in the nation's first voting state of Iowa, but it will also win her kudos from fiscal conservatives who praised former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty when, in a speech announcing his candidacy in Des Moines, he called for the phasing out of the federal subsidies that cost taxpayers about $5 billion last year.

Mitt Romney, who will announce his candidacy Thursday and is considered the front-runner in the GOP field, said last week in Iowa that he supports ethanol subsidies.

But Palin differs, saying, "We've got to allow the free market to dictate what's most efficient and economical for our nation's economy. No, at this time, our country can't afford the subsidies. Before, though, we even start arguing about some of these domestic subsidies that need to be eliminated -- should be -- we need to look at ending subsidies and loans to foreign countries and their energy production that we're relying on, like Brazil."

Palin and family members traveling on her "One Nation" bus tour spent Tuesday morning touring the battlefields at Gettysburg before heading for Philadelphia.

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at sconroy@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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