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What, on a real practical level here, the GOP has got to do, though, between now and the election, is to convince Americans that it is our energy policy that is best for our nation and the nation's future, that if we are to become energy independent and if we are to become a more secure nation then we had better start supplying our very, very hungry markets across the nation with American supplies of energy. And up here in Alaska we're sitting on billions of barrels of oil. We're sitting on hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas onshore and offshore. And it seems to be only the Republicans who understand that companies should be competing for the right to tap those resources, and get that energy source flowing into these hungry markets so that we will be less reliant on foreign sources of energy. In a volatile world, relying on foreign regimes that are not friendly to Americans, asking them to ramp up resource production for our benefit, that's nonsensical.
The GOP agenda to ramp up domestic supplies of energy is the only way that we are going to become energy independent, the only way that we are going to become a more secure nation. And I say this, of course, knowing the situation we are in right now at war, not knowing what the plan is to ever end the war we are engaged in, understanding that Americans are seeking solutions and are seeking resolution in this war effort. So energy supplies and being able to produce and supply domestically is going to be a big part of that. And the GOP agenda is the right agenda in that respect, but the GOP is going to have to prove to Americans in following weeks that we can safely, responsibly and ethically develop these resources. That, of course, has been a problem for the GOP. And a problem up here in Alaska. We have state lawmakers serving time in prison right now... other lawmakers whom the FBI is probing right now... because they have been found, some, to be corrupt in oil and gas issues, having taken bribes. That does not bode well for the GOP. And that's gotta change.
What has been your crowning achievement in office so far?
We have protected our state sovereignty by taking on the big oil industry interests, making sure that there is not going to be any undue influence on the oil industry, that our state administration and our state lawmakers will be making the decisions we will be making... based on sound, solid, unbiased information, not being corrupted by, in the case that I'm speaking of now, [an] oil service company's undue influence that has corrupted some lawmakers. We have set in place ethics laws, overseeing agencies and offices to make sure that never happens again in Alaska. So that's something we're very proud of. And we have allowed measures to be put in place now where we can prove very, very sound and strict oversight of oil and gas development so that we can prove to the rest of the nation that we are ready, willing and we are able to safely develop our resources. So that Alaska can be contributers, we can be producers, so we don't have to be takers from federal government. but can be supplying the rest of the U.S. with American resources finally.
Is there one particular moment or conversation that stands out in your mind where you said, I want to change things, I want to become a politician?
Not so much being a politician. I can't recall a conversation or a moment that I decided that. But knowing that I did want to make a difference. And knowing that my parents had filled in me and my sisters and my brother the desire to work hard and to seek to serve something greater than self. I attribute that passion in me to my parents because that's the way they have lived.... I think it was just in my upbringing, observing the way that my parents live ... as a schoolteacher and the school secretary was my mom and as coaches, volunteers in the community, and that to this day they're still helping out with students and kids and activities in Alaska. Just this general observation that's fulfilling, the actions that they take do make a difference, they make people's lives better. I did want to be a part of that. It was a given for my siblings and for me and, naturally, an expectation that we were to do that. So, now my siblings have ended up one's an elementary school teacher, one's a pediatric hygienist (she's also worked in the dental industry)... we all have our little niches. I'm the only one who got into politics. My parents were never partisan. In fact I won't be surprised if most folks in my family are registered as either nonpartisan or independents. But just that sense of contributing to community has been very, very strong and a solid part of my foundation based on my upbringing.
You have five children. You must be incredibly busy.
I'm just very blessed. My husband loves being a dad as much as I love being a mom. I've got great help there. But also my immediate family and my extended family, for the most part, are Alaskans, they're here, helping with a network, a support system. I got a couple of aunts outside in Washington state too who are very, very helpful to me. So logistically speaking it's not impossible what I'm doing. I've got great assistance. And having big kids in addition to the little ones... the big kids help out so much with the little one.