Someone Should Tell Sarah Palin What The Department Of Energy Actually Does

Someone Should Tell Sarah Palin What The Department Of Energy Actually Does

If you are looking for another reason to vote against Donald Trump, here’s a big one: he’s apparently willing to cripple his own prospective administration for an endorsement from Sarah Palin to win a few extra Iowa primary votes.

Spouting what I can only assume is her resume for the job, Palin said, “I think a lot about the Department of Energy, cause energy is my baby. Oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind’s use, instead of us relying on unfriendly, foreign nations for us to import their, their resources. I think a lot about Department of Energy, and if I were, um, head of that, I’d get rid of it. And I’d let the states start having more control over the lands that are, uh, within, um, their boundaries, and the people who are affected by the developments within their states. So, you know if I were in charge of that, it would be a short-term job, but um, it would be, uh, it would be, really great to have someone who knows energy and is pro-responsible development to be in charge.” Uggh.

With this rationale for her appointment, she would be an objectively terrible choice for the job. It is painfully apparent that Palin does not even know what the Department of Energy does. Where to begin?

The Department of Energy is not the regulatory agency taking Americans’ freedom that Sarah Palin thinks it is. Neither is it the governmental entity that prevents the fracking and drilling of every natural square mile of America for that sweet, sweet oil nectar.

The Department of Energy is actually responsible for the country’s nuclear weapons program, the safety and handling of nuclear materials, and radioactive waste disposal. It is also in charge of the nuclear reactor production for the US Navy’s submarines and aircraft carriers, as well as a host of scientific research programs ranging from genomics to energy conservation.

The current Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, is literally a nuclear physicist, and before joining the Obama Administration in 2013 was a professor at MIT. If you still think one-season reality television star and professional quitter Sarah Palin is qualified, please, please don’t vote.

Palin says her main goal, if given the job, is simply to get rid of the department completely so that she will not have the job for very long. However, she implies that she will not abolish the department before giving all oil drilling rights to the states. This strategy has not been thought through, however, because drilling for oil is overseen by the Department of the Interior, which manages federal land and natural resources, and NOT the Department of Energy.

But besides being entirely mistaken about the purpose and role of the department she says that she would like to head, her efforts would leave over 13,000 government workers unemployed and disrupt deals with some 93,000 contractors, and fire the people tasked with protecting and preserving our nuclear weapons, handling nuclear waste, and equipping our Navy. For someone who routinely blames the current President for weakening our military, impulsively disabling America’s aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines is a puzzling move. In fact, there are few things that could cripple America’s national security as effectively as ending our military’s nuclear deterrent.

Donald Trump routinely says he cannot be bought, and, although he may not need money, he apparently does need votes. Floating the idea of Palin joining his cabinet is some pretty shameful pandering to conservatives. I suppose his karmic punishment was in having to stand next to Palin as she recited every bumper sticker she has heard in the last seven years.

Palin was an inappropriate choice for the vice-presidency when John McCain picked her as his running mate in 2008, and she is an inappropriate choice for a cabinet position, perhaps chief among them the Secretary of Energy.

Levi Olson

Levi Olson

Senior political columnist here at Contemptor, and a political scientist proving that American conservatism is a sham. Follow me on Tumblr at or on Facebook & Twitter @theleviolson.