By: Matthew Cordell on September 04, 2008 VP nominee Sarah Palin delivered the keynote speech tonight, and the majority of the the substantive section focused on energy policy. (Transcript from the RNC below.) The gist: The U.S. needs energy independence from “dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart,” like Russia, Venezuela, and Iran, as well as terrorists in Saudi Arabia. I know that drilling won’t solve the problem, but it is a good step in the right direction. To truly solve the problem America also needs to foster nuclear power, clean coal, and renewables. Though I’m not sure the drilling is truly helpful in the short term, the rest of her strategy is on point (although admittedly vague). Two quick points: This sentence doesn’t work: “With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers”…unless the antecedent of “ourselves” is “the U.S. and our allies,” which doesn’t seem to be what she intends in this instance. Russia’s control of oil flow to Europe is a strategic issue for the U.S., but it has little to do with America’s dependence on foreign oil. She says, “But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all,” presumably to imply that Obama’s energy policy is nothing at all. In fact, it is remarkably similar to what Obama suggested in his acceptance speech. The U.S. is lucky to have so many potential leaders committed to robust reform of its energy policies. The full section: That pipeline, when the last section is laid and its valves are opened, will lead America one step farther away from dependence on dangerous foreign powers that do not have our interests at heart. The stakes for our nation could not be higher. When a hurricane strikes in the Gulf of Mexico, this country should not be so dependent on imported oil that we are forced to draw from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve. And families cannot throw away more and more of their paychecks on gas and heating oil. With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers. To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of world energy supplies … or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia … or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries … we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas. And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we’ve got lots of both. Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems – as if we all didn’t know that already. But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all. Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines … build more new-clear plants … create jobs with clean coal … and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources.