Back in Alaska, Sarah Palin’s discovering that keeping those sky-high approval ratings is much easier when oil’s trading at $150 per barrel:
Oil prices, which provide the bulk of state revenue, were well over $100 a barrel in late August when Ms. Palin left to campaign with Senator John McCain. Now they are slumming south of $60 a barrel, below the level required to balance the state budget….
“Now we kick in that fiscal conservativeness that needs to be engaged, and we progress this state with $57-a-barrel oil,” Ms. Palin said. She said the state would have to “be prudent with public dollars and provide services more efficiently than have ever been provided in the state of Alaska before.”
Well, she’s not the only one who’s suffering. Other religious extremists who lead oil-producing states are having similar issues:
As oil prices plummet, Iranian pessimism grows. In 2006, Tehran planned its budget assuming an oil price of $60/barrel. High oil prices masked Ahmadinejad’s incompetence. While Iran’s budgetary process has grown more opaque, it appears that Ahmadinejad constructed his budget with the assumption of oil price stability. Now that oil has plummeted, the Islamic Republic is in trouble.
Of course, environmentalists like myself aren’t so thrilled with $60/barrel oil either, since it makes alternatives less attractive. Still, watching these two whackjobs suffer politically makes it mildly more palatable.