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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, in her last weeks in office after announcing she was quitting, has waded into the U.S. climate change debate, saying President Barack Obama's energy plans would cost jobs and damage the economy.
"I am deeply concerned about President Obama's cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy," the conservative Republican governor and defeated 2008 vice presidential candidate said in an op-ed article in Tuesday's Washington Post.
"It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage," said Palin, whose state is a major U.S. energy provider.
Palin, who will transfer power to Alaska Lieutenant Gov. Sean Parnell on July 26, said the administration's plan to limit climate-warming carbon emissions by offering greenhouse pollution allowances would send unemployment soaring.
A cap-and-trade system aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels like petroleum and coal is at the heart of legislation that narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives on June 26. The Senate is expected to start considering it in September.
This kind of system, which Obama supports, aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, and by 83 percent by 2050.
Instead, Palin advocated offshore oil drilling, drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, more coal mining and the potential for nuclear power in all U.S. states.
Editing by David Storey