John McCain\u2019s running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, comes from an oil and gas rich state that allowed her to sign legislation late last month providing residents with major relief from high energy bills. Under the measure, the state suspended its motor fuels tax and is set to pay each resident a check for $1,200 to help cover higher energy costs. Palin also declared September \u201cEnergy Efficiency Month\u201d in Alaska. \u201cConserving energy and using it more efficiently doesn\u2019t necessarily mean you have to sacrifice your quality of life,\u201d she said. Palin pointed out that people can accomplish a lot just by turning off unused lights, appliances, and computers and slowing down when they drive. Earlier in August, Palin praised Barack Obama\u2019s energy plan, which calls for completing a natural gas pipeline to the lower 48 states from Alaska and producing more oil and gas in the state. However, Palin questioned his plan to levy a windfall profits tax on oil and gas companies, saying she preferred to offer them incentives to reinvest in producing more energy. Upon accepting the vice presidential nomination of her party, Palin pledged to \u201clay more pipelines, build more nuclear plants, create jobs with clean coal, and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources.\u201d Increasing American production will make the nation less dependent on foreign sources and boost the economy, he explained. \u201cShe has favored drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and offshore,\u201d said Mike Tanner, Cato Institute senior fellow. \u201cHer husband worked on an oil rig offshore. She comes from a blue collar background.\u201d Her support for more drilling to meet the nation\u2019s energy needs is consistent with McCain\u2019s call for opening up new areas to energy production. Tanner said Palin \u201cleans in a small government direction,\u201d meaning she would eliminate red tape for business. In a symbolic show of support for small government, Tanner noted, \u201cshe sold the state airplane on E-Bay\u201d when she was elected governor in Alaska.