Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has joined the daily barrage of elected officials talking about ways to tackle rising gas prices. And itâ€™s not just gas guzzlers who she says will benefit; Alaskan caribou could, too.
On the same day that President Bush voiced support for allowing offshore drilling and continued to push for drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) to help alleviate gas prices, Bachmann suggested that drilling in Alaska might be good for the environment.
â€œSome suggestions are that perhaps we would see an enhancement of wildlife expansion because of the warmth of the pipeline,â€ she said during her Wednesday appearance on WCCO-Radioâ€™s â€œJack Rice Show.â€
Bachmann noted a caribou population increase, from 2,700 to 30,000, since the Trans Alaska Pipeline System from Prudhoe Bay was built in 1977.
The pipeline has now become a meeting ground and â€œcoffee klatchâ€ for the caribou, she said.
But the real message, she said, is that â€œdegradation to the environment would be minimally invasive if we accessed the energy that we have hereâ€ in the U.S.
Bachmannâ€™s push for drilling in Alaska is part of a larger Republican bill focused on opening up offshore oil as well as exploration in Western states to become less dependent on foreign oil.
Bachmann said moving forward quickly with this legislation could bring gas prices back to $2 a gallon or less in four years, but Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California is preventing a vote on the bill. Democrats have said Republicans are simplifying a complex energy debate to appeal to cash-strapped voters.
To persuade Pelosi to change her mind, Bachmann is seeking to enlist her constituents. She said she wants Minnesotans to send their gas and energy bills to her and she will â€œput them in bushel baskets and deliver themâ€ to Pelosi to prove how much Americans are paying for the spike in prices.