Bachmann: Oil drilling, environment can mix

June 19th, 2008 – 5:27 PM by Emily Kaiser

Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has joined the daily barrage of elected officials talking about ways to tackle rising gas prices. And it’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.

“Some suggestions are that perhaps we would see an enhancement of wildlife expansion because of the warmth of the pipeline,” she said during her Wednesday appearance on WCCO-Radio’s “Jack Rice Show.”

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 “coffee klatch” for the caribou, she said.

But the real message, she said, is that “degradation to the environment would be minimally invasive if we accessed the energy that we have here” in the U.S.

Bachmann’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 “put them in bushel baskets and deliver them” to Pelosi to prove how much Americans are paying for the spike in prices.

12 Responses to "Bachmann: Oil drilling, environment can mix"

Cash N. Carey says:

June 19th, 2008 at 6:49 pm

God bless you Michele! EOM

parthian says:

June 19th, 2008 at 8:41 pm

What the h*ll is the “Jack Rice Show”?

He allows this blathering dingbat Darlin’ Michele to go on the air claiming that drilling in the Arctic Refuge would reduce gas prices to $2/gal in four years and doesn’t challenge her on how she “calculates” that or exactly who told her such nonsense? Is he a pinhead?

And he allows her to assert that the drilling would HELP the Arctic Wildlife when every gub’mint study has concluded there would be very harmful effects on the caribou calving grounds and on other wildlife that travel to the coastal plain every summer?

The last USGS study concluded that the Refuge likely has less than one year of just the US’s current annual consumption of oil. And that small amount of oil is so dispersed in penny packets that there would need to be an enormous network of platforms, roads and pipelines all over the coastal plain, so this idea that “new technology” will allow a small footprint is another Big Oil lie.

But Darlin’ Michele is also showing that she hasn’t the slightest understanding of the situation if she thinks that marginal drilling in America (the most drilled country on earth) is going to reduce gas prices by over 50% in four years—that’s simply delusional, goes completely against what every academic geologist thinks and likely against what even Big Oil thinks.

It shows she has no understanding of Peak Oil and what it means for gas-guzzling nation. It shows she does not read and understand gub’mint reports about wildlife or oil deposits. It shows she does not understand the oil market or oil production.

She is a disgrace to our state, an uninformed moron who hasn’t the slightest business casting votes in Congress. She hasn’t the intellectual ability to work at a Hardee’s in Sauk Centre during the lunch “rush”.

And whoever Jack Rice is, if he let Darlin’ Michele blat out this baseless claptrap without asking for her sources and reasons, or challenging her with actual facts, then he’s not much better.

SgtPendleton says:

June 20th, 2008 at 8:00 am

Jack Rice is actually one of the more even-handed and fair interviewers on local radio. Parth — he has a mid day show on 830 — It’s actually pretty good.

The comment about the caribou population is deceptive — there’s 1000s of other things that could have caused the population to rise since 1977…This is like saying the Vikings only win when I don’t watch them.

Jay says:

June 20th, 2008 at 8:47 am

I actually agree with most of parthian’s points, although for very different reasons (which will likely be a source of irritation for parth, no doubt).

“blathering dingbat Darlin’ Michele” and also “She is a disgrace to our state, an uninformed moron who hasn’t the slightest business casting votes in Congress.”

Agreed.

“Darlin’ Michele is also showing that she hasn’t the slightest understanding of the situation if she thinks that marginal drilling in America…is going to reduce gas prices by over 50% in four years”

Agreed. Marginal drilling will not be the cause of the significant (perhaps as high as 50%, but maybe slightly less) decline in energy prices over the next 2 years.

“It shows she does not understand the oil market or oil production”

Agreed. I would add that neither does parthian.

“he allows her to assert that the drilling would HELP the Arctic Wildlife when every gub’mint study has concluded there would be very harmful effects on the caribou calving grounds”

I have a hard time believing that any industry, especially mining/drilling can “help” native wildlife. I will allow that if done properly and responsibly, it can have minimal effect. As parthian more-or-less points out, ANWR is a very small parcel of land. The “very harmful effects” on caribou calving grounds that parthian is talking about are dubious to me simply due to the vast amount of other acres up there that these creatures (numerous in numbers) currently utilize. There is certainly no shortage of caribou. They are the white-tailed deer of Alaska.

Bottom line is that whether you believe in the propeganda that the opposition to ANWR drilling dishes out (in generous helpings), or not; the facts are that drilling in that remote region is unnecessary today. The merits/demerits of the argument don’t matter.

Oil companies are sitting on all the leased acreage they need (with all the required premitting and whatnot already completed). They could start exploring and drilling on those properties tomorrow. In ANWR, they’d be starting from square one. Much of the magical “20 years” figure that the some would claim it would take to see physical production from ANWR hit the market isn’t the time required to lay in the necessary infastructure. It is the time required to fight through the giovernmental red tape. We have enough acres where that has already been completed.

The entire ANWR arguement is a diversion.

John E Iacono says:

June 20th, 2008 at 11:04 am

I have the solution to the oil price crisis.

Why not just stop going to work, traveling for vacations, and bring the nation to a halt? In France they call it a general strike.

I predict the following results:

The Chinese can get all the oil they want. Supply-demand is thrown into confusion.

The huge US market for oil crunches to a halt and the oil producers and oil companies panic. The speculators run for the hills. Prices sink to pre-70′s lows, but no-body buys because they don’t need fuel.

The auto manufacturers suddenly discover they can produce vehicles that use little or no petroleum — if they want to make any sales.

The politicians finally get the message that this is not something to play with and actually pass some helpful legislation. Or not. It doesn’t matter.

The US economy has a BAD year, but the next year is a great one.

How long would it take? About a month, I think. Summer is a good time for it.

SgtPendleton says:

June 20th, 2008 at 11:29 am

Ahhh…the return of Jay — thanks for the info sir!

SgtPendleton says:

June 20th, 2008 at 11:30 am

John, general strikes are ILLEGAL in the US.

lloydletta says:

June 22nd, 2008 at 3:47 pm

For the story on Michele Bachmann, check out the Dump Bachmann blog.

lloydletta says:

June 22nd, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Dump Bachmann is at:

dumpbachmann.blogspot.com, or just google Michele Bachmann or Dump Bachmann.

John E Iacono says:

June 23rd, 2008 at 11:16 am

At least since the sixties, “illegal” does not seem to have stopped any group from engaging in protests.

What would they do? Throw the whole country into jail?

Frankly says:

June 23rd, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Found this on Dump Bachmann
the letter writer is responding to her Forest Lakes Times commentary from a week earlier titled Dems to Blame for High Gas

Rep. Bachmann’s memory loss
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
Michael Lafave
Guest Columnist

After reading Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s June 11 “Democrats to Blame for High Gas” column it seems that she has a memory that only goes back to 2006. Bachmann would like us to believe that all of our nation’s energy woes have been created by the Democrats in the last year and a half.

What Bachmann forgot to mention was that in the prior 12 years, the Republicans controlled the U.S. House and Senate and had President Bush in the White House for six of those years.

As someone who does remember I would like to let the readers know some “startling truths” Michele Bachmann forgot to mention:

•That Bachmann’s campaign fund raising buddy Vice President Dick Cheney said in the New York Times on April 6, 2004: “Let us rid ourselves of the fiction that low oil prices are somehow good for the United States.”

•That Vice President Cheney’s energy task force, which drafted our nation’s energy policy in 2001, was loaded with oil company executives.

•That she campaigned for President Jimmy Carter, who initiated a U.S. energy policy that stated “we must start now to develop the new, unconventional sources of energy we will rely on in the next century.” With the exception of the U.S. Strategic Oil Reserve, most aspects of President Carter’s program were dismantled by Republican President Ronald Reagan.

•That Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman voted against drilling in Alaska’s ANWAR.

•That Florida Republican Gov. Jeb Bush as well as President Bush did not support drilling offshore of Florida. In the Oval Office on May 29, 2002, with Jeb Bush present, President Bush sealed a deal to prevent offshore drilling of Florida’s gulf coast.

•That California Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on April 10, 2006: “The action taken by Congress today is irresponsible and totally unacceptable. As Governor of California, I will do everything in my power to fight the federal government on this issue and prevent any new offshore drilling.”

The Republican Party controlled the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate from 1994 until the midterm elections in 2006 as well as having a Republican president since 2000.

All the items Bachmann writes about in her column: nuclear power, clean burning coal, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming’s oil shale and refineries not being built were not acted upon in any substantial way during the 12 years that the Republicans controlled the Congress and the six years of President Bush.

Maybe rather than jockeying for position to get a presidential smooch at President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Address, Bachmann would have been well advised to actually listen to what President Bush had to say. President Bush said: “It’s in our vital interest to diversify America’s energy supply, and the way forward is through technology.”

If only she had listened maybe a incandescent light bulb would go on above her head and Rep. Bachmann would realize that there is bipartisan support in many areas like wind, solar, ethanol, hydrogen cars and yes, even light bulbs. Bipartisanship will grow if our lawmakers build upon what they already agree on, but bipartisanship is impossible if one side continually places blame on the other.

Rep. Bachmann states in her column: “Congress has to let go of the do-nothing, partisan-bickering, business-as-usual mentality and deliver real change to the American people.”

Maybe someday an efficient compact fluorescent light bulb will go on above Rep. Bachmann’s head and she will realize her commentary is the perfect example of “the do-nothing, partisan-bickering, business-as-usual mentality” she speaks of.

Karl says:

June 23rd, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Bachmann was awarded runner-up in Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” segment tonight for her brilliant comments above. It’s Michele’s third such honor from Olbermann. See for yourself:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#25338750

This is a place where open-minded critical thinkers of all political persuasions encounter information and arguments that both support and challenge their preconceptions. The goal is not to eliminate differences but to narrow and clarify them. We begin with a bedrock agreement that the search for insight and clarity is important, serious - and fun.

We ask commenters to be civil and substantive and, if possible, good humored. We reserve the right to delete comments that disregard this request.

Follow The Big Question on Twitter Do you use Twitter? Follow The Big Question.