"Whether that is in the Everglades or whether that is in the eastern Gulf region, or whether that's in North Dakota, we need to go where the energy is," Michele Bachmann said during a Florida stop Sunday: "Of course it needs to be done responsibly. If we can't responsibly access energy in the Everglades then we shouldn't do it." Why, oh, why, did she volunteer the Everglades in a Florida stop? We're with Debbie Wasserman Shultz (!), Allen West, John Hayward, the alligators and the manatees (above) on this. But it's all in how you frame the argument (see below).
"As a Floridian, I can see that Michele Bachmann's outrageous proposal to drill for oil and natural gas in the Everglades demonstrates just how out of touch Republicans are with the needs of Floridians and all Americans," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D FL-20) today, tarring all of us on the right side of the aisle with a broad, holier-than-thou JournoList brush. We hate the land — especially the wetland — and all things bright and beautiful! Water purified by natural systems? Who needs it. Contrast her vitriolic tone with the measured rhetoric of her fellow Sunshine stater Rep. Allen West (R FL-22), who had this to say about Bachmann's proposal:
West also said fellow tea party celebrity Michele Bachmann made "an incredible faux pas" this week during her presidential campaign swing through Florida when she said she'd consider allowing drilling for oil and natural gas in the Everglades if it can be done safely.
"When I see her next week, I'll straighten her out about that," West said of the Republican Minnesota congresswoman. Freshman West is a member of the House Tea Party Caucus that Bachmann chairs.
"I happen to live quite near the Everglades, and I’m prepared to believe they should be eternally off-limits to drilling … provided that case is made with facts and reason," says John Hayward, puting things in perspective:
We’re reaching a major crisis point between environmentalism and industry. It’s been a long time coming. Too much of the debate is shrouded in illusions that we can’t afford any more. Too much has been declared “unthinkable” by hysterics and political opportunists like Wasserman Schultz. We need to start thinking about these issues …
That is a binary choice: if we want job growth and energy independence, we're going to have to drill in someone's "backyard."
Update: Bachmann maintains her stance (why, Michele, why?):
Crossposted at Riehl World View.