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When even an extreme congressman is starting to call you out, you are in trouble. Rep. Allen West called Rep. Michele Bachmann’s suggestion for drilling oil in the Florida Everglades “an incredible faux pas.”
Over the weekend, Bachmann spoke at a campaign stop in Florida. “The United States needs to be less dependent on foreign sources of energy and more dependent upon American resourcefulness,” Bachmann said. “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.”
The Republican presidential candidate added, “Of course it needs to be done responsibly. If we can’t responsibly access energy in the Everglades then we shouldn’t do it.”
Rep. Allen West, a strange tea partier known for making his own outlandish statements, pounced on Bachmann’s statement almost instantly. West said during a town hall event in Florida, his home state, “When I see her next week, I’ll straighten her out about that.”
West is not the only person pointing out the potential environmental disaster in Bachmann’s statement. Florida Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat, said, “To go in the middle of the Everglades and to spoil the river of grass just because somebody wants to, that’s not a wise thing to do.”
Bachmann, who has previously stated she would abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, said she would rely on experts to determine where to drill. The same experts who thought deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico was a good idea? “No one wants to hurt or contaminate the earth. … We don’t want to harm our water, our ecosystems or the air.
That is a minimum bar,” she said, according to the Associated Press. “From there, though, that doesn’t mean that the two have to be mutually exclusive. We can protect the environment and do so responsibly, but we can also protect the environment and not kill jobs in America and not deny ourselves access to the energy resources that America’s been so blessed with.”
A CBS reporter in Miami asked Bachmann about her call for drilling, asking, “Why would you invade that natural resource with gas and oil drilling?” Bachmann responded, “Let’s access this wonderful treasure trove of energy that God has given us in this country. Let’s access it responsibly.”
However, many experts do not know if there is any oil beneath the Everglades. A geologist from University of South Florida told CBS News that it doesn’t seem to harbor any “treasure trove.”
“There is no known evidence that there is a significant hydrocarbon deposit beneath the Everglades,” Dr. Albert Hine said.
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