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From the Wonk Room.

After a presentation on opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, CNN anchor Ali Velshi hosted a discussion between Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ). Velshi started the interview by making the startling admission that Bachmann joined him on his expedition to northern Alaska:

Congressman [sic] Bachmann, I want to talk to you first about this because those pictures we just showed, we took from an airplane. You were with us on that airplane. You went up there to get a sense for yourself about the impact of drilling in ANWR.

Watch it:

During the interview, Velshi asked Bachmann what lesson she learned from their joint trip. Her response:

Ali, I came away with the idea that this is the most perfect place on the planet to drill.

Bachmann's bizarre response -- she also called the ecologically unique refuge the "most convenient, quickest place" to drill, despite also saying it is "permanently frozen in darkness three months of the year" -- comes as no surprise, as she is one of the biggest boosters of Big Oil propaganda in Congress. Just in the past two months, she's claimed that caribou love pipelines, falsely blamed Democrats for blocking renewable energy incentives, and repeated the lie about China drilling for oil off the Florida coast. In this segment, Bachmann introduces a new lie, claiming "this area was specifically set aside for drilling by President Jimmy Carter for drilling."

This is simply false. As Carter explained in a 2000 New York Times column calling for expanded protections of Alaskan lands from drilling:

Then, even more than today, much attention was focused on high energy prices; oil companies -- playing on Americans' fears -- sought the right to drill in protected areas. While the House held firm, the Senate forced a compromise, without ever putting the fate of the refuge to a vote. Thus, the law I signed 20 years ago did not permanently protect this Arctic wilderness. It did, however, block any oil company drilling until Congress votes otherwise. . .  The simple fact is, drilling is inherently incompatible with wilderness.

Velshi did not question Bachmann about any of these false statements. Velshi also failed to mention global warming even once, despite the extreme warming taking place in northern Alaska, driving wildlife toward extinction and threatening a global climate meltdown.

Bachmann is a hard-line conservative funded primarily by right-wing organizations like the Club for Growth ($92,630), TCF Financial ($38,400), and Koch Industries ($17,500), the right-wing corporate polluter. She has also received $20,250 from right-wing billionaire Stanley Hubbard, one of the the top funders of Newt Gingrich's "Drill Here, Drill Now" organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future (ASWF).

CNN's campaign coverage continues to be funded by the coal industry front group American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE).

Originally posted to The Cunctator on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:36 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Velshi's wish was granted (8+ / 0-)

    July 15:

    VELSHI: Well, 11 Republican House members are planning a trip this weekend. They'll visit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. They're calling it the American Energy Tour. One person taking that trip is joining us now from Washington. Representative Michele Bachmann is a freshman from -- she's a House Republican from Minnesota.

    Thank you for being with us today. I should tell you, I'm hoping to join you on that trip this weekend. We're still trying to work that out. But what is it you're planning on learning when you get up to Alaska?

    REP. MICHELE BACHMANN, (R) MINNESOTA: Ali, we'll love to have you on the trip with us. And what we're hoping to do is show people in the United States that contrary to popular belief the ANWR region is actually one of the best places in the country to go ahead and drill and find the oil that America needs so badly right now.

    Find out the latest in the global warming fight at Wonk Room!

    by The Cunctator on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:39:03 PM PDT

  •  I saw the interview (5+ / 0-)

    and was appalled when she made that incredibly stupid statement. I can't believe these people never seem to get called on their outright lies.  

    ~War is Peace ~Ignorance is Strength ~Slavery is Freedom~ George Orwell

    by Kristina40 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:40:08 PM PDT

    •  BTW....the creation of Gates of the Arctic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      National Park in Alaska was signed by that rapscallion Jimmy Carter.

      13,200+ square miles...six wild and scenic rivers....about the size of Switzerland.

      And of course, as Ms Bachmann will tell you, there is absolutely no wildlife in it.  They moved it all "outside the environment."

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:07:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  this week, Bachman also said (10+ / 0-)

    environmentalists don't have to save the planet because Jesus already did.

    •  Isn't that special?!? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      She is simply frightening, not because she has any measure of power but because she makes it apparent what we are up against.  

      If I were asked, I'd say that Jesus saved us, people, not the planet.  Why he did is a mystery to me because we've spent the last two thousand years proving that we're pretty much not worth it.  I will readily grant that my reading of the Scriptures is every bit as selective and skewed as hers.  I don't see stewardship as using everything up without any thought to the future but then I'm also not of the opinion, no matter how much they study the Bible, that anyone can know the day or the hour when the world will end.  These folks are so sure that we're all done for anyway that they cannot see any reason to husband our resources for a leaner time.  

      Oh, damn! I've given a sermon.  I swear I didn't mean to.  That woman just sets me off.

      -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

      by luckylizard on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 02:20:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is there a chance (0+ / 0-)

    this crazy bitch will lose?

    Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, Content, and sufficient champagne. --Dorothy Parker

    by M Sullivan on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:46:41 PM PDT

  •  Ali Velshi (0+ / 0-)

    is a known hack who doesn't want to say that Obama's plan is better. Typical neo-CNN

    The Low Road Express: So low, an ant would be too big for it.

    by sluggahjells on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:52:23 PM PDT

  •  As if visiting the Arctic Refuge from a plane, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard, 1BQ, Ronald Singleterry

    miles up in the air, when the migration season has already started and the wildlife is leaving is going to give you a solid view of what drilling means to the refuge.

    I'll do a little self plug here from my wildlife refuge blog: A Reality Check on Energy Development

    Refuge Watch -- news from America's national wildlife refuges

    by Naturegal on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:54:58 PM PDT

  •  Any 527s interested in going after Bachman? (3+ / 0-)

    Splicing together her ludicrous statements would be the best way to discredit the anti-GW positions, while defanging the hairless prophet of doom at CNN and helping a progressive Dem candidate.  Local air time can't be too expensive, and the chance that a really surgical attack could go national (viral or in network coverage) could help other candidates in other regions where the environment is a big issue.

  •  I watched that... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ibonewits, luckylizard

    I couldn't believe someone didn't call her out on the stupid comment that ANWR was set up specifically for drilling oil.

    Seriously WTF???

    And what's worse is the way she phrased it... She said something to the effect of... "I think it's really important that your viewers understand... " before she went into the ANWR set aside for drilling comment.

    It's like she was trying to brainwash the public.


  •  Only a con (4+ / 0-)

    could look at the breathtaking beauty of ANWR and proceed to say "What a perfect place to drill"!  These people are just plain sick in the head.

    ~War is Peace ~Ignorance is Strength ~Slavery is Freedom~ George Orwell

    by Kristina40 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 02:07:13 PM PDT

  •  You put a colon (0+ / 0-)

    ... in your youtube embed; you only need a space.

    i am jack's complete lack of surprise -- fight club

    by bustacap on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 02:10:03 PM PDT

  •  I've been to the North Slope (5+ / 0-)

    I will use Deadhorse, Alaska as my reference, because that's where you fly into to get to where I went.

    The following area is a few Km from the airport.

    If the following displays correctly for you, it's a drilling rig pic on the left, with a location pinpointed within a drilling area satellite photo to the right.

    If you zoom in one click on the satellite photo on the right, you'll see rows of little well head buildings connecting to pipelines in that one bounded area....

    Note how that drill area looks.. rows of well head buildings, pipelines, etc.. The built-up gravel roads follow the pipelines as they run to refineries...

    To get an idea of the impact of drilling on the area, you should look around, using the map centering arrows from this perspective:
    Google Satellite pic of Deadhorse, Alaska

    At that link, you're looking right at the airport... if you follow any road with the directional arrows, you'll just find drilling area after drilling area after drilling area......  

    I went to fix a phone system at a for-profit dormitory in the 80s... and was driven over 30 miles to that one building... and all I saw was pipelines and refineries.  Back then, lots of snow...

    The "it'll have no impact" argument is utter shit.
    Dumpsters become snack baskets for the wildlife, habitats disrupted...

    •  and i'll add one thing about air traffic.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ibonewits, A Man Called Gloom

      Workers on the North Slope back then worked 7 days / week, 12 hours per day for two or three weeks, at which point they were flown to either Anchorage or Chicago for their commute home for two weeks... after which they'd be flown back for another rotation.

      Not only do you introduce all the man-made landscape and industrial noise, pollution, and accidents, but you include a regular stream of jets to and from...

      All you have to do is watch a Mets game at Shea Stadium for an idea of what it's like to be in the flight path 10 miles from an airport.  

      Sure, polar bears are used to it.... as every other animal is...

  •  Michelle Bachmann (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Looks exactly like Katherine Harris.

    "Truck Stop Women," a New Film By Phil Gramm and John McCain.

    by bink on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 02:17:31 PM PDT

  •  I'll tell you what I did love (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    about the CNN piece--for a months she's been spouting this bullshit on local radio about how "it's permanently frozen, in total darkness, etc." and here is CNN showing the viewers that it is in fact an incredibly beautiful place.

    Makes her look like the goddamn liar she is. By the way, in case Ali didn't tell you--when he and Bachmann went to that refuge, they didn't even land--they flew over it without landing because the area was too fog bound for them to get down.

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