Monday, October 10, 2011

Michele Bachmann: Legalize it

Congresswoman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann signed a pledge to make America energy independent within 8 years at a Town Hall Meeting held in Moultonborough, NH on Sunday, October 9, 2011.

The pledge was presented by Tom Thompson, New Hampshire Honorary Chairman for Americans for Prosperity, the political organization founded by Big Oil billionaire David Koch and funded in part by money from the fossil fuel industry.

Photo of Michele Bachmann by Gage Skidmore
Borrowing a line from the famous Peter Tosh song and anthem of the movement to legalize marijuana, Bachmann punctuated a call to deregulate the domestic fossil fuel industry with a vow to “Legalize it!”:

This is the other thing I want to do: legalize American energy production in this country. Legalize it!
Because we should be drilling. We have more energy in the United States than any other country. We are the most energy rich resource nation in the world.
You’d never know that would you?
We have more oil than Saudi Arabia has. We have more coal than 25 percent… We have 25 percent of the coal in the whole world. We have that much coal. One of the largest finds for natural gas. We just discovered in Pennsylvania. This is at minimum 1.4 million high paying jobs.
That’s where I’m going to start as president. That’s a freebie.
Just legalize American energy and the private sector creates 1.4 million high paying jobs, so that all the men out there who want to provide for their families can. 
Do you know how sad that is? To see a man, or a woman, who wants to provide for their family and they can’t? This is a country filled with people who want to provide for their families. They want to work.
We’ll let’s give them work. Legalize American energy. Start there. There’s so many avenues where we can start. I can’t wait to get started.

Notably missing from Bachmann’s list of potential domestic energy sources: solar power. “The greatest solar resources are located in the Southwestern states, where sufficient solar energy falls on an area 100 miles by 100 miles to provide all of the nation’s electricity requirements,” according to the EPA.

Michele Bachmann also promised to “turn the lights off and lock the doors” at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency:

Question: What are your thoughts on getting rid of the Department of Energy?
Bachmann: You know, it’s going to be a very long day. I’ll start early. I’ll go to the Department of Education and I’ll turn the lights off and I’ll lock the door there. And then I’ll go to the Department of the EPA and I’ll turn the lights off and I’ll lock the door there. And then we’ll go over to the Department of Energy and say, “Now any more of those Solyndra loans you got left laying around here?” And then we’ll turn off the lights and lock the doors there.
And there will be a lot of for sale signs all across Washington, D.C. It’s going to be wonderful to turn those government buildings into for profit centers and have business come along and buy up a lot of those buildings. That’s what we’ve gotta do. We’d all be a lot better off too. 

Together, the Department of Energy and EPA directly employ over 30,000 Americans, along with thousands more as contractors. As such, it's safe to say that Bachmann's plan would likely result in the immediate loss of thousands of jobs nationwide.

A full video of Michele Bachmann's Town Hall Meeting in Moultonborough, NH is available on C-Span.

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