McCain: Why, drilling in ANWR would be like drilling in the Grand Canyon

posted at 3:47 pm on June 11, 2008 by Allahpundit

He says what he means and he means what he says, even when it’s really stupid. How rote are his talking points on this issue? January 16, 2008 conference call with bloggers:

Mike Goldfarb: Some people are perplexed by your rhetoric on global warming. Is this one of those ‘no surrender’ issues, or is there room for discussion?

McCain: There’s always room for discussion. But I don’t know how any conservative can not support cap and trade. We did it with acid rain. The Europeans are putting it into effect. It’s a capitalist process that encourages green technologies. If we’re wrong, all we’ve done is adopt green technologies, in an effort to give our kids a greener planet.

As far as ANWR is concerned, I don’t want to drill in the Grand Canyon, and I don’t want to drill in the Everglades. This is one of the most pristine and beautiful parts of the world.

Goldfarb, incidentally, is now Team Maverick’s official blogger. Townhall meeting today in Philly:

He wasn’t happy the subject came up. “I knew I should have ended this [before that question],” he said.

He said that he opposed drilling in ANWR for the same reason that he “would not drill in the Grand Canyon… I believe this area should be kept pristine.” (Proposed oil and gas exploration in ANWR would only affect 2,000 of its 19 million acres, or 0.01 percent.)

McCain’s chief virtue is also his vice: Economic and political circumstances may change, but gosh darn it, he’s sticking to his guns come what may. You’d better come up with one honey of a VP pick, Maverick. Exit question: How high do gas prices have to get before that precious 0.01 percent starts to look somewhat less pristine? Do we need to see actual gas lines? Or does Obama’s weakness here mean McCain can safely ignore this issue for the time being?

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MCClutz has THE winning issueand fumbles it like a no-handed, one-legged, legally-blind baboon.

This is a national security matter, not an eco-beauty contest.

If the nation remains strong, we could dig another damned Grand Canyon if we wanted one.

But, if we allow our country to be undermined for uber-Greenie whims of Purity, the whole nation will look like ANWR.

A “pristine” wasteland.

As the Chinese speed past our self-hamstrung economy, laughing: “Ching-Chong, Ching-Chong! at us” (to quote Rosie O’Donnell).


profitsbeard on June 11, 2008 at 9:49 PM

In addition to the typos, there was a lot wrong factually as well.

wise_man on June 11, 2008 at 6:48 PM

OK Einstien. What exactly was wrong factually?

We’ve had 8 years of a President who claimed to be a conservative and governed as a moderate (tax cuts, judges, war excluded). Bush gave in to the Dems on every time he could. His Presidency and the party is in a shambles as a result. Bush’s popularity is near single digits not because of the war as his detractors whould have you believe. It’s because he’s abandoned his base on FAR too many issues.

You Bloomburg Republicans make me sick! As long as the White House has an R in it, you’re OK.
With Barry or Johnny we conservatives have NOTHING!
With Barry in office at least the GOP will have the balls to oppose him. That reason alone in enough for me.

edgehead on June 11, 2008 at 9:55 PM

I think we need to drill more oil too, and I hope McCain changes his mind on ANWR, but he does support off shore drilling, if the states support it. I am not sure how that would work. I went to his site and read what he had to say about energy. This is an excerpt:

The strategy I propose won’t be another grab bag of handouts to this or that industry and a full employment act for lobbyists. It will promote the diversification and conservation of our energy sources that will in sufficient time break the dominance of oil in our transportation sector just as we diversified away from oil use in electric power generation thirty years ago; and substantially reduce the impact of our energy consumption on the planet. It will rely on the genius and technological prowess of American industry and science. Government must set achievable goals, but the markets should be free to produce the means. And those means are within our reach.

Energy efficiency by using improved technology and practicing sensible habits in our homes, businesses and automobiles is a big part of the answer, and is something we can achieve right now. And new advances will make conservation an ever more important part of the solution. Improved light bulbs can use much less energy; smart grid technology can help homeowners and businesses lower their energy use, and breakthroughs in high tech materials can greatly improve fuel efficiency in the transportation sector. We need to dispel the image of conservation that entails shivering in cold rooms, reading by candlelight, and lower productivity. Americans have it in their power today to contribute to our national security, prosperity and a cleaner environment. They understand the dangers we face, and are prepared to respond to appeals to patriotism that explain how we can free ourselves from them.

We need not wait for another age, in which science fiction becomes every day reality. Flexible-fuel vehicles aren’t futuristic pie in the sky. We can easily deploy such technology today for less than $100 per vehicle; and we must develop the infrastructure necessary to take full advantage. We were able to overcome the challenges of putting seatbelts, airbags, and computer technology in practically every car. We can provide fuel options and improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicle fleet by making them out of high tech materials that improve their strength and safety. We are doing that very thing right now to beat our foreign competitors in the aerospace industry.

Alcohol fuels made from corn, sugar, switch grass and many other sources, fuel cells, biodiesel derived from waste products, natural gas, and other technologies are all promising and available alternatives to oil. I won’t support subsidizing every alternative or tariffs that restrict the healthy competition that stimulates innovation and lower costs. But I’ll encourage the development of infrastructure and market growth necessary for these products to compete, and let consumers choose the winners. I’ve never known an American entrepreneur worthy of the name who wouldn’t rather compete for sales than subsidies.

America’s electricity production is for the most part petroleum free, and the existing electric power grid has the capacity to handle the added demand imposed by plug-in hybrid vehicles. We can add more capacity and improve its reliability in the years ahead. Nuclear energy, renewable power, and other emission free forms of power production can expand capacity, improve local air quality and address climate change. I’ll work to promote real partnerships between utilities and automakers to accelerate the deployment of plug-in hybrids.

With some of the savings from cutting subsidies for industries that can stand on their own, we can establish a national challenge to improve the cost, range, size, and weight of electric batteries for automobiles. Fifty percent of cars on the road are driven 25 miles a day or less. Affordable battery-powered vehicles that can meet average commuter needs could help us cut oil imports in half. The reward will be earned through merit by whomever accomplishes the task, whether a laboratory in the Department of Energy, a university, a corporation or an enterprising young inventor who works out of his family’s garage.

There is much we can do to increase our own oil production in ways that protect the environment using advanced technologies, including those that use and bury carbon dioxide, to recover the oil below the wells we have already drilled, and tap oil, natural gas, and shale economically with minimal environmental impact.

The United States has coal reserves more abundant than Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves. We found a way to cut down acid rain pollutants from burning coal, and we can find a way to use our coal resources without emitting excessive greenhouse gases.

Terrye on June 11, 2008 at 10:55 PM

And edgehead, the GOP has shown a willingness to turn on Republican presidents. They do it all the time.

Terrye on June 11, 2008 at 10:57 PM

With Barry in office at least the GOP will have the balls to oppose him. That reason alone in enough for me.

edgehead on June 11, 2008 at 9:55 PM

I am beginning to wonder about that too. GOP and “Malkins” don’t mix these days.

Obama is a constant. You can guarantee which way he will move. McCain….never.

The only time the dems “reach across the isle” is to help John McCain to their side. And off he goes.

This November, America is going to get what it asked for.

God help us.

Talon on June 11, 2008 at 10:59 PM

You Bloomburg Republicans make me sick!
edgehead on June 11, 2008 at 9:55 PM

Who in the where with the what now?

wise_man on June 12, 2008 at 12:25 AM

In 2001 Jonah Goldberg visited and then wrote a Nat. Rev. cover story on the “pristine” and “beautiful” ANWR.

It is a must read

“The horror of ANWR, the American elites favorite Hellhole”

Unfortunately, with McCain as our nominee….well, let’s just say we will get to use neither the issue nor the oil.

aquaviva on June 12, 2008 at 1:29 AM

With Barry in office at least the GOP will have the balls to oppose him. That reason alone in enough for me.

edgehead on June 11, 2008 at 9:55 PM

Really? And just who would lead the charge? Newt is history.

Jeff Sessions, maybe? He’s got the cred, but I don’t know.

Squiggy on June 12, 2008 at 6:53 AM


Thank you for posting the National Review article. I have been to ANWR as a reporter and this is the best description of the place that I have ever read. It is as desolate and ugly a place as anyone can imagine.

fleiter on June 12, 2008 at 7:32 AM