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

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?