Bachmann Calls for Drilling in the Everglades

Drill here, drill now!<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/elidoturco/5620457234/">Elido Turco</a>/Flickr

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The Florida Everglades are a largest subtropical wilderness in the country. They’re home to a number of endangered and rare species, and they’re already threatened by habitat destruction, encroaching development, and agricultural run-off. But GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann thinks we should drill there—if we can do so “responsibly.”

Bachmann discussed this at a campaign stop in Florida this weekend. She added the caveat that, “If we can’t responsibly access energy in the Everglades then we shouldn’t do it.”

“No one wants to hurt or contaminate the earth,” she continued. “We don’t want to harm our water, our ecosystems or the air. That is a minimum bar.” But Bachmann wants to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. So it’s not entirely clear who would be charged with ensuring that we are protecting the environment in our bid to drill in the Everglades and any other part of the US.

The Bush administration allowed oil companies to explore for oil in other ecologically sensitive areas of Florida’s wetlands. The question of whether to drill in the Everglades pops up every campaign season. But drilling there is not very popular; Everglades restoration is much more popular among Floridians. Besides, there’s not a whole lot of oil there to be had anyway.

The Everglades Foundation issued a press statement responding to Bachmann’s comment on Monday morning:

NRA card-carrying hunters, fishermen, waterfowlers, and other outdoors enthusiasts do not want to see oil drilling in their Everglades wildlife paradise. In addition, the Everglades is the source of fresh, clean drinking water for more than 7 million Floridians. Congresswoman Bachmann needs to understand that oil and drinking water do not mix.

Perhaps Bachmann’s desire to drill in the Everglades is just a stealth attempt to protect us from the fearsome manatee overlords that Florida tea partiers are so worried about.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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