Climate

Santorum Blames Caribou For Nation’s Health Insurance Failures

Santorum: "Nothing lives" in "dead flat," "frozen" Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

In an editorial interview with the Des Moines Register, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said that nowhere in the United States should be off limits to the oil and gas industry. He blamed caribou and President Obama for ruining the economy by blocking drilling in the “frozen,” lifeless Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In a remarkable pivot, Santorum then argued that if Big Oil were given free rein over the entire United States, the problems of our national health insurance system would be solved:

You’re worried about people being uninsured, why don’t you some drilling in Alaska, and make sure they’ve got jobs? You’re worried about the uninsured? I’ll get you insurance. You produce more oil, we’d have a stronger economy, a lot more people would be insured. I would expect that there are some here who say that we can’t do that because of the caribou. But don’t come and talk to me, well, let’s be cutting the uninsured. You cannot have it both ways. You have to look at what’s rational and reasonable. The president is an ideologue!

Watch it:

Despite the oft-repeated conservative myth, the Arctic refuge “provides habitat to a diverse array of wildlife including millions of migratory birds, caribou, three species of bears (polar, grizzly and black bears), wolves, Dall sheep, muskoxen, arctic and red foxes, wolverines, plus many more.” Drilling the refuge would do nothing for oil prices, do little for the economy outside of oil companies, destroy one of the last uniquely pristine places on this planet, and hasten the catastrophic collapse of our climate system.

Santorum’s fixation with caribou resembles the recent Tea Party fear that Obama is giving manatees dominion over man.

Transcript:

Q: Is there anything off limits? ANWR?

SANTORUM: No, why? Look, we can drill — Come to Pennsylvania. We are drilling oil and gas wells all over the place in people’s backyards. And aside from the fact particularly with the hydrofracking, you’ve got a couple of weeks where there is an intense amount of activity where you frack the stone to release the gas, the rest of the time you have a pump in the ground. And that’s it! It’s not — People live with this and have lived with this for years and years. It’s not a dangerous activity. This not an inherently dangerous activity.

And ANWR. Have any of you been to ANWR, seen pictures of ANWR? People say that Iowa is flat. Iowa’s the Rocky Mountains compared to ANWR. It’s just dead flat. It’s a tundra. It’s frozen ten months out of the year. Nothing lives there. We are drilling oil and gas wells in people’s backyards in Pennsylvania, you know, around children. And that’s okay, but we can’t drill where there is a caribou walking by every other year? It makes no sense at all!

You have a president who’s got — we’ve got an energy crisis and he’s saying a caribou walks by there now and then and you can’t do something that’s good for our country and our economy? That’s region ideology. I don’t know. I just don’t understand how people at this paper or any paper can say that this is a rational policy, that we can sacrifice the economy of this country —

You’re worried about people being uninsured, why don’t you some drilling in Alaska, and make sure they’ve got jobs? You’re worried about the uninsured? I’ll get you insurance. You produce more oil, we’d have a stronger economy, a lot more people would be insured. I would expect that there are some here who say that we can’t do that because of the caribou. But don’t come and talk to me, well, let’s be cutting the uninsured. You cannot have it both ways. You have to look at what’s rational and reasonable. The president is an ideologue! He’s an ideologue who’s driven by a belief that we need to have less. And we need to be, you know — government needs to be rationing these resources.

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