I just spoke with Congressman Michelle Bachmann (R, MN-6), who is fresh off her trip to ANWR. Though she is trained as a federal tax litigation attorney, Bachmann has a keen understanding of energy issues. She explains that she has always been interested in energy -- something she might have picked up in Alaska, where she spent two summers of her youth, visiting her uncle.
The trip started out in Golden, Colorado, where several GOP Members held discussions and briefings on several forms of energy, including solar, ethanol -- and interesting new research being conducted on algae (oil can be extracted and turned into renewable energy). Bachmann's Minnesota district is home to a nuclear plant, and because nuclear energy was not the focus of this trip, she tells me she would like to bring some Congressmen out to tour the nuclear plant in her district.
As you probably are aware, Bachmann is a huge supporter of drilling in ANWR. She explains that the part of ANWR that is usually shown on television is not the area under consideration for drilling. Only about 2,000 acres out of the approximately 19 million acres of ANWR are under consideration for drilling. As she describes it, it's "a postage stamp out of a football field."
During her trip to Alaska, Bachmann also had the chance to meet (for the first time) with Gov. Palin, who also supports drilling.
Regarding GOP presidential nominee John McCain's opposition to drilling in ANWR, Bachmann admits that, "It's difficult when our nominee is not on the same page with us."
She also added: "I believe if Senator McCain could come to the area and listen to the people who live there -- I believe that he might likely change his mind."