September 18th, 2007
05:30 PM ET
8 years ago

Thompson won't rule out Everglades drilling

Thompson met with Florida Gov. Charlie Crist Tuesday.

(CNN) – Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson said Tuesday that while drilling for oil in Florida’s Everglades would be “drastic,” he won’t rule it out.

At a press availability in Tallahassee with Florida’s Republican governor Charlie Crist, Thompson was asked whether oil should be drilled in the famous ecosystem if large reserves were discovered there.

“Well, gosh. Nobody has told me that there are any major reserves in the Everglades, but maybe that’s one of the things I need to learn while I’m down here,” Thompson responded.

Crist quickly jumped in. “We’d rather not do that,” he said.

“I’m not going to start by taking this, that, or the other off the table in terms of our overall energy situation,” Thompson said. “We’ve got to do better in terms of nuclear. We’ve got to do better in terms of finding environmentally friendly ways to use coal, which we have plenty of.”

The Everglades is a vast subtropical marshland that comprises much of South Florida. In 2002, the Department of Interior announced plans to purchase oil and gas rights for a large tract of the region, which is estimated to hold nearly 40 billion barrels of oil. The Department’s actions have effectively protected the land from drilling.

- CNN Political Desk Editor Mark Norman 

Filed under: Florida • Fred Thompson
soundoff (22 Responses)


    September 18, 2007 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Robert Marley, Jamaica, NY

    I have concluded that Fred is just plain dumb. I agree with George Will that he should get out of the race before he embarrasses himself more. He is definitely not ready for prime time.

    Can you say President RUDY?

    September 18, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. RB, from the bay state

    My God, is this guy on a self-destructing crash and burn course, or what?

    Keep talking, Fred. You're going to be fun to w

    September 18, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. CL in TN

    Thompson probably didn't know where the Everglades are. He changes his story so much that he is apt to agree with anything on any given day. What a joke.

    September 18, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. laurinda, shokan,ny

    Now this one should have stayed on Law & Order with his five lines per show.

    September 18, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. Patrick, Tallahassee, FL

    If there was even a chance in hell for Thompson in Florida, he just lost it. And that's a good thing!

    September 18, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  7. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    How about killing two energy birds with one stone by extracting the oil and gas, then injecting our spent nuclear fuel into the Everglades?

    September 18, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Kanawah, Fairfield, Oh

    Another ecological destructionist looking for a place to make a mess.

    Also, another dysfunctional actor, which we do not need.

    September 18, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  9. Kirk, Tallahassee, FL

    Now tell me why any Floridian will vote for him. Stupid answer from a guy in a state that relies on its more natural assets.

    September 18, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  10. Patrick, Bartlesville Oklahoma

    The fact that Thompson wouldn't instantly say that drilling in the Everglades would be forbidden tells me a lot. He doesn't need to know if there are reserves there or not, that area is a very sensitive ecologically important region. No thanks on drilling there. I am proud of the Dept. of the Interior if they did acquire the oil and gas rights to take them out of drilling consideratin.

    September 18, 2007 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  11. LS Egg Harbor Twp. NJ

    Thompson, Thompson, Thompson and to think I really liked you on Law and Order. Let's not worry about the Everglades or the people that we want to represent. Thompson also just turned down Tavis Smiley to appear at the largest Republican forum for African American people. If a candidate thinks they can be elected by ignoring this community in 2008 they are mistaken. Oh well, I guess I'll see you on a sitcom in 2008!

    September 19, 2007 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  12. Lance in Monrovia CA

    i am dumbfounded that this guy is actually even being taken seriously as a candidate. Please, please, please my neocon friends, please o pretty please nominate good ol' boy Fred Thompson. A wet sponge could defeat him. He has the intelligence and integrity of a fly with its wings pulled off. (Of course from the above article it sounds like he was the one pulling wings off flies as a kid.)


    are you kiddin' me? Next he'll say that he wants to store nuclear waste in Yosemite. Or wait, maybe he wants to transport anthrax through the Iowa State fair in back of the red pick up he rented for 800 bucks... NO he did not buy it.

    Or maybe next he'll say that he's really, really against abortion and that also for gun control so maybe he can combine both issues by giving unborn children guns?

    Of course, he IS for the death penalty, so that would mean he might advocate for the death of reason, common sense, logic, credibility, sanity, free speech, human rights, and the entire planet Earth.

    You're not just asleep at the wheel Fred, you're drunk, stoned, and blind from that oil slick of a campaign you're running.

    As I said, PLEASE nominate this oil spill waiting to happen and prove that Repub neocons really do actually hate the planet enough to destroy it.

    Hey Fred, maybe if you go digging around Beverly Hills you may find oil there too. Then you really would be the Beverly Hillbilly you pretend to be.

    September 19, 2007 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  13. Pat White King Nc

    Fred Thompson need to go back to Hollywood and leave the politics to someone who knows what is going on. He is no man for the job.

    September 19, 2007 05:45 am at 5:45 am |
  14. Joe, Florida

    “I’m not going to start by taking this, that, or the other off the table in terms of our overall energy situation,” Thompson said. “We’ve got to do better in terms of nuclear. We’ve got to do better in terms of finding environmentally friendly ways to use coal, which we have plenty of.”

    The Florida everglades have been greatly reduced already due to the pressure on State legislators by contractors wanting more space to build property on. Also, for those who do not, the Florida Everglades are the only ecosystem of its type in the whole world and this guy wants to destroy it, some nerve.

    Notice how he offers some more of the same old energy sources, which will only increase global warming and hurt the environment more. He doesn't about energy independence, which means "No Oil" This Thompson guy doesn't have a clue, he'll lose Florida if he gets to the general.

    We have to vote in this election if we want change guys!!

    September 19, 2007 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  15. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    I guess the actor forgot his lines!!

    September 19, 2007 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    “Well, gosh. Nobody has told me that there are any major reserves in the Everglades, but maybe that’s one of the things I need to learn while I’m down here,” Thompson responded.

    Is this guy knowledgeable on any issue? This is not the first time that he doesn't seem to know what's going on when questioned on an specific subject.

    Besides, the Everglades cannot sustain any more tampering with its delicate balance. Florida has been facing for months the worse drought in recorded history. Lake Okeechobee is many feet below its normal level and this idiot is thinking of drilling oil and further damaging the environment????

    Couldn't the Republican party come up with a viable candidate???? Thompson is a dope, Giuliani a bully who's temperament is ill suited for the White House and Romney the flip-flopper is just another rich guy with a sense of entitlement. What a pathetic bunch!!

    September 19, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. Paul, Phoenix, Arizona

    Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart's staff can't write stuff as hilarious as what comes out of Thompson's mouth.

    Maybe we have him all wrong. Maybe this is a spoof.

    September 19, 2007 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Eduardo, Los Angeles, CA

    As a nation, we should do everything possible to use all our available resources and thus depend less on foreign sources of energy, etc. However, everything must be done to protect the environment by creating tough environmental laws and instituting watch dogs making sure the environment is protected and laws enforced.

    September 19, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    Mark, you forgot to mention that Romney said absolutely no drilling in the Everglades, it is a National Treasure.

    September 19, 2007 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I so wanted Fred to be articulate....and not a right winger. I guess I didn't get what I wanted – the country needs a moderate – not a Hillary (left wing) or any of the Republican candidates (right wing) – except of course for Rudy....many hate him...but...if you are a moderate Democrat – thats him....if you are a moderate Republican – thats also him (as well as you independents) – socially liberal – fiscally conservative...aren't we all??

    September 19, 2007 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Frank Honolulu Hawaii

    Is he kidding? He's thinking like Fred Flintstone! Fred Thompson will self destruct in six months.

    September 20, 2007 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. David

    We should drill for oil WHEREVER we find it!

    This can be done with respect toward the environment (and even enviro-wackos).

    September 30, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |