Rep. Louie Gohmert, patron saint of amorous wildlife? The Texas Republican, who’s not exactly known as a champion of animal rights, said his primary concern in the development of a massive Alaskan oil pipeline is the love life of the caribous surrounding the project.
Gohmert launched into a lecture during a meeting of the House Natural Resources committee meeting last week about the need to protect the poor caribou. But here’s the catch — the evil force against which he wants to defend the creatures is the halting of the flow of oil through the pipeline. That, he says, would be akin to throwing cold water on what sounds like a randy spring-break party happening around Alaska’s caribou population.
It seems that Gohmert is also something of an expert on animal husbandry. Here’s his theory: The caribou very much enjoy the warmth the pipeline radiates. “So when they want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline,” he informed his colleagues. It’s apparently the equivalent of being wined and dined. And that has resulted in a tenfold caribou population boom, he concluded.
“So my real concern now ...if oil stops running through the pipeline...do we need a study to see how adversely the caribou would be affected if that warm oil ever quit flowing?” he asked.
Gohmert’s faux-concern for the furry creatures earned him some titters from fellow committee members. Even Rep. Don Young, who was seated at his elbow, could barely contain his laughter. The Alaska Republican — who we can assume knows a bit more about caribou than his colleague from Texas — wasn’t entirely convinced that Gohmert knew what he was talking about.
“I’m not sure it’s warmth of the pipeline,” Young weighed in.
Gohmert was adamant in his theory. “It sounds like they need the pipeline,” he said.