Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mitt Romney - GOP's Global Warming Candidate

The Huffington Post reports:
“I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” he told a crowd of about 200 at a town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire. “It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors.”

"I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that, because I know that there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past but I believe we contribute to that. And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing."
And he's supposed to be the smart one - the so-called "technocrat" in the race?  "I can't prove that, but I believe based on what I read...."  is a prelude to all sorts of nefarious oppressive government intervention.

And don't think this is merely academic posturing.  Romney thinks it needs to be legislated.

On the campaign trail in 2007,  Romney stated the importance of reducing greenhouse gases:
“We’re going to get ourselves off of foreign oil,” he said. “And to do that it’s going to take nuclear power, clean coal, more efficient vehicles, and then we’re going to dramatically reduce our greenhouse gases.” 
He also initially supported and agreement among Northeast states that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Business leaders and energy companies warned that it would raise energy prices, but Romney was undeterred:
“This is a great thing for the Commonwealth. We can effectively create incentives to help stimulate a sector of the economy and at the same time not kill jobs.”
Eventually, he reversed course and didn't sign on to the agreement, but it's clear that he considers global warming a threat that needs the attention of the government.  

In his book, No Apology he suggests a compromise of sorts with a carbon tax swap scheme whereby businesses would be taxed on their carbon output but in return, receive tax credits in other areas, such as capital gains or payroll taxes. 

This is better than outright cap and tax, but in essence, it's a total capitulation to the environmental extremists who insists the earth is getting warmer and humans are causing it.   With support for this point of view quickly eroding, the GOP has no reason to agree to -and push for - higher taxes on businesses and energy in the name of global warming religion.  

Prediction:  Romney is going to squirm and wiggle and obfuscate on this issue.  This position will fly in New Hampshire, just as ethanol subsidies will fly in Iowa, but in the rest of GOP primary country, this is a dead weight around his ankles.  Being a global warming alarmist is not going to excite the masses in Iowa and S. Carolina, so he will need to moderate, again showing his willingness to flip-flop and be a political pragmatist.  Not cool.  

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