Mitt Romney was the Governor of Massachusetts. He now, of course, is running as a Republican candidate for President of the Unites States. Let’s look at his take on the environment.
He opposes Cap and Trade. The basic concept involves two parties, the governing body and the regulated companies or units emitting pollution. The government sets a cap on pollution, limiting the amount of carbon dioxide and other harmful output that companies, or other groups, are allowed to release. The government then issues credits which allow companies to pollute a certain amount, as long as the aggregate pollution equals less than the set cap. source
Mr. Romney opposes regulating carbon emissions. In July 2011, while speaking in Derry, New Hampshire, Romney stated that he mostly supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s mission, but he does not think it should regulate carbon emissions. Romney said “We have made a mistake…in saying that the EPA should regulate carbon emissions” and “I don’t think carbon is a pollutant in the sense of harming our bodies.” source
Is carbon dioxide a pollutant?
“The fossil fuel industry points out in their ads that carbon dioxide it essential for both plant life and human life. Is it wrong, then, to label carbon dioxide as a pollutant? The definition of pollution in Webster’s dictionary is “to make physically impure or unclean: Befoul, dirty.” By that definition, carbon dioxide is not pollution. However, Webster’s also has the definition: “to contaminate (an environment) esp. with man-made waste.” Carbon dioxide is a waste gas produced by fossil fuel combustion, so can be classified as man-made waste. One can also make the case that carbon dioxide is contaminating the environment, since increased CO2 from burning fossil fuels has already harmed sea life. Carbon dioxide, when dissolved in sea water, is deadly to shell-building microorganisms that form an important part of the food chain in some cold ocean regions.” Read more here.
Romney, as Governor of Massachusetts, initially supported regulation of greenhouse gas emissions (gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation) primarily through voluntary measures, but eventually rejected it.
In his March 2010 book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, Romney wrote, “I believe that climate change is occurring…..I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control.” Speaking at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh in October 2011, Romney said, “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.” source
In 2006, Romney opposed the Cape Wind offshore Cape Cod wind farm proposal. The reason may be due to what he thinks is the visual detriment to Nantucket.
Editorial comment: Romney has flipped flopped on these issues; however, the research shows that these issues reflect his current platform.
You may want to read:
- Wind Turbines: Is this a case of NIMBY?
- Scott Brown’s record on the environment