Where the GOP presidential contenders stand on climate [UPDATED]
Photo: Gage SkidmoreNewt Gingrich
Former speaker of the House
Gingrich has been all over the map on climate. A few years ago, he endorsed cap-and-trade and called for climate action in an ad for an Al Gore group, but these days he sticks close to GOP orthodoxy.
On climate science: In 2007, Gingrich said, “the evidence is sufficient that we should move towards the most effective possible steps to reduce carbon-loading of the atmosphere … and do it urgently.” And in a 2008 ad for Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, he sat next to then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi and said, “our country must take action to address climate change.”
But he has since reversed course. In his 2010 book To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine, Gingrich decried “the doomsday theory of climate change,” which he attributed to the “high-tax, big-bureaucracy, job-killing, and government-centralizing environmentalism of the Left.”
And in a 2010 interview with Grist, he said, “It’s an act of egotism for humans to think we’re a primary source of climate change.”
On climate policy: In 2007, Gingrich praised the cap-and-trade concept: “I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there’s a package there that’s very, very good. And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support.”
But in 2008, in his book Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less, he argued that cap-and-trade would “increase corruption.” And in 2009 and 2010, he was a vocal opponent of cap-and-trade proposals in Congress, saying they were “an energy tax” that would “punish the American people” with higher energy costs and lost jobs. His group American Solutions for Winning the Future also made a big push to kill climate legislation.