Photo: World Affairs Council of PhiladelphiaMitt Romney [UPDATED]
Former Massachusetts governor and 2008 presidential contender
Romney acknowledges that climate change is real and at least partially human-driven, but don’t go thinkin’ he likes cap-and-trade — at least not any more.
On climate science: “I believe that climate change is occurring — the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor,” Romney wrote in his 2010 book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.
[UPDATE, 6/3/11: At a Town Hall meeting in New Hampshire on June 3, 2011, Romney affirmed his belief that climate change is real and we need to do something about it: “I believe the world’s getting warmer. … I believe that humans 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.” As for how we ought to go about reducing those emissions, we’re still waiting …]
On climate policy: In a June 2010 statement, Romney said, “Cap and trade effectively constitutes an enormous, hidden tax on the American people and American businesses. It will lead to higher joblessness and make a bad economic situation even worse. And because it will simply move greenhouse gas emitters from America to other nations like China, it won’t do a thing to affect climate change.”
It would appear he didn’t always feel that way. In 2005, when he was governor of Massachusetts, Romney pulled his state out of a soon-to-launch cap-and-trade system for Northeast states, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but only after his staffers spent two and a half years and almost half a million dollars helping to shape the pact, and after Romney praised the intiative as “good business.”
In 2004, Romney unveiled a Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan that aimed to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 and then about 10 percent more by 2020, though it relied primarily on voluntary measures and requirements that applied only to the state government.
Read more about Romney — including how he once attacked coal jobs that “kill people.”