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Election 2012

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Jon Huntsman, once a climate hawk, now disses cap-and-trade like all the other Republicans [UPDATED]

He's left China behind -- and climate hawkishness too.Photo: saucy panA couple of months ago, I asked, "Is Jon Huntsman the greenest GOP presidential hopeful?" In 2007, as Utah governor, he brought his state into the Western Climate Initiative, a regional cap-and-trade program. And up through 2009, when he took the post of ambassador to China, he called repeatedly for climate action. I noted that while many Republican presidential contenders had backed away from concern about climate change, Huntsman "has not backtracked -- at least not yet." Well, now the backtracking has begun. In his first big media interview since …

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Tim Pawlenty doesn’t understand how gas prices work

Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty doesn't like high gas prices. Unfortunately, he apparently has no idea where they come from. Well, Tim, when a congressional GOP loves an oil industry very much ... Pawlenty complained that Obama is "proposing is a tax increase on energy at a time when the gas is $4 a gallon," adding that the idea is "ludicrous." Well, that's technically true; Obama's proposing a tax increase in the sense that he wants to reduce handouts to oil and gas companies, and yes, he's doing it at a time when gas is $4 a gallon. But the two have …

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Nader: Obama’s guaranteed to win, so why not make him sweat?

Former Green presidential candidate -- and former presumed Democratic spoiler -- Ralph Nader doesn't plan to run again this time around. But that isn't keeping him from political machinations. Nader's plan for 2012: Obama's gonna win anyway, so why not put some pressure on him to move leftward? Obama's win is basically guaranteed, thanks to Republican fractiousness and the president's big-business backing, Nader wrote in a recent op-ed. So a little peer pressure in the form of some primary challengers could make him more palatable to far-left constituents, without ruining his chances. Nader's putting together a crack team of progressive …

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Ron Paul hates energy subsidies, doubts climate change, and loves riding his bike

No war for oil, and no action for climate, says Ron Paul.Photo: Gage SkidmoreRon Paul kicked off his presidential bid on Tuesday, in the customary loosey-goosey exploratory-committee way. As standard-bearer for the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, the U.S. rep from southeast Texas has a small but diehard following. His fans will make some racket in conservative circles, as during his 2008 run, and he still won't have a chance in hell of winning the GOP nomination, as during his 2008 run.  Paul's government-can-do-no-right philosophy leads him to oppose energy and farm subsidies -- something many green-minded people can …

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How Tim Pawlenty ditched his Arctic explorer bestie and turned his back on climate change

This is like something out of Mean Girls: Former Minnesota gov Tim Pawlenty used to pal around with this amazing Arctic explorer dude, Will Steger, having slumber parties and plotting how to get the GOP to believe in climate change. Then Pawlenty fell in with a clique, the GOP Presidential Hopefuls, and if he wanted to impress his new friends, he had to turn his back on his old one. And they didn't even talk anymore! And they sat at different lunch tables! And Pawlenty wrote mean things about climate change anonymously on the bathroom wall! Seriously, Steger seems like …

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Mitch Daniels has quacky climate views a la Michael Crichton

Mitch Daniels takes on the "climate change theocracy"Photo: Indiana Public MediaIndiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says he'll decide by April 29 whether to run for the Republican presidential nomination. While he's pondering his prospects, let us ponder his views on climate change. Turns out they're a lot weirder than you thought. It's well-known that Daniels has voiced skepticism about climate science and bashed cap-and-trade. But in a little-noticed May 2009 speech, he went further -- warning of fatwas issued by the "climate change theocracy," claiming that discussion of climate science has been dominated by "the University of Hollywood and the P.C. …

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Every 2012 GOP candidate was for climate action before they were against it, says Pawlenty

Former Minnesota governor and 2012 presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty was for cap-and-trade and emissions reduction before he was against it. Inconsistent? Hypocritical? An example of throwing away his principles to pander to an ever more right-leaning base? Hardly, says Pawlenty: It’s just what the cool Republicans do these days. Pawlenty: Everybody in the race, at least the big names in the race, embraced climate change or cap-and-trade at one point or another, every one of us, so there's no one who has been in executive position whose name is being bantered in a first or second-tier way who hasn't embraced …

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Michele Bachmann wants to kick the planet in the nuts, and she’s running for president

Michele Bachmann, the lunatic Minnesota representative who's come out against everything from minimum wage to evolution, is apparently planning to throw her hat in the ring for 2012. OMG OMG OMG I can't wait! You thought Sarah Palin was a goldmine for snark enthusiasts? Palin is downright complex by comparison. This will be like shooting fish in a Finding Nemo fanfiction forum. To help you stretch your mockery muscles for the long campaign ahead, here are our favorite Bachmann quotes about the environment: On the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: "I came away with the idea that this would be the …

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Is Jon Huntsman the greenest GOP presidential hopeful? [UPDATED]

Jon Huntsman: Will he keep telling it straight on climate change?Photo: World Economic Forum [See updates at the bottom.] Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is looking like the most climate-cognizant contender for the Republican presidential nomination. In fact, he downright looks like a climate hawk. Huntsman -- who is resigning his position as ambassador to China in order to, as they say, explore his options -- has been outspoken about the need for climate action, and, as governor, signed his state up for a regional cap-and-trade program as part of the Western Climate Initiative. He's obviously greener than outright climate …

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Where the GOP presidential contenders stand on climate [UPDATED]

We've checked out the leading (or at least famous) hopefuls for the Republican presidential nomination and found that all of them vociferously oppose cap-and-trade systems -- including a few who had to flip-flop to get there. (They're not fans of cap without trade either, nor other policies designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions.) On climate science, there's more variety, ranging from loud denial to quiet acquiescence. Get the dirt on the possible candidates here. Did we miss anything notable? Tell us in comments below.   Photo: Gage SkidmoreMichele BachmannU.S. rep from Minnesota Increasingly seen as Palin-without-the-baggage, Bachmann loves to wind …