Haley Barbour (R-Miss.)Photo: Republican ConferenceHaley Barbour   [UPDATED: NOT RUNNING]
Governor of Mississippi

[UPDATE: Barbour announced on April 25, 2011 that he will not be running for president.]

Barbour has a history of obstructing climate action (little known fact: he was the lobbyist behind George W. Bush’s fateful early decision not to regulate CO2), but these days he’s trying to sound more moderate.

On climate science: Barbour “challenged climate science during his past tenure as an oil industry lobbyist and chairman of the Republican National Committee,” Politico reports.

More recently, Barbour has talked about reducing greenhouse gases but still sounded not entirely convinced by the science. In 2009, while testifying before the Senate about cap-and-trade, he said, “the reason I am here is that we do need to look at how best, in the best interests of the United States, and most effectively, to deal with the threat that scientists are saying CO2 has for the future of the climate.” And in 2010, in praising his state’s cleantech businesses, he said, “Whether you think climate change is manmade, whether you think it’s inevitable, whatever your view of it is, there’s things like we’re doing in our state that are good economics, that are useful and they will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

On climate policy: In 2001, Barbour sent a memo to the Bush administration arguing that it should drop plans to regulate carbon dioxide; shortly thereafter, it did.

In 2009, Barbour argued in The Washington Times that Obama’s cap-and-trade plan “will be the biggest tax increase in history and will clobber low- and middle-income families. … There are much better ways to address climate change and prudently reduce emissions here and around the world.” (He hasn’t elaborated on those better ways.)

Over the past year, Barbour has also been rallying governors to fight the EPA’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases.