Santorum supporter @prismsinc sends this along via Twitter.
Two years before policital unpopularity forced Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to abandon cap-and-trade legislation regulate carbon emissions, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., praised the idea of “mandatory carbon caps” combined with tax incentives, and said that then-President Bush should have led the charge to implement such a policy.
“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,” Gingrich said during a PBS interview on February 15, 2007. “And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support.”
Tonight on Mike Huckabee‘s presidential forum, Newt Gingrich was questioned about environmental policy and one of the things he said was that he did not support Cap and Trade. That is legislation that includes mandatory carbon caps. Gingrich did not explain why he did not support Cap and Trade. Since some voters may be under the impression that his opposition to Cap and Trade automatically means he doesn’t support mandatory carbon caps, I thought it best to point out what can be known about his position on the issue. The article linked above shows that he was supportive of mandatory carbon caps in 2007 provided that they were offset somewhat financially through tax incentives and he maintains that position.
His current position is below:
Replace the Environmental Protection Agency, which has become a job-killing regulatory engine of higher energy prices, with an Environmental Solutions Agency that would use incentives and work cooperatively with local government and industry to achieve better environmental outcomes while considering the impact of federal environmental policies on job creation and the cost of energy.
That’s essentially the same as his past position in support of mandatory carbon caps offset by tax incentives, albeit through replacing the EPA with a whole new agency.
For some conservatives, the issue here is not so much the cost to businesses but rather that Gingrich’s position is one in which the federal government would hold powerful control over private industry in regard to carbon emissions. Certainly, Newt Gingrich can be trusted not to harshly punish businesses to the point of stifling job creation and increasing energy costs, however, the control is present and many conservatives now are interested in just backing away from this issue completely until the science is in to justify it. Many conservatives do not believe “global warming” is a proven problem for the environment and I tend to agree with them.
The Left pushes environmental reasons partly because they really do believe that businesses are hurting the environment, but they also have a pre-existing anti-business mindset. When I say that they “push”, I mean that they demand such things as these regulations even as the science really is still a matter of debate and, in doing so, characterize conservatives as “anti-science” for disagreeing with them.
Here’s what the far Left movement media blog Think Progress has to say about some of the candidates and carbon caps.
The Republican candidates for president are either long-time deniers of climate science — like Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) — or have cast aside their previous support for carbon cap-and-trade systems, like former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R), and Tim Pawlenty.
As you can see, they are claiming that Gingrich has flip-flopped. I would say he has remained rather consistent, as I pointed out above. Because Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann are among those who do not believe science has proven that these emissions are actually harmful to the environment they are portrayed as “anti-science”.
Here’s what Rick Santorum has to say about such regulations:
The first thing nearly every executive will tell you, from sole proprietors to CEOs of international conglomerates: the existing federal regulatory structure in untenable. From the enactment of the boondoggle of ObamaCare to the CO2 regulations of the EPA, President Obama has single-handedly placed weight after weight on our job market and economy as a whole – and Rick Santorum would immediately repeal the regulatory alphabet soup implemented by the Obama Administration. This also means ensuring that government agencies stay within their intended framework, most notably the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that has diverted from its purpose of protecting the rights of workers to doing the political work of President Obama’s staunches union allies. Furthermore, while legislation pending before Congress is a start, Rick Santorum believes we need to streamline the patent process to unclog the patent backlog and encourage innovation in America. And likewise, to ensure America remains the global beacon of biotechnology, we must reform the transparency of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process so entrepreneurs and investors alike can have surety in the process. Finally, Rick Santorum believes that each new federal law and reauthorization of existing laws should be simpler and limit the ability of federal agencies to expand upon the law through regulation.
As you can see, when it comes to environmental issues, particularly regulations, Santorum is the more conservative of the two, particularly on the point of rolling back federal power in those areas where it is stifling opportunity for no good reason.
Clarity on the issues is a good thing.