Super Tuesday Roundup: Your GOP Candidates on Global Warming and the Environment

Super Tuesday Roundup: Your GOP Candidates on Global Warming and the Environment

Anna Sanders
Published: 03/06/2012

Photos: Wikimedia Commons

Today, 10 states (including Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia) will hold Republican primaries and caucuses, putting a total 437 total delegates at stake—just under 20 percent of the total delegates. But before you attend a caucus or vote in a primary, take a look at the four remaining Republican presidential candidates with regards to Mother Earth. Who stacks up?

Newt Gingrich

  • -In 2008, Gingrich appeared with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an ad for Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, in which he said, “[O]ur country must take action to address climate change,” according to Grist. But in December Gingrich said the commercial was the “dumbest single thing” he’s done in the last few years.
  • -In an interesting interview with Grist in 2010, Gingrich said he did “not necessarily” think the government should have certain standards for clean water and air.
  • –Gingrich seems to support domestic oil drilling. ”It is time for an honest debate about drilling and producing in places like Alaska, our national forests, and off the coast of scenic areas. The Left uses scare tactics from a different era to block environmentally sound production of raw materials,” he said on newt.org in December 2006, according to OnTheIssues.
  • -But, he also has a hybrid. And his house has a smaller carbon footprint than Al Gore. At least, that’s what he told Grist.

Ron Paul

  • -In a speech on the House floor opposing cap-and-trade legislation, Paul said the human right to consume energy doesn’t extend to activities that could endanger the Earth’s climate. True to Paul’s Libertarian beliefs, he continued, saying “bogus claims about climate dangers should not be used as a justification to further limit the American people's freedom,” according to NPR.
  • -On his website, Paul advocates for energy independence. He also will “lead the fight” against the EPA, vowing to shut it down. “Polluters should answer directly to property owners in court for the damages they create—not to Washington.”
  • -Paul also wants to “Lift government roadblocks to the use of coal and nuclear power,” according to his website. In addition, he would eliminate the federal tax on gasoline.

Mitt Romney

  • -Last June, Romney dared suggest that humans might have something to do with climate change, but in the fall, he declared in a forum, “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us,” the presidential hopeful said, according to Grist.
  • -Romney opposes international treaties (such as the ill-fated Kyoto Protocol) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to Glassbooth.com.
    -While he favors investment in alternative forms of energy, Romney supports drilling for potential gas and oil resources in the United States, according to Glassdoor.com. “Ethanol is a good step, but its not a sufficient step. I believe we have to be developing more energy sources ourselves, which would include offshore drilling and drilling in ANWR, nuclear power, biodiesel, biofuels, cellulastic ethanol, probably liquefied coal,” he said.

Rick Santorum

  • -On The Rush Limbaugh Show last June, Santorum said he believed the earth gets warmer and cooler, according to NPR. He added that the idea that man caused this change with the production of CO2 is absurd “when you consider all the other factors, El Niño, La Niña, sunspots, moisture in the air.”
  • -Santorum is against the Endangered Species Act, which he said last month “has prevented us from timbering all sorts of acreage” in his Pennsylvania home state, according to The Colorado Independent.
  • -Also in February, Santorum said that hydrofracking is the “new bogeyman.” The left, Santorum said, is “preying on the Northeast, saying, ‘Look what’s going to happen. Ooh, all this bad stuff’s gonna happen, we don’t know all these chemicals and all this stuff, what’s gonna happen?’” according to Politico.