Will Mitt Romney flip-flop on climate change if he’s elected president?
Some big donors are betting on it.
Romney and his super PAC have taken millions from funders with strong green streaks — despite the fact that the former Massachusetts governor has run to the right in the primary, proclaiming doubts about global-warming science and trashing President Barack Obama’s greenhouse gas emissions policies.
Julian Robertson, founder of the Tiger Management hedge fund, helped put cap-and-trade legislation on the map with $60 million in contributions over the past decade to the Environmental Defense Fund.
Now, Robertson has given $1.25 million to Romney’s Restore our Future super PAC, plus the maximum $2,500 to the Romney campaign.
Other green-minded financial backers may not be giving as much as Robertson, but they still share the view that climate-change science and a solid environmental agenda wouldn’t be a lost cause if Romney won the White House.
“My feeling is that on these issues that people learn,” said former Gov. Thomas Kean (R-N.J.), who maxed out last fall to Romney with a $2,500 check. “And my hope is, as time goes on, he will understand that not everybody agrees on how you deal with these issues, but I hope he will agree with 99 percent of the scientists who believe this is an issue that we have to deal with.”
As president, Kean said he hoped Romney could duplicate his Beacon Hill successes in building coalitions with Democrats on issues such as energy and the environment. In addition, Kean noted that Romney wouldn’t face the same gridlocked climate debate of recent years, in large part because of the boom in domestic natural gas production that’s helped lower the nation’s greenhouse gas emission levels. “The whole game has changed,” Kean said.
Rob Sisson, president of the Republicans for Environmental Protection, said he’s scraping together personal funds to write a check to the Romney campaign after getting a chance to meet him for the first time last month during a town hall campaign stop in Kalamazoo, Mich.
“I think his record as governor was pretty good as far as Republicans go,” said Sisson, who also gave $1,000 last June to Jon Huntsman’s campaign. “I really get the sense from him and the folks around him with whom I’ve spoken that as president he’d really look at each situation, gather the data and really make a decision that’s best for the country.”
“If that goes against the grain of how he’s campaigning now, so be it,” Sisson added. “He’s going to be driven by data and facts and not emotions and getting pushed into one corner by one faction of the party.”
Among the other green Romney donors is Texas businessman and philanthropist Trammell S. Crow, founder of Earth Day Dallas and winner of the Republicans for Environmental Protection’s Green Elephant Award in 2007. Crow and his family have given $71,000 this cycle to Republicans, including $15,000 to the Republican National Committee and $5,000 to Romney, according to donation data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
“I am voting for Mitt Romney and I believe in global warming,” Crow said in a statement to POLITICO.
Believe it or not, Mitt Romney actually has a pretty clear cut record on these issues, and it’s not good news for job creators.
The Washington Examiner explains.
As reported in the conservative blogs Moonbattery and Hot Air; “the Romney administration in 2005 essentially did what Barack Obama’s EPA wants to do now. He imposed CO2 emission caps — the “toughest in the nation” — in an effort to curtail traditional energy production.
“Not only did Romney impose these costly new regulations, he then imposed price caps to keep power companies from passing the cost along to the consumer. As we have seen in Romney-Care, regulation and price controls eventually drive businesses into bankruptcy or relocation.”
[...][T]hen-Gov. Romney’s office trumpeted its energy and job-killing plan by saying in part: “Today’s regulations will achieve our aggressive environmental goals and provide incentives to push technological development,” said Stephen Pritchard, Secretary of Environmental Affairs.
“In the development of greenhouse gas policy, Romney Administration officials have elicited input from environmental and economic policy experts.
“These include John Holdren,professor of environmental policy at Harvard University and chair of the NationalCommission on Energy Policy and Billy Pizer, an economist at Resources for the Future, anenvironmental policy think-tank based in Washington D.C”
[...]Governor Romney’s office then closed the memo by proudly stating:
“Implementing these regulations represents the latest in a series of initiatives that theRomney administration has undertaken to address air pollution.
“In 2004, Governor Romney announced the Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan, which laid out acoordinated statewide response to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the climate.”
You can’t make this up. Something that sounds as if it was drafted in the bowels of the Obama EPA was actually part of a memo released with great fan-fare by Governor Romney on December 7, 2005.
In case you don’t remember who John Holdren is, here’s a refresher from Fox News. This is not good.
Here’s a comparison of Rick Santorum vs Mitt Romney on the global warming issue that I wrote a while back. On the one hand, you can see in videos featuring Rick Santorum that he is as forceful as one can be in opposing man-made global warming. He calls it a “hoax” and “junk science” and he says that there is “no such thing as global warming”. That is quite a contrast with Romney’s record on these issues. One has to wonder whether Romney is really as smart as he claims to be at assessing truth claims. Does he puzzle these things out for himself? Or does he just say and do whatever makes him look smart to the liberal media?