Gallery: Romney Vs. Santorum: Whoever Wins the Republican Race, The Env...

 

The Iowa caucuses are over and Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have emerged as the Republican front-runners. It is a race that has seen almost every candidate touted as a potential winner – before scandal (Herman Cain) or lack of support (Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann) has forced them to withdraw. Over the next few months, Romney and Santorum will be doing everything they can to convince the American people that they are the right person for the job. However there’s one major gap in each of their running platforms – neither of them really cares for the environment.

In the past, conservative candidates have often dismissed environmental concerns – opting instead to support big business and the concerns of their base supporters. In fact, back in August the Environmental Protection Agency was a major target for many Republican candidates who clearly didn’t appreciate or understand the role the department plays in keeping their water clean and their air breathable.

At the time, Michele Bachmann wanted to “padlock the E.P.A.’s doors” saying the agency should be renamed the “job-killing organization of America.” She also called global warming science a hoax. Rick Perry wasn’t any kinder, saying he would impose an immediate moratorium on environmental regulation if he was president, and added that “E.P.A. regulations are killing jobs all across America.” He has also famously said in his book “Fed Up, Our Fight to Save America from Washington,” that global-warming science is “one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight” and a “secular carbon cult” led by false prophets like Al Gore.

Luckily these two are now all but out of the race – but what about current front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum?

Mitt Romney

Let’s take Romney first. The man has thus far been a steady ‘second place’ candidate for much of the race, with other candidates overtaking him in the polls before once again falling behind. When it comes to the environment, Romney was the only one back in August that did not get on the ‘Bashing the EPA’ bandwagon and instead stated that he favored the regulation of carbon dioxide and other gases that contributed to global warming. However, he has famously changed his mind numerous times over what he has said in public.

Global warming

In his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, he said: “I believe that climate change is occurring — the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to factors out of our control.”

Well, that’s pretty conclusive right? Wrong.

All through the summer and fall of 2011, Romney changed his tune in order to keep pace with his more conservative counterparts. In October, he was quoted as saying: “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.”

Fossil fuels

His policies aren’t exactly green either – in addition to hiring a number of anti-EPA campaign advisers, Romney has reversed his position on government support for renewable energy industries and criticized President Obama for supporting clean car companies.

He has also ignored the potential of green jobs, calling them ‘fake’. In October 2011, he said: “First, the good news: President Barack Obama has finally created some “green jobs.” Now for the bad news: They are not in the United States, but in Finland.”

What is most bizarre is that he completely ignored the 64,000 jobs that had been created in his home state of Massachusetts. He also mocked the Chevy Volt, saying it was an “idea whose time has not come.”

Worse of all, he’s not eager to cut America’s dependency on fossil fuels as he wants to maintain massive tax breaks for the oil industry and backs the Keystone XL pipeline. ”I will ensure we utilize to the fullest extent our nation’s nuclear know-how and immense reserves in oil, gas and coal,” he wrote in September 2011. “We are an energy-rich country that, thanks to environmental extremism, has chosen to live like an energy-poor country. That has to end.”

He has also stated he is all for drilling in the “Gulf of Mexico, both the Atlantic and Pacific Outer Continental Shelves, Western lands, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and off the Alaska coast.” However NOT the Florida Everglades – because they’re “a national treasure.”

So that’s Mitt Romney – and if you thought he was a problem for the environment, Rick Santorum is worse.

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5 Comments

  1. lukep January 5, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Then as a reporter you should have given the three frontrunners pretty even coverage. It will make you look short-sighted if Dr. Paul wins, and afterall, Paul did get the most delegates in Iowa. (That’s a win in my book!)

    Something else you could have reported on is the fact that Paul wants to “Make tax credits available for the purchase and production of alternative fuel technologies.” (From his site.)

  2. Timon Singh Timon Singh January 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Hey, I’m the author of the article and I DID actually consider including Ron Paul, but like Romney he has changed his stance over global warming over the past several years… and I didn’t really want to repeat myself.

    For example, in 2007 he said: “I think some of it [global warming] is related to human activities, but I don’t think there’s a conclusion yet” and then in 2009 said: “The greatest hoax I think that has been around for many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on the environment and global warming.”

    Still. He does like bike riding. So that’s something…

  3. revit4greenfuture January 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    What about Ron Paul? With his substantial tax reduction plans, we as individuals will actually have money and the choice to fund the best organizations that can actually help our planet. That’s something the Obama Administration (and the US Government in general) has proved to never be very good at.

    Organizations that run on Free Market principles (such as US Green Building Counsel, green blogs, colleges that fund innovative environmental research) have also proven to be the most powerful route for changing the minds of our culture. Ron Paul supports this system and he most certainly has my vote for 2012!

  4. kaze13 January 4, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Inhabitat, you dissapoint me, i enjoy your website quite often and yet the only candidates you talk about for the presidental race are Santorum and Romney even though Ron Paul finished barely 3% bellow either. Please dont support more war and blood shed, Vote Ron Paul 2012

  5. youareme7 January 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Um, I think you’re forgetting another front runner here, Ron Paul. Why is it media fails to see the light of day. Have a read at a website that gave a fair treatment to Paul:
    http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/politics/blogs/ron-pauls-environmental-record

    He’s not perfect but he’s better than any other candidate out there, Obama included.

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