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Current Extremism and it's Toll on the Environment

A few weeks ago we were sorely reminded of the extremism of the majority of the current Republican candidates. Among many other alarming things said, Republicans suggested eliminating or privatizing: FEMA, NASA, the EPA, the Federal Labor Relations Board, Medicaid, and food stamps. Herman Cain promised not to appoint any Muslims who want to kill Americans to his cabinet. Michele Bachmann supports states’ rights on gay marriage, but also supports a constitutional amendment outlawing it. Rick Santorum wants to have “a system of discipline” to “punish” gay soldiers, which suggests that his problem with pornographic Google results is not likely to abate. Tim Pawlenty views Iraq as “one of the shiniest examples of success in the Middle East.”

So let’s see what their records are on environmental protection…

Michelle Bahaman

  • Voted YES on: opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling, barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, and criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC.
  • Voted NO on: tax credits for renewable electricity, enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution, with PAYGO offsets, tax incentives for energy production and conservation,  tax incentives for renewable energy,  investing in homegrown biofuel, removing oil & gas exploration subsidies.
  • Wants to bar greenhouse gases from Clean Air Act rules. (Jan 2009)
  • Think cap-and-trade would have no impact on global temperatures. (Jul 2010)
  • Wants to explore “proven energy reserves” & keep energy prices low (though, it has been shown repeatedly that wouldn’t keep energy prices low, and it certainly wouldn’t address a more costly global warming problem). (Jul 2010)

Herman Cain

  • Against ethanol subsidies; wants to let markets decide forms of energy (despite inherent externalities markets don’t consider). (May 2011)
  • Wants to loosen government’s grip; expand domestic dirty energy resources. (May 2011)
  • Wants to declare and implement a “drill here drill now” strategy. (Apr 2011)

Newt Gingrich

  • Overstated our supply of gas. FactCheck: US has 110-year supply of gas, not 1,100 years. (Feb 2011)
  • Held 2008 petition drive: Drill here, Drill now, Pay less. (Feb 2011)
  • Wrote 2008 book: Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less. (Dec 2007)
  • Said the Kyoto treaty was bad for the environment and bad for America (now look at the ‘natural’ disasters we are suffering). (Dec 2006)
  • Said we should focus on incentives for conservation & renewable resources. (Dec 2006)
  • Said we should stop “scare tactics” about drilling in Alaska. (Dec 2006)
  • Said raising the gas tax sounds OK in DC, but not outside Beltway. (Jul 1998)
  • Incorrectly said cap-and-trade would have no impact on global temperatures. (Jul 2010)
  • Wants to explore “proven energy reserves” & keep energy prices low (sorry, that wouldn’t do the trick). (Jul 2010)
  • Wants to replace EPA with new Environmental Solutions Agency. (Feb 2011)
  • Said Katrina’s collapse of New Orleans was avoidable. (Dec 2007)
  • Said Boston’s Big Dig was a classic pork barrel project. (Dec 2007)
  • Wants us to reject apocalyptic warnings (about global warming); they only lead to higher taxes. (Dec 2007)
  • Says the greatest environmental dangers are poverty & command bureaucracy. (Sep 2007)
  • Wants to “combine healthy environment and a healthy economy” (whatever that means to him). (Dec 2006)
  • In the early 1980s: co-sponsored Endangered Species Act. (Jun 1995)
  • Voted to regulating 15 more contaminants under the Clean Water Act. (Oct 1993)

Jon Huntsman

  • Wants to make Utah the premier destination for renewable energy. (Jan 2009)
  • Says Congress should cap greenhouse-gas pollution. (Nov 2007)
  • Lead US in alternative sources for energy and efficiency. (Nov 2003)
  • Disallowed hotter levels of nuclear waste in Utah. (Nov 2003)
  • (seems to be the only sensible leading Republican when it comes to the environment these days)

Gary Johnson

  • Says current policy prevents common-sense energy development. (Jul 2011)
  • Supports voluntary partnerships to reduce greenhouse gases economically. (Aug 2000)
  • Supported federal tax incentives for energy, with state decisions. (Aug 2001)
  • Supports more state autonomy on brownfields & Superfund cleanups. (Aug 2001)
  • Supported State Revolving Loan Fund for flexible Clean Water. (Aug 2001)
  • Focus on prevention and states for Endangered Species. (Aug 2001)
  • Supports collaborative, incentive-driven, locally-based solutions. (Aug 2001)
  • Wants to apply “Good Samaritan” rules to abandoned mine cleanup. (Aug 2001)
  • Supports state primacy over water quantity & quality issues. (Aug 2001)

Thad McCotter

  • Says climate change is pseudo-scientific scare tactic. (Feb 2011)
  • Voted YES on: opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling, barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC, scheduling permitting for new oil refineries, authorizing construction of new oil refineries, passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy,  implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy, $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program,  protecting free-roaming horses and burros, $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013, increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M, deauthorizing “critical habitat” for endangered species, speeding up approval of forest thinning projects.
  • Voted NO on: enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution, tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets, tax incentives for energy production and conservation, tax incentives for renewable energy, investing in homegrown biofuel, removing oil & gas exploration subsidies, keeping moratorium on drilling for oil offshore, environmental education grants for outdoor experiences.
  • Rated 17% by the CAF, indicating opposition to energy independence. (Dec 2006)
  • Wants to bar greenhouse gases from Clean Air Act rules. (Jan 2009)
  • Wants to set goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025. (Jan 2007)
  • Wants to make tax deduction permanent for conservation easements. (Mar 2009)
  • Wants to strengthen prohibitions against animal fighting. (Jan 2007)

Sarah Palin

  • Opposed protections for salmon from mining contamination. (Aug 2008)
  • Sued US government to stop listing polar bear as endangered. (Aug 2008)
  • Says we must encourage timber, mining, drilling, & fishing. (Jan 2008)
  • Says wolf predator control is important for subsistence hunters. (Sep 2007)
  • Says feds shouldn’t list beluga whales as endangered. (Aug 2007)
  • Wants to provide stability in regulations for developers. (Jan 2007)
  • Has tried to convince the rest of the nation to open ANWR. (Jan 2007)
  • Fish platform: “Resource First” philosophy. (Nov 2006)
  • Said rail provided a critical link for business development. (Nov 2006)
  • Supports “Roads to Resources”: subsidized access to mines. (Oct 2006)
  • Doesn’t want to duplicate effort in monitoring cruise ship emissions. (Oct 2006)
  • Doesn’t want to amend AK constitution for rural subsistence fishing. (Oct 2006)
  • Said global warming affects Alaska, but is not man-made. (Aug 2008)
  • Supported goal of 50% of Alaska electric power from renewable sources. (Jan 2009)
  • “Drill, baby, drill.” (Oct 2008)
  • Crowning achievement: Alaska Gas Inducement Act. (Sep 2008)

Ron Paul

  • Voted YES on: scheduling permitting for new oil refineries.
  • Voted NO on: enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution, tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets, tax incentives for energy production and conservation, tax incentives for renewable energy, criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC, removing oil & gas exploration subsidies, keeping moratorium on drilling for oil offshore, passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy, implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy, raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels, prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR, $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013, increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M, speeding up approval of forest thinning projects, $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program,  protecting free-roaming horses and burros, environmental education grants for outdoor experiences.
  • Wants to repeal the gas tax. (May 2001)
  • Wants to bar greenhouse gases from Clean Air Act rules. (Jan 2009)
  • Doesn’t support EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. (Jan 2011)
  • Wants to repeal requirements for energy efficient bulbs. (Jan 2011)
  • Says: Big Oil profits ok; Big Oil subsidies are not. (Jun 2007)

Rick Perry

  • $5,000 incentive for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles. (Jan 2009)
  • Does not believe in global warming being caused by humans.(Aug 2011)
  • Thinks we should give more funding to develop domestic energy supplies. (Sep 2001)
  • Wanted to use federal funds for nuclear cleanup, with state input. (Sep 2001)
  • Wanted federal government to share offshore oil development revenue with states. (Sep 2001)
  • Supported federal tax incentives for energy, with state decisions. (Aug 2001)
  • Supported flexible permitting to reduce ozone & NOx levels. (Feb 2011)
  • Supported flexible permitting to cap emissions for entire facility. (Nov 2010)
  • On Katrina: feds impede crucial work; get out of the way. (Nov 2010)
  • Wants to stop declaring wildlife sanctuaries on water reservoirs. (Feb 2007)
  • Wants more state autonomy on brownfields & Superfund cleanups. (Aug 2001)
  • Supported State Revolving Loan Fund for flexible Clean Water. (Aug 2001)
  • Supported national drought policy, focusing on readiness. (Sep 2001)
  • Wants to maintain water flow in Mississippi & Missouri Rivers. (Feb 2001)
  • Wants to focus on prevention and states for Endangered Species. (Aug 2001)
  • Support collaborative, incentive driven, locally-based solutions. (Aug 2001)
  • Wants to apply “Good Samaritan” rules to abandoned mine cleanup. (Aug 2001)
  • Supports state primacy over water quantity & quality issues. (Aug 2001)
  • Wants to require 6th graders to receive STD vaccination. (Aug 2011)
  • Wants to wipe out ObamaCare; block grant healthcare back to states. (Sep 2011)
  • Says ObamaCare is a trainwreck of a plan. (Feb 2011)
  • Wants to repeal ObamaCare; simple message to Washington: “Enough”. (Feb 2011)
  • Supports total repeal and dismantling of ObamaCare. (Nov 2010)
  • Says the future of America depends on repealing ObamaCare. (Nov 2010)

Buddy Roemer

  • Railed against ethanol subsidies in Iowa. (Mar 2011)
  • Wants to bring our Marines home from “oil” duty via “domestic energy.” (Mar 2011)
  • Wants more energy exploration in the US. (Mar 2011)
  • Supports tax credits for exploring for oil in deep water & Arctic. (Mar 1987)
  • Wants to repeal windfall profit tax on domestic crude oil. (May 1986)

Mitt Romney

  • They don’t call it “America warming” but “global warming”. (Jan 2008)
  • Opposes McCain-Lieberman bill due to $0.50/gal. gas tax. (Jan 2008)
  • Supports $20 billion package for energy research & new car technology. (Jan 2008)
  • Says we need worldwide global warming solutions; not CAFE or US tax. (Jan 2008)
  • Wants to invest in new technologies to get us off of foreign oil. (Dec 2007)
  • Wants to develop costly energy technology like nuclear or liquefied coal. (Oct 2007)
  • Says the time for true energy independence has come. (Aug 2007)
  • Says exporting carbon emissions to China hurts US and planet. (Aug 2007)
  • No-regrets policy: biofuel, nuclear power, drill ANWR. (Jun 2007)
  • Says Big Oil should reinvest profits in oil refineries. (Jun 2007)
  • Supports Developing alternative energy but also drilling in ANWR. (Dec 2006)
  • Says can’t become energy independent in a decade, but be on track. (Jan 2006)
  • Says states should be able to have their own emissions standards. (Jan 2008)
  • Said clean environment would be a campaign theme. (Mar 2002)

Rick Santorum

  • Says sagging economy caused by stop sign on oil drilling. (Jun 2011)
  • Voted YES on: $3.1B for emergency oil assistance for hurricane-hit areas, Bush Administration Energy Policy, targeting 100,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles by 2010, drilling ANWR on national security grounds,  on terminating CAFE standards within 15 months, preserving budget for ANWR oil drilling, defunding renewable and solar energy,  approving a nuclear waste repository,  confirming Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior,  more funding for forest roads and fish habitat.
  • Voted NO on: disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska’s ANWR, reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%), banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, removing consideration of drilling ANWR from budget bill, ending discussion of CAFE fuel efficiency standards, including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations, transportation demo projects, reducing funds for road-building in National Forests.

All info used in this article and more can be found at On the Issues.

This is a great site, check up on what your local representatives are doing!

Image Credit: AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by Mike Licht

 




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