Transcript of Mitt Romney's comments on climate change:
Voter: In June you said, and I quote, “I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions polluntants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming.”
Yesterday, you said about global warming and I quote, “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans."
Now a quote from the National Academy of Sciences exhaustive report on climate change, “Some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested and supported by so many independent observations and results that their likelihood of subsequently being found wrong is vanishingly small. Such conclusions and theories then are regarded as settled facts. This is the case for the conclusion that the Earth’s system is warming and that much of this warming is likely due to human activities.”
My two questions:
Is the National Academy of Sciences a reliable source of information on climate science and if not, what do you use for your source?
And secondly, do you continue to support reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as in your book, No Apologies, through revenue neutral carbon tax or payroll tax cut.
Mitt Romney: Payroll tax cut?
Anyways, lets come back… let me tell you what I believe about the environment. And by the way, my book lays it out. The nice thing about writing a book is that it is all right there. So I’m going to give you an answer in a couple of minutes, but if you are really interested in digging into it, you can read what I wrote. I wrote a whole chapter about energy and about the climate.
And so, I’ll give you a summary. But let me tell you what it is.
I think the Earth is getting warmer. I know this room is.
I think the Earth is getting warmer. I think humans contribute to that. I don’t know by how much. It could be a little. Could be a lot. I don’t know by how much.
And so I’m not willing on that basis to spend trillions of dollars trying to stop in America for instance, the emissions of CO2.
So what it leads me to is an energy policy that some call a “no regrets policy”, meaning take action that you would take anyway that has the byproduct of reducing CO2.
So I would take as my energy policy not a cap and trade approach. As I point out in my book I oppose cap and trade. I would not put in place a gas tax or a carbon tax. Those likewise in my book I indicate and what I would do is follow policies that get America energy secure and energy independent of the cartels.
What are those policies?
Use more natural gas. We have it in abundance. We’ve now learned how to drill not just vertically, but also horizontally and to capture all sorts of natural gas. We have hundreds of years of it.
Natural gas emits less CO2 than coal. So as we use natural gas, we not only free ourselves of foreign sources of energy. We also, as a byproduct, reduce our CO2.
I like nuclear power. When we build our nuclear power plant, we should not put the diesel reserve backup engine at sea level if there’s a fault line near it. Alright, there’s some things we’ve learned. And so I’d like to see more nuclear power.
I’d like to see us drilling for oil, find technology for clean gas – excuse me for clean coal rather. And I want to use those sources.
I want to see more efficiency. These things will get us on track to becoming energy independent and energy secure and as a byproduct they’ll reduce CO2. Maybe that’ll help. Maybe it won’t. I don’t know.
But if we reduce CO2, why it can’t hurt. At least I don’t think it can hurt.
And my own view is I’m not a scientist. I can’t tell you how much of the warming I think we’re experiencing is caused by human beings. It may be a lot. It may be a little.
But again, my policy is not to impose trillions of dollars in costs and job killing measures like cap and trade and carbon taxes on the American people. That’s my view.
A complete video of Mitt Romney's Town Hall meeting in Dover, NH is available on C-Span.
Photo of Mitt Romney by Jessica Rinaldi