Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rick Perry: I care about the environment

Rick Perry talked about energy and the environment during his October 28, 2011 interview with the Union Leader in Manchester, NH:

Perry: I’d move substantial amounts of regulations back to the states.
Union Leader: Give me an example.
Perry: I think the Governor of any state and their Environmental Protection Agency has a better vested interest – has a more vest interest – and has a better ability to address the issues of the environment in their state than the EPA.
And I’ll give you, as an example: In the decade of the 2000’s, Texas had a flexible permitting process for our clean air. I think the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act were good pieces of legislation. Don’t paint me a brush that’s so broad that says, “Oh, well he doesn’t care about the environment.” Yeah, I care about the environment.
And we did something about it in Texas. We cleaned our air up more than any state in the nation in decade of the 2000’s, and we did it by incentive based flexible permitting. And what I mean by that, Joe, is that if there’s eight smokestacks in a plant, we had a total amount of emissions that plant could emit, rather than checking each smokestack. Each point source if you will.
We were able to lower our ozone levels by 27 percent. And our nitrogen oxide levels by 58 percent during that time period.
This administration wants to come in and take that process over and put their oversight in place. We, through our comptroller study, know what that will do. It will cost a huge number of jobs – 360,000 to be exact.
It’s no different than the response that we’ve seen to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. We know now that the private sector has the ability to address an event like that and actually cap a well that had that same event in one day, because the technology’s been developed. The last thing the industry wants is for that type of event to occur again, so they developed the technology to be able to protect our environment in the Gulf.
Yet this administration, rather than allowing for regulators that actually go out and do their job, they just basically put a slow down on permitting: 400 percent longer to get a permit today; 80 percent fewer permits for drilling in the Gulf.
I mean, those are just two examples of the knee jerk reaction that this administration has had dealing with regulations that when you audit them for their beneficial impact on, whether it’s the air or the water or the safety of people, is miniscule at best. But the costs are monstrous.

For the record, it took five months, not one day, to cap the BP oil spill. PolitiFact has rated Perry’s claims about reducing ozone and nitrogen oxide pollution as Half True:

A video of Rick Perry's full interview with the Union Leader is available on C-Span:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mitt Romney turns global warming skeptic in Pittsburgh, PA

Mitt Romney made his most skeptical comments to date on global warming while answering questions at an October 27, 2011 fundraiser held at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA. 

Transcript of Romney’s comments:

Question: What is your position on man-made global warming and would you reject legislation, such as cap and trade, which is based on the idea of man-made global warming?
Romney: Man-made global warming and cap and trade and so forth – I actually had in Massachusetts a consortium of states that came together with a cap and trade program. It was called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. And all the governors, Governor Pataki and so forth, signed it. I refused to sign.
I do not believe in a cap and trade program.
By the way, they do not call it America warming, they call it global warming. So the idea of America spending massive amounts, trillions of dollars to somehow stop global warming is not a great idea. It loses jobs for Americans and ultimately it won’t be successful, because industries that are energy intensive will just get up and go somewhere else. So it doesn’t make any sense at all.
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.
My view with regards to energy policy is pretty straightforward. I want us to become energy secure and independent of the oil cartels. And that means let’s aggressively develop our oil, our gas, our coal, our nuclear power.
Look, Marcellus Shale is a huge godsend for the nation. Let’s develop it aggressively.
Oil has been discovered in North Dakota. I’m told that the discoveries in North Dakota suggest that we have oil there which will exceed what we found in Prudhoe Bay in Alaska.
So we have massive energy resources. Let’s grant the permits to let the drillers start drilling and provide those resources in America. We will create jobs here and make sure that we have the energy independence from the cartels that’s good for our foreign policy, for our national security, and for our economy. 
Video of Romney’s remarks, with global warming portion starting at 2:07:

Update: New Hampshire Primary 2012: Green broke this story early this morning. Thanks to a little help from @climatebrad over at Think Progress Green, Mitt Romney's latest comments on climate have since proliferated across the mainstream media and blogosphere:

The Blaze - Romney reverses course: Now says 'We don't know what's causing climate change'

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ron Paul talks energy at Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition - video, transcript

Ron Paul fielded two questions on energy policy at the October 22, 2011 Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Presidential Forum in Des Moines, Iowa. The event was sponsored by the Iowa Energy Forum, an arm of the American Petroleum Institute sponsored America's Energy Forum.

Question #1: What is your comprehensive plan to shape your future administration’s energy policy, and please include how this vision differs from approach of the current administration.

Ron Paul: Well, my plan is we need to produce energy the same way we produce cell phones. We need to get the government out of the way. We need a lot of competition. And we need to deregulate.
I’ve been in Washington off and on for a good many years. I’ve met a lot of bureaucrats and I’ve met a lot of politicians. They don’t know anything about energy. Why should they make the plan? They have a responsibility for providing the right environment, and that is the market environment.

The point that I’m making about the cell phones. The markets, in spite of all our problems, the markets still deliver cell phones to us. Can you imagine if we gave a contract to the Department of Homeland Security to provide cell phones and they provided one company and they set the prices? It would cost a lot of money and the phones wouldn’t work.
So we don’t need a policy other than the policy of the marketplace. We need to understand property rights. We need to understand contract rights. We need to understand competition. But today – and of course the Obama administration doesn’t understand any of this, so I reject everything that they do because they interject, like putting on moratoriums and supporting regulations.
But the sooner you can get to the concepts of property rights and contracts – all of Texas energy was developed without government. When we came into the Union, we essentially had no government property. But out in the West now, where some of this oil shale and other things are, so much of it is on government owned land. We need to get this land in ownership of private property owners and then we need to get the government out of the way.

Question #2: If you could reverse one energy related policy decision from the last three years, what would it be and what would you have done differently.

Well, there isn’t one policy because the overall policy of interference, the policy that this administration has followed is intervention. He follows a whole philosophy of economic intervention, so you have to reverse the policy of Keynesian economic intervention and re-instill in the American people the concept and the understanding of how real free markets work and how money works.
So that is what needs to happen, but all the policies that result from intervention disturb the markets. And you can’t do that unless you have a lot of other things. In order to reverse that you have to deregulate across the board. You have to change the tax code. You have to have the sound money system. You have to have better trade policies. And all of these things would generate the type of energy that we need. 
Video of Ron Paul's remarks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition (energy segment starts at 15:20):

Newt Gingrich defends ethanol at Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition - video and transcript

Newt Gingrich launched into a lengthy defense of the ethanol industry at the October 22, 2011 Iowa Faith and Freedom Conference Presidential Forum in Des Moines, Iowa. While generally viewed as a platform for the GOP presidential candidates to express their views on conservative social values, the event was sponsored by the Iowa Energy Forum, an arm of the American Petroleum Institute backed America's Energy Forum.

Like all of the candidates who attended the event, Gingrich was asked to answer two questions about energy policy.

Question #1: What is your comprehensive plan to shape your future administration’s energy policy, and please include how this approach differs from the current administration.

Newt Gingrich: You know, I’ve heard you ask that several times tonight. And my first thought when you say, “Tell us how it would differ from the current administration,” is, “You’ve got to be kidding.
This is the most anti-American energy industry administration in history. It is just unbelievable. So start with that. 
Okay, this a President who goes to Brazil and says to Brazilians, “I’m really glad you’re drilling offshore. And I’d like us to be your best customer,” which I thought was a sign that he had it exactly backwards. The job of the American president is not to be a purchasing agent for foreign countries. It is to be a salesman for the United States of America.
A friend of mine said, “The only way to develop Alaska is to sell it to the Alaskans, and then Obama will think it is terrific.”
If you go to and the 21st Century Contract with America, we outline an energy plan. It’s pretty straightforward. Look, Michele Bachmann had it right. We have more energy than any other country. When you take all over our energy – 20 percent of your electricity here comes from wind, which makes it second only to Denmark as a producer of wind.
I have always been a supporter of ethanol. I even supported ethanol when it was called gasohol in 1984. And I did it for a practical reason. If my choice is for the next dollar to go to Iran or to go to Iowa, I pick Iowa. If the next dollar is to go to Saudi Arabia or to South Dakota, I pick South Dakota. And if you look at the growing efficiencies of corn production and the growing efficiencies of ethanol production, it has been a 25-year success story of greater and greater productivity, which has kept money here at home, enriched rural communities, created a much better environment for the United States. And the fact is we need to develop more and better science in biofuels, not cut them off.
And I just want to say one thing about – I don’t want to pick a fight with any of my friends who are running, but I get a little weary of people who represent oil, which has consistently attacked subsidies for its entire history, explaining that they’re really not sure about these subsidies. Notice its always “these subsidies” – it’s never the ones down there. 
I noticed when Senator Coburn introduced a bill, which was anti-ethanol, he didn’t include subsidies for gas and oil, because as an Oklahoman that would’ve been suicidal.
So I just think that we ought to have a fair playing field. I would extend and make permanent any kind of credit for things like wind or solar so there is a capital investment ratio – I mean rational. I would also continue to develop flex fuel vehicles, which is really – the next stage of ethanol isn’t a subsidy for ethanol. It’s getting to flex fuel tanks and getting to flex fuel vehicles so that everybody in American can make a consumer choice. Because the truth is when oil reaches a certain price ethanol is cheaper, not more expensive. But you have to have vehicles that can use it and gas stations that have it. So there are steps that we can take there.
But I’m also for oil and gas. I mean, it is crazy for us to have an area in the Chuckci Sea. This is not ANWR. The Chuckci Sea off Alaska has as much oil and gas as the Gulf of Mexico. And our current litigation policies allow all sorts of left wing environmental groups to stop - Shell oil gave up $3 billion and quit.  
So I would go through every single stage and I have a very simple model. Keep the $500 billion a year in energy that goes overseas here at home. It’s better for the economy. It’s better for Americans jobs. It’s better for national security and it makes it much easier for us to then deal with dictators overseas the way we should deal with them, without any concern for economic reprisal.

Question #2: If you could reverse one energy policy decision from the last three years, what would it be and what would you do differently?

Newt Gingrich: Actually, I think the biggest ones were personnel. If you were going to have a Department of Energy, which I wouldn’t, but if you were going to have one you ought to have Secretary who is pro-American energy. We don’t. 
The current Secretary is anti-American energy. He favors some fantasy that made perfect sense at Berkeley in a classroom and makes no sense in the real world.
By the way, I would also have a Secretary of Interior who favored American solutions, as opposed to the current Secretary, who has done everything he could to stop any production, anywhere in the country. 
Video of Newt Gingrich's comments on energy at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition (starts at 12:10):

Rick Perry's energy remarks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition (Video and transcript)

Rick Perry responded to two questions about energy at the October 22, 2011 Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Presidential Forum. The event was sponsored by the Iowa Energy Forum, a part of the American Petroleum Institute sponsored America’s Energy Forum.

Question #1: What is your comprehensive plan to shape your future administration’s energy policy, and please include how this vision differs from the approach of the current administration.

Rick Perry: Well, it’s really a pretty simple concept. Make what Americans buy. Buy what Americans make. And sell it to the world.
That is what we need to be focused on in this country. Expanding our domestic exploration. Pulling back those regulations that are killing jobs and stopping our ability to use the 300 years of energy that we have in this country.
Reduce and refocus, if you will, that EPA that has been talked about broadly here tonight. Level the playing field for all of the energy industry.
I talked about two weeks ago creating 1.2 million new jobs by doing just that without having to go through Congress. The President can use an executive action and executive orders to make those changes, so my plan will make America more energy secure.
The idea, as Herman talked about, that we would send billions, hundreds of millions of dollars, offshore every year to countries that are hostile to our future is nonsensical to me.
Let’s get America working and open up our oil and gas reserves. Open up all of our, whether it is wind or solar or nuclear or whatever it might be. Get American working and start in the energy industry.

Question #2: If you could reverse one energy related policy decision from the last three years, what would it be and what would you have done differently?

Rick Perry: Yeah, I agree with Congressman – or Congresswoman – Bachmann that the most devastating event that occurred by this administration relative to energy policy was the knee jerk reaction after the Deep Water Horizon event and shutting down the Gulf of Mexico from drilling.
What it has done – if we just went back to pre-Obama levels of job creation 230,000 jobs, one third of those which would be outside of the Gulf region, could be put to work. 80 percent down on the number of approvals for permits. It takes 400 percent longer today to get a permit in the Gulf of Mexico.
Bobby Jindal and I were talking just within the last month 12,000 jobs have been lost because of that. This President has killed more jobs with his regulatory schemes that have gone forward and that knee jerk reaction of stopping drilling. And that is some of the fastest things that we can turn around with a new president. 

Michele Bachmann talks energy at Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Presidential Forum

Michele Bachmann fielded two questions about energy policy at the October 22, 2011 Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Presidential Form in Des Moines, Iowa. The forum was sponsored by the Iowa Energy Forum, itself a part of the American Petroleum Institute sponsored America’s Energy Forum.

“I will shut down the EPA,” Bachmann vowed during her stump speech. “I will shut down the Department of Energy.” 

Question #1: What is your comprehensive plan to shape your administration’s future energy policy. Please include how this vision differs from that of the current administration.

Michele Bachmann: My plan on energy is 180 degrees different than the current administration’s plan on energy. And I have been fighting this during my entire time in Congress.
This is one of the best stories that the United States of America has to tell. Earlier this year, the Congressional Research Service issued a report that said that the United States of America is the number one energy resource rich nation in the world. God has given us such a tremendous gift.
If we legalize American energy production, which I have been advocating throughout my time in Congress, we will create very quickly 1.4 million high paying jobs. We’ll increase domestic energy supplies 50 percent and that will bring $800 billion into the United State Treasury. 
We have more oil in three Western states in the form of shale oil than all of the oil in Saudi Arabia. We have 25 percent of all the coal in the world. We have some of the largest find in natural gas found recently in Pennsylvania. We have trillions of cubic square feet of natural gas -- including solar, including wind, including biofuels right here in Iowa. We’ve got it all.
And so I want to legalize it all. And I also want to change the EPA and get rid of the IPA. We have 50 EPA’s at each state level. So I want to get rid of it, so we can open up American energy production and be the leader of the world and be the head and not the tail.

Question #2: If you could reverse one energy related policy decision from the last three years, what would it be? And what would you have done differently?

Michele Bachmann: There are so many. But I would say that the one that has really hurt the economy in a most devastating way was the moratorium that President Obama put on after the oil spill that occurred.
There was devastation that occurred because of the oil flow that occurred, but there was nothing that was worse than the moratorium that he put on. The Gulf Coast region still continues to feel the effects from the moratoriums.
Here’s something else with energy. I had toured ANWR and toured the ANWR region in 2008, which by the way is the most perfect place on the planet to drill for oil, and we should be drilling in ANWR.
Every lease that gets purchased for drilling, before anything happens, there is a radical environmental group that files a lawsuit to drive up the price on those leases. We need to end that practice. And we need to set up special courts to deal with that, because we have seen our energy policy absolutely tied up in knots again. 
I have spent years working on this issue. I know what needs to be done and I have proposed an energy policy that will open up, unlock, unleash and create high paying jobs all across the United States of America. This is the first and easiest thing that the next President of the United States can do. And this will be the treasure trove that God has given to the United States to turn economy around. And I can’t wait to do it.

Full video of Michele Bachmann's comments on energy at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Presidential Forum is available on C-Span:

Herman Cain: Green energy is a joke (Video and transcript)

Speaking at the October 22, 2011 Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Presidential Forum, Herman Cain suggested that the “right fuel” can jumpstart the nation’s economic recovery:

We have the greatest economic engine on the planet. It’s sputtering right now, because we have an economic crisis. Our economy is on life support, but when it receives the right fuel, no other nation on the planet can touch it.

Cain answered two questions about energy policy at the event, which was sponsored by the Iowa Energy Forum, the local arm of the American Petroleum Institute sponsored America’s Energy Forum.

Transcript of Herman Cain’s comments on energy independence and the EPA: 

Moderator: Thank you Mr. Cain. More and more Americans are coming to the realization that specific energy policies affect our jobs and our economy. What is your comprehensive plan to shape your future administration’s energy policy, and please include how this approach differs from our current administration.
Cain: The current administration doesn’t have a policy. We will have an energy independence strategy, because America has the resources to become energy independent.  
We have enough oil, coal, natural gas, shale oil. We have the resources to become energy independent. And my team is already working on putting that strategy together.
Because energy independence is not only an economic imperative, it is a national security imperative. Because we do not need to be dependent on foreign oil from countries that do not like us. So this is why we are going to become energy independent.
Now, the first barrier that some people like to say that we will have in doing that, is that the EPA, it won’t let us do that. Well, as President of the United States, I will make sure that the EPA has an attitude adjustment. They work for us.

Transcript of Herman Cain’s comments on energy efficient light bulbs and green energy:

Moderator: If you could reserve one energy related policy decision from the last three years, what would it be? And what would you have done differently?
Cain: If I could have reversed one related energy policy over the last three years, what would it have been?
I would have allowed the American people to decide what kind of light bulbs they want to put in their homes. America believes in choice.
Green energy is a joke.
You ought to be able to pick what kind of light bulb you want. That’s why we call this Faith and Freedom Coalition.


Complete video of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Presidential Forum is available on C-Span:


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Herman Cain talks energy independence in Nevada (Video)

Herman Cain touched upon the issue of energy independence at a luncheon hosted by the Republican Women of Las Vegas in Nevada:

I agree with Governor Rick Perry that we need an energy independence plan. I was talking about that before he decided to run.
We’ve got the energy in this country to be energy independent. It is not only an economic imperative. It is a national security imperative.
And we’re working on putting together a plan to do that. But just unleashing the energy sector isn’t all that we need to do. We need to unleash all sectors of this economy, which is what I will plan to do.

Watch video of Herman Cain’s latest comments on energy (starts at 6:56): 

Koch Funded Study: global warming is real

“Global warming is real,” concludes a new Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature study directly addressing key concerns raised by climate skeptics.

What makes the study unique is that is it is funded in part by the Charles G. Koch Foundation, an organization with direct ties to fossil fuel industry giant Koch Industries. The foundation contributed $16.2 million to “climate denial front groups” from 2005-2009, according to Greenpeace. As such, the study is being viewed as a rebuke to skeptics who had hoped it would confirm their doubts about climate science - doubts shared by a number of the Republican presidential candidates.

To view the findings, including a two page summary, visit Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature online:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Green light for California cap and trade

Cap and trade is alive and well in California.

“The California Air Resources Board today adopted the final cap-and-trade regulation, putting into place another key element of the state’s pioneering climate plan,” CARB announced in a press release dated October 20, 2011.

The move comes just over four years after former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act. It also comes less than a year after voters in the state overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 23, which would have suspended AB 32, by a margin of 61.6 to 38.4 percent. Outside oil interests spent millions trying to pass Proposition 23, but still lost.

It should be interesting to see how the presidential candidates respond to the news. While opinions on global warming vary among the Republican contenders, most have spoken out against cap and trade on the campaign trail – including those who once supported it.

New Hampshire, home to the first in the nation presidential primary, is one of nine states still participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap and trade program. Current GOP frontrunner Herman Cain, a climate skeptic, has been a vocal critic of RGGI, calling it a “hidden tax” back in June. Recent efforts to repeal the program in New Hampshire have been linked back to Americans for Prosperity and other special interest groups supported by the fossil fuel industry. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Joe Biden at Plymouth State University Live Stream

Vice president Joe Biden is about to take the stage at New Hampshire's Plymouth State University. Listen to his speech live on right here on New Hampshire Primary 2012: Green.


See Buddy Roemer and Rick Santorum in New Hampshire today

New Hampshire voters have two chances to see Republican presidential candidates in person today – Thursday October 20, 2011.

Buddy Roemer will hold a Free To Lead Town Hall at the Nashua Public Library at 4:00 PM today. The library is located at 2 Court St. in downtown Nashua, NH. This is a free event. To RSVP, send an email to

Rick Santorum will appear at a We the People Town Hall at 7:00 PM. That’s at the Yard Restaurant on Mammoth Rd. in Manchester, NH. This event is also free, but they do ask voters to RSVP online at:

Bring a video camera along, and if they say anything interesting about energy or the environment, let me know at 

Rick Perry's energy speech (Video)

Rick Perry laid out his plan for making America energy independent and creating jobs in a speech delivered at a U.S. Steel factory in Pittsburgh, PA on October 14, 2011.

Watch the video here or on C-Span:

Rick Perry: Green jobs or dirty jobs?

Rick Perry sought to shift the spotlight away from Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan by focusing on jobs and energy at the October 18, 2011 CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate.

“Well, here's the nine that we need to get focused on,” said Perry. “And it's not 999, it's not 59. It's that 9 percent unemployment in this country.”

“We've got 300 years of resources right under our feet in this country,” the Texas Governor claimed. “Yet we've got an administration that is blockading our ability to bring that to the surface, whether it's our petroleum, our natural gas, or our coal. And 1.2 million jobs could be put to work.” 

In many ways, Perry’s jobs plan is the polar opposite of the vision offered by Barack Obama during the 2008 election, which focused heavily on creating green jobs by investing in clean energy. It’s a difference Perry highlighted at the debate.

“You have an administration that is killing jobs because they want to move us to a green energy,” he said.

Of course, New Hampshire is not Texas. We don't have much in the way of oil, natural gas or coal. What we do have is green jobs. A Brookings Institute Report published in July found the state added 3,915 “clean jobs” from 2003 to 2010, bringing the total number of clean economy job in the state to 12,886. That's food for thought for any presidential candidate looking to score points with Granite State voters.

Ron Paul's Plan to Restore America: Energy and the environment

In his first year as President, Ron Paul would use “the bully pulpit of the presidency” to cut $1 trillion in federal spending, cuts paid for in part by eliminating the Department of Energy.

That’s just one of the proposals laid out in Ron Paul’s “Plan to Restore America”, which is unique among the plans laid out by the 2012 Republican presidential candidates in that it makes no mention of the word “jobs”.

At the same time, the Texas Congressman appears to be backing away from a previous campaign promise to “Eliminate the ineffective EPA.” Paul’s new “Plan to Restore America” instead calls for a “30% total reduction from FY2006” in discretionary EPA spending.

Paul would also eliminate Department of State spending on “International Organizations and Conference”, which could make it difficult for the U.S. to participate in any future international action on climate change.

Ron Paul’s complete “Plan to Restore America” can be found here:


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Yucca Mountain a focus of Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, NV

The question of what to do with the nation’s nuclear waste popped up at the October 18, 2011 CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“My question for you is, do you support opening the national nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain?” asked a member of the audience.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich provided a vague, non-answer, despite the best efforts of moderator Anderson Cooper:

Gingrich: Look, we -- we worked on this when I was speaker. I think that it has to be looked at scientifically. But I think at some point we have to find a safe method of taking care of nuclear waste. And today, because this has been caught up in a political fight, we have small units of nuclear waste all over this country in a way that is vastly more dangerous to the United States than finding a method of keeping it in a very, very deep place that would be able to sustain 10,000 or 20,000 and 30,000 years of geological safety. 

Cooper: Is Yucca Mountain that place? 

Gingrich: I'm not a scientist. I mean, Yucca Mountain certainly was picked by the scientific community as one of the safest places in the United States. It has always had very deep opposition here in Nevada. And, frankly...

Cooper: You were for opening it in Congress, right? 

Gingrich: Huh?

Cooper: When you were in the Congress, you were... 

Gingrich: When I was in Congress, frankly, I worked with the Nevada delegation to make sure that there was time for scientific studies. But we have to find some method of finding a very geologically stable place, and most geologists believe that, in fact, Yucca Mountain is that.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul delivered a straightforward response, opposing the idea of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain:

Paul: Yes. Yes, I've -- I've opposed this. We've had votes in the Congress. There was a time when I voted with two other individuals, the two congressmen from Nevada. And I approach it from a state's rights position. What right does 49 states have to punish one state and say, "We're going to put our garbage in your state"? I think that's wrong. 

But I think it's very serious. I think it's very serious. But quite frankly, the government shouldn't be in the business of subsidizing any form of energy. And nuclear energy, I think, is a good source of energy, but they still get subsidies. Then they assume this responsibility. Then we as politicians and the bureaucrats get involved in this. And then we get involved with which state's going to get stuck with the garbage. 

So I would say, the more the free market handles this and the more you deal with property rights and no subsidies to any form of energy, the easier this problem would be solved. 

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney concurred with Ron Paul:

Romney: Congressman Paul was right on that. 

I don't always agree with him, but I do on that. The -- the idea that 49 states can tell Nevada, "We want to give you our nuclear waste," doesn't make a lot of sense. I think the people of Nevada ought to have the final say as to whether they want that, and my guess is that for them to say yes to something like that, someone's going to have to offer them a pretty good deal, as opposed to having the federal government jam it down their throat.
And by the way, if -- if Nevada says, "Look, we don't want it," then let other states make bids and say, hey, look, we'll take it. Here's a geological site that we've evaluated. Here's the compensation we want for taking it. We want you electric companies around the country that are using nuclear fuel to compensate us a certain amount per kilowatt hour, a certain amount per ton of this stuff that comes. 

Let -- let the free market work. And on that basis, the places that are geologically safe, according to science, and where the people say the deal's a good one will decide where we put this stuff. That's the right course for America.

Rick Perry also opposed the idea of storing the nation's nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain:

Perry: You know, from time to time, Mitt and I don't agree. But on this one, he's hit it, the nail, right on the head. And I'll just add that when you think about France, who gets over 70 percent of their energy from nuclear power, the idea that they deal with this issue, that their glassification, and that the innovation -- and, Congressman Paul, you're correct when it comes to allowing the states to compete with each other. That is the answer to this. 

We need to have a -- a -- a discussion in -- in this country about our 10th Amendment and the appropriateness of it, as it's been eroded by Washington, D.C., for all these many years, whether it's health care, whether it's education, or whether it's dealing with energy. We don't need to be subsidizing energy in any form or fashion, allow the states to make the decision. And some state out there will see the economic issue, and they will have it in their state.

Federal government photo of Yucca Mountain
A transcript of the October 18, 2011 CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada is now available online:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rick Perry and the new Climategate

Rick Perry’s mysterious inability to name even a single scientist who has influenced his thinking on climate change just got a whole lot easier to explain. Officials at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have been caught deleting all mention of climate change and sea level rise from a new State of the Bay Report examining the challenges facing the Galveston Bay estuary. 

The story was first broke by Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones:

In an act of protest against this politically motivated censorship of science, every scientist involved in the writing of the State of the Bay report has asked to have their name removed from the publication.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is led by three full time commissioners appointed by Perry. Ironically, the commissioners have adopted an “Agency Philosophy” that includes a commitment to “base decisions on the law, common sense, good science, and fiscal responsibility."

Like Perry, TCEQ Chairman Bryan Shaw is an outspoken critic of EPA science and a known climate skeptic. In his latest attack on the EPA, Shaw criticized the agency for using “bad science” in a press release sent out just days before TCEQ officials were caught using the “Delete” button to erase key scientific findings on climate change and sea level rise in their home state.

Official photo of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan Shaw. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mitt Romney talks carbon, energy in Hopkinton, NH

Mitt Romney responded to two questions about the environment and energy at a Town Hall Meeting held on October 10, 2011 in Hopkinton, NH.

At the event, Romney made it clear that he opposes the EPA’s efforts to address the problem of climate change by regulating carbon emissions, while promoting natural gas as a low carbon energy source:

I believe we should have exacting standards on those that pollute our air and our water. And we have an Environmental Protection Agency which oversees the protection of air and water.
Sometimes however, they take the Environmental Protection Agency and turn it into an agency that stops the development of our economy and kills jobs. That I won’t allow.
And so, when the Environmental Protection Agency says that they’re going to regulate how much carbon dioxide is emitted, I’m saying that’s beyond the scope or the responsibility of the Environmental Protection Agency. That is not something I would support. 
Number two: I will encourage the development of our own energy resources. We have extraordinary amounts of natural gas.
New technology allows us to get natural gas out of the earth. And natural gas is far less polluting and CO2 emitting, by the way, than coal and oil. Let’s use our natural gas resources and ultimately our nuclear resources to become energy independent and to have clean energy as well.
So I’m going to keep your water and your air clean and I’m going to get us off of foreign energy.

Mitt Romney also responded to a specific question about the Keystone XL Pipeline:

Voter: Back to the environment, you want to be energy independent, so what is your take on the tar sands XL Pipeline - proposed pipeline from Canada to the United States.
Romney: Absolutely. If we’ve got oil in North America we can get through a pipeline, absolutely bring it into the U.S.
Look, I’d like to use the oil shale for the developing of oil, the Marcellus gas in Pennsylvania. We just had a new oil find, I understand, in North Dakota. 
Let’s develop our own energy resources. We are an energy rich nation acting like an energy poor nation. It’s time for us to stop doing that and to stop spending $500 billion a year buying energy from outside the country, often times from nations that don’t like us very much. Let’s develop our own resources and use those resources to become energy secure and to create jobs for Americans.
The President has this green jobs initiative. Exactly how many green jobs have we seen? And the number of jobs that we lose through traditional energy will exceed the number that we gain through his green energy initiative.
I like renewable sources of energy, but let’s not pretend that wind and solar alone will get us energy secure. We also have to have carbon based fuels and nuclear fuels. Let’s develop all of our resources, in order for America to create jobs here and also be able to become energy secure.

A full video of Mitt Romney’s Town Hall Meeting in Hopkinton, NH is available on C-Span. 

New poll: EPA and air pollution rules (Press release)

Washington, DC - A new, nationwide poll shows that by a wide margin, voters of both political parties and in all regions of the U.S. disagree with Congress’ anti-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agenda and support the EPA’s new rules to limit air pollution from coal-fired power plants.  Two-thirds of the respondents – 67 percent – oppose Congress delaying implementation of the air pollution rules, according to the national survey of 1,400 voters conducted by Hart Research Associates and GS Strategy Group and sponsored by Ceres.

“American voters, both Democrats and Republicans, are unified in backing prompt EPA action on the clean air rules,” said Ceres president Mindy Lubber. “Regardless of affiliation, voters want a healthy environment and an end to foot-dragging to upgrade dirty power plants.  Despite the rhetoric in Washington, clean air is not a partisan issue among Americans, and Congress would do well to take notice.”

“Although some in Congress oppose these rules, the level of support from Republican voters is surprisingly strong,” said Greg Strimple of GS Strategy Group, a Republican pollster who jointly conducted the research. “The research clearly demonstrates Republican voters are willing to support new rules to reduce harmful emissions in order to improve public health.  Republicans like clean air, too.”

The poll, conducted Aug 31-Sept 7, gauged voters’ feelings about two EPA clean air rules - the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule (aka Utility MACT). The first rule will require significant reductions in harmful power plant emissions, mostly from coal-fired generators, that drift hundreds of miles downwind and across state lines. The second rule will require power plants to curb toxic emissions of mercury, lead, arsenic and acid gases by 2015.  Many of the power plants impacted by these rules are more than 50 years old.

These are the same two rules that Ceres and the University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute evaluated earlier this year with respect to economic and job-creation benefits the rules would bring across the United States:

Among the poll’s key findings:

  • 88% of Democrats, 85% of Independents, and 58% of Republicans oppose Congress stopping the EPA from enacting new limits on air pollution from electric power plants.
  • 67% of voters support the CSAPR and 77% of voters support the Toxics rule.
  • 65% of voters surveyed are confident that the health and environmental benefits of air pollution standards outweigh the costs of complying with them.
  • 79% of voters agree that the rules are important to enact for health reasons.
  • 75% of voters believe a compelling reason to implement these rules is the boost to local economies and thousands of new jobs that will be created from investments in new technology.

Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates, which jointly conducted the poll observed, “Despite the vitriol coming from Capitol Hill, the research shows that not only do voters see that it is an important issue, the undeniable consensus is that they support these rules. The fear of not having clean air is a clear-cut issue according to the voting public. And, not only do voters overwhelmingly support the EPA’s clean air rules, they firmly believe EPA should be allowed to do its job without interference from Congress.”


This poll found that support for the EPA air pollution rules extends across the political spectrum.  By three to one (75%) the public believes that the EPA, not Congress, should determine whether stricter limits are needed on air pollution from electric power plants.  This is a view supported by members of all parties, with 85% of Democrats, 62% of Republicans, and 79% of Independents in agreement.


Across the country, voters support CSAPR, with 71% of voters from the Northeast, 66% of voters in the South, 62% of voters in the Midwest, and 71% of voters from the West in favor.  Similarly, support for the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule is high nationwide: 80% of voters in the Northeast, 75% of voters in the South, 72% of voters in the Midwest, and 83% of voters in the West in support.


Voters see threats to water and health as the most important reasons for enacting new EPA air pollution rules.  In fact, 80% of voters surveyed feel it is important to enact new rules because coal-burning power plants contribute to water pollution via deposition of airborne pollutants that eventually settle in our water bodies.  79% of voters agree that the rules are important for health reasons, as power plant pollution is responsible for more than 24,000 premature deaths, 38,000 non-fatal heart attacks, and more than 550,000 asthma attacks each year.

These rules will save lives and, according to research sponsored by Ceres on the economic impact of the rules, create 1.4 million new jobs over the next five years through investments in pollution controls, new plant construction, and retirement of older, less efficient power plants as the country transitions to a cleaner, modernized generation fleet. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed believe job creation from these rules is an important reason to enact them.

That report, “New Jobs-Cleaner Air: Employment Effects under Planned Changes to EPA’s Air Pollution Rules,” found that installing modern pollution controls and building new power plants creates a wide array of skilled, high-paying installation, construction and professional jobs, as well as jobs at companies that manufacture pollution controls and other required construction/maintenance equipment.  The report was prepared by Dr. James Heintz of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Hart Research Associates and GS Strategy Group conducted this online nationwide survey, among 1,400 voters, between August 31-September 7, 2011.  More details about the poll can be found here.


Ceres is a leading coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 98 investors with $9.5 trillion of collective assets focused on the business impacts of climate change.


Founded in 1971, Hart Research Associates is one of the leading survey research firms in the United States and has been at the cutting edge of change in the field of public opinion for more than three decades. In that time, the firm has conducted well over 5,000 public opinion surveys and has administered and analyzed interviews among more than three million individuals.


GS Strategy Group is a nationally recognized public opinion research firm based in Boise, ID. GSSG clients benefit from Greg Strimple's unique combination of expertise in public opinion and consumer behavior, award-winning work in advertising, and extensive knowledge of regulated industries, the political process and public policymaking. Greg has leveraged his research, analytical and communications skills to devise and execute successful public policy and marketing campaigns for some of the country's leading corporations and institutions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jon Huntsman talks energy in Plymouth, NH

The “fully loaded” cost of a gallon of gasoline is around $13, Jon Huntsman told voters gathered for the Grafton County Republican Committee’s Columbus Day Dinner, held on October 11, 2011 at the Common Man Inn in Plymouth, NH.

Huntsman’s comments came as he was responding to a voter’s question about the hidden cost of oil:
Voter: Governor, I’d like to thank you for your bravery in pointing out that we need a new national security strategy. One that’s not bankrupting America. One that’s indicating that the global policing, nation building approach is not defending national security.
I want to turn to energy. We spend… In New Hampshire we spend about $3 billion a year importing fossil fuels that we can’t produce here. We don’t have it and we won’t have it. My question is, I know you back a level playing field energy, would you back bringing all the hidden costs, the hidden subsidies for fossil fuels that we can’t produce here into the cost of fossil fuels, such as lung disease, premature mortality, storm disasters, subsidies, tax subsidies such that our energy sources that we have here, such as wind and biomass, we can produce those and compete on a level playing field.
Would you bring those hidden subsidies into the cost so that all energy sources can compete on a level playing field?
Jon Huntsman: Thank you for your question. My energy policy calls us drawing upon all the energy options we have available to us and we have them in great abundance in this country. 
First of all, we need to level the playing field by phasing out subsidies and the corporate welfare. I mean, you kind of got to look at our tax code and look at how bunched up its become over many, many years and what its costs people to comply with our tax code these days.
And I say, “Clear it out. Lower the rate. Create a level playing for one and all.”
And I think for the energy sector that would be very, very important.
We all know that at some point we are going to be drawing a whole lot more from the sun and from the wind. That’s inevitable. Everybody wants to do that at some point. But we have made a mistake by trying to subsidize things too quickly when they’re not ready for the marketplace. So you force technologies into the marketplace when they’re not ready and they fail.
And I’m saying that the business community, science and technology will continue working on technologies that will draw from the sun and draw from… That’s inevitable.
What I wan’t to make I do as president is that we’re able to draw from some products that I would call transition products. Bridge products like natural gas that allow us to move from the here and now into the future. That might be 20 years, it might be 25 years before we have viable technology that allows us to do what all of us we can do from a science and technology standpoint.
I think we ought to be drawing from that which we have in such abundance.

Voter: But I’m wondering taking the hidden subsidies: the premature mortality, the lung disease – putting those into the price.
Jon Huntsman: If you take out subsidies and as businesses have to deal with the reality of – whether a hypercarbon based economy or what – all those costs are going to have to be factored in at some point. So I say start by taking out the subsidies and let the costs stand on their own. I think that would be a very good place to start.
But the energy policies, we all need to get our heads around. Because for 8 presidents, starting with Nixon, who said, “You know, 38 percent imported oil. This is a carrying shame. We’re not let this get any higher.”
Carter takes over – 40 percent imported oil. “You know, I’m going to create the Department of Energy to make sure that this doesn’t get any higher.” 
And here we sit at 60 percent imported oil.
But let’s talk about some of the fully loaded costs. We go to the gas pump and we pay four bucks or four bucks and fifty cents or whatever it is for a gallon of gas. Take a look at the fully loaded costs.
So the Milken Institute of Los Angeles, they a great quantitative shop. They do terrific quantitative analysis. They will say when you factor in the deployment costs, when you factor in keeping the sea lanes open for the importation of oil. By the way, the Europeans derive a benefit from that as well. When you factor in the terminaling and handling and storage costs, it’s not $3 or $4 or $5 a gallon. It’s $13 a gallon.
If Americans were to stop and just do the math and figure out what it costs this country on a fully loaded basis, they’d be running for cover. They’d say that $300 billion transfer of wealth from the United States to countries that are dangerous and unpredictable. Those days are over. I mean, those days have got to be over.
We’ve got to move toward energy independence. It can be done. And I believe it is the will of the people in this country to move us in that direction as quickly as possible.
Granite Grok captured Huntsman's comments on video. The energy portion of the Q&A starts at 5:50: 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rudy Giuliani believes in global warming

Rudy Giuliani may not be an official candidate for president just yet, but he’s polling like one in New Hampshire. Giuliani placed fourth in the latest UNH Survey Center poll of likely 2012 Republican Primary voters, tying Jon Huntsman and out performing longtime contenders Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum.

The new poll comes at a time when media reports indicate that Giuliani is unlikely to run for president in 2012. Still, the former New York Mayor has already made several visits to New Hampshire this year to test the waters, including a July 15 stop at Dartmouth College where he confirmed his belief in anthropogenic, or man made, global warming:

Okay, first of all, I will say warming is happening (jokingly wipes sweat from his brow). I think global warming is happening. I think humans contribute to it. I think it is a major issue. That’s what I said in 2008—I still agree with that.

Climate Change in the Presidential Primaries was the first to report Giuliani’s latest comments on global warming on Facebook. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Michele Bachmann: Legalize it

Congresswoman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann signed a pledge to make America energy independent within 8 years at a Town Hall Meeting held in Moultonborough, NH on Sunday, October 9, 2011.

The pledge was presented by Tom Thompson, New Hampshire Honorary Chairman for Americans for Prosperity, the political organization founded by Big Oil billionaire David Koch and funded in part by money from the fossil fuel industry.

Photo of Michele Bachmann by Gage Skidmore
Borrowing a line from the famous Peter Tosh song and anthem of the movement to legalize marijuana, Bachmann punctuated a call to deregulate the domestic fossil fuel industry with a vow to “Legalize it!”:

This is the other thing I want to do: legalize American energy production in this country. Legalize it!
Because we should be drilling. We have more energy in the United States than any other country. We are the most energy rich resource nation in the world.
You’d never know that would you?
We have more oil than Saudi Arabia has. We have more coal than 25 percent… We have 25 percent of the coal in the whole world. We have that much coal. One of the largest finds for natural gas. We just discovered in Pennsylvania. This is at minimum 1.4 million high paying jobs.
That’s where I’m going to start as president. That’s a freebie.
Just legalize American energy and the private sector creates 1.4 million high paying jobs, so that all the men out there who want to provide for their families can. 
Do you know how sad that is? To see a man, or a woman, who wants to provide for their family and they can’t? This is a country filled with people who want to provide for their families. They want to work.
We’ll let’s give them work. Legalize American energy. Start there. There’s so many avenues where we can start. I can’t wait to get started.

Notably missing from Bachmann’s list of potential domestic energy sources: solar power. “The greatest solar resources are located in the Southwestern states, where sufficient solar energy falls on an area 100 miles by 100 miles to provide all of the nation’s electricity requirements,” according to the EPA.

Michele Bachmann also promised to “turn the lights off and lock the doors” at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency:

Question: What are your thoughts on getting rid of the Department of Energy?
Bachmann: You know, it’s going to be a very long day. I’ll start early. I’ll go to the Department of Education and I’ll turn the lights off and I’ll lock the door there. And then I’ll go to the Department of the EPA and I’ll turn the lights off and I’ll lock the door there. And then we’ll go over to the Department of Energy and say, “Now any more of those Solyndra loans you got left laying around here?” And then we’ll turn off the lights and lock the doors there.
And there will be a lot of for sale signs all across Washington, D.C. It’s going to be wonderful to turn those government buildings into for profit centers and have business come along and buy up a lot of those buildings. That’s what we’ve gotta do. We’d all be a lot better off too. 

Together, the Department of Energy and EPA directly employ over 30,000 Americans, along with thousands more as contractors. As such, it's safe to say that Bachmann's plan would likely result in the immediate loss of thousands of jobs nationwide.

A full video of Michele Bachmann's Town Hall Meeting in Moultonborough, NH is available on C-Span.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Herman Cain wrong on conservatives and climate change

Fresh off a hot debate performance and amidst rising poll numbers, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain appeared on Fox News earlier this week, where he shared his thoughts on the climate crisis.  

Referring to “most” conservatives, Cain said this:
They do not believe global warming is a crisis or a threat. Yes, it might be a little bit out there, but don't they see it as a crisis or a threat.
A new poll conducted by the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies and released by the League of Conservation Voters just a few weeks ago suggests that Herman Cain may be out of touch with most conservatives on climate change. The poll found 55 percent of Republicans and 49 percent of Fox News viewers in support of EPA action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from sources like power plants, cars and factories. 

Photo of Herman Cain by Gage Skidmore