Mitt Romney

The Question Mark

Nov 22, 2007
Outside Magazine

As governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, Romney took flak for flip-flopping on environmental policies—he committed to a landmark agreement among northeastern states to cut carbon emissions in 2005, for instance, then abruptly pulled out at the last minute. He promised to increase the amount and quality of open space in the state, but he never delivered. Romney's shown similar patterns on the campaign trail, voicing some lofty aspirations without committing to specifics.

Battle Cry: "I don't know how much of the [climate] change is due to human activity," he said at a 2007 campaign rally in Iowa. "That's why I'll adopt what I call ‘no regrets' policies—policies that will allow us to become energy independent and will have, as one of their by-products, a reduction of the CO2 that we emit."

Green Chops: In 2004, Governor Romney introduced his Climate Protection Plan, which he said "encourages private citizens and requires state agencies and the state's large businesses to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions," although by an unspecified amount. He devised plans for energy-efficiency programs in state buildings and increased use of biofuels in the state's vehicle fleet.

Power Points: In campaign speeches, Romney advocates boosting domestic oil drilling, including opening up ANWR, and using diesel and jet fuels derived from coal: "Hitler during the Second World War—I guess because he was concerned about losing his oil—liquefied coal. That technology is still there," he said in a 2007 speech.

Hmmm: "It's a must—we have to make our vehicles more fuel efficient," Romney said in August. But so far he's refused to back higher fuel-economy standards.

Note: This candidate did not respond to our queries, but we did our homework anyway.

Filed To: Culture

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