Mike Huckabee

The Faithful Moderate

Nov 22, 2007
Outside Magazine

Huckabee, Arkansas governor from 1996 to 2007, is known more for his fitness transformation—he dropped 110 pounds in two years and has run four marathons—than his environmental platform. But this ordained Southern Baptist minister has strong environmental views and often uses his faith to support them.

Battle Cry: "Not only as a Republican, but as a Christian, it's important to me to say to my fellow believers, ‘Look, if anybody ought to be leading on the environment, it ought to be us.'"

Green Chops: Huckabee vows to achieve energy independence by the end of his second term. "A country is not free if it can't produce three things for itself—its own food, its own fuel, and its own fighting apparatus," he says. In 1996, he helped pass an Arkansas constitutional amendment imposing an eighth-of-a-cent conservation sales tax to benefit natural resources.

Power Points: "I don't think we're going to find one big answer. I think it's going to be a combination of many that will include hydrogen, solar, wind, nuclear, and domestically produced fossil fuels." Like most other GOP contenders, he'd open ANWR and the continental shelf to drilling and supports a major nuclear-energy expansion. "France is almost completely nuclear, and it's not like they're a nation given to risky behaviors."

Outside Moment: On a 2002 canoe trip on Arkansas's Buffalo National River, Huckabee spotted some guys using a slingshot to launch beer cans across the water. "I said, ‘The penalty for this crime is $1,000. You've got two choices: You either go over there and pick up those cans, or I'm going to make sure that you get the full extent of the law."

Eco-Hero: Teddy Roosevelt.

Hmmm: "The first thing I would do as president is submit my energy-independence plan to Congress," says Huckabee. The specifics? He's not sure yet.

Filed To: Culture

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