GOP Field On Climate Change: I Don’t Understand The Problem And I Won’t Respond To It

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If you’re a Republican running for president, you’re more likely than not a climate change-denier. And if you do recognize the scientific consensus that climate change does exist, you certainly don’t think anything should be done to stop it.

The New Republic describes Marco Rubio, who certainly doesn’t think climate change is man-made or that anything should be done about it, as “the most dangerous GOP candidate on climate.” Front-runner Donald Trump’s bold stance on the issue? “Unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather.” Asked about his climate change-denial earlier this fall, second-place Ben Carson wisely noted, “Any point in time, temperatures are going up or temperatures are going down,” before pivoting to what he apparently sees as a more pressing matter: “These are all very complex things. Gravity, where did it come from?”

Representatives from 195 countries around the world are in Paris seeking a collaborative, global solution to the rising threat of climate change, but the GOP field just doesn’t see what the problem is.

Background:

The GOP Field On Climate Change

Marco Rubio

Climate Change

 

Rubio Voted For Amendment Stating Climate Change Was Real, But Against Amendment Acknowledging Significant Human Contribution

Rubio Voted For An Amendment To The Keystone XL Pipeline Legislation Acknowledging That Climate Change Was Real. According to The Hill, “Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) all voted for an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill that said climate change is real. In turn, they all voted against an amendment from Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) that said human activity ‘significantly’ contributes to it.” [The Hill, 1/21/15]

Rubio Voted Against Amendment To The Keystone XL Pipeline Legislation Noting That Humans Contributed To Climate Change. According to a blog my Cameron Joseph in The Hill, “In a third and final amendment vote, Paul backed a provision that said humans contribute to the changing climate. Rubio and Cruz voted no.” [The Hill, 1/21/15]

 

Rubio Flip-Flopped On His Stance Regarding Human Activity Having An Impact On Climate Change

Rubio Said He Did Not Believe That Human Activity Caused Climate Change

Rubio Said He Did Not “Believe That Human Activity Is Causing” Climate Change.According to the Huffington Post “On Sunday, one of the state’s U.S. senators, Marco Rubio (R), was pressed about the general subject of climate change […] he argued that there was nothing lawmakers could or should do to reverse the climate trends (whose origins he also questioned). ‘I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,’ Rubio said, according to excerpts released by ABC ‘This Week,’ ‘and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.’” [Huffington Post, 5/11/14]

 

  • Rubio Questioned The Scientific Evidence Behind Climate Change.According to the Los Angeles Times “Rubio said he doesn’t agree that actions humans take today could affect how the climate is changing. ‘Our climate is always changing […] And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to manmade activities.’” [Los Angeles Times, 5/11/14]

 

Rubio Said There Was “No Scientific Consensus” On How Much Human Activity Impacted Climate Change

Rubio Said There Was “No Consensus” On The Degree To Which Much Human Activity Impacted Changes In The Climate. According to the Tampa Bay Times “Sen. Marco Rubio was on Bill O’Reilly’s show tonight and delved further into his stance on climate change, tweaking it to acknowledge there is a consensus that humans have caused some change. But he mostly argued critics are wrong. ‘I’ve never denied the climate is changing. That shouldn’t surprise us. The climate is always changing,’ he said. ‘The second point on the science is, the left likes to go around saying ‘There’s a consensus, there’s a consensus.’ There is a majority of scientists that say that global carbon emission by humans causes some changes in the climate. But what there is no consensus on, and they conveniently ignore is, there is no consensus on the sensitivity of the climate — how much of it is changing and how much of it is directly attributable to human carbon emission? ‘There’s no consensus on that. ‘Which is why the models vary so greatly. Which is why despite 17 years of dramatic increases in carbon production by humans, surface temperatures in the earth have stabilized. But here’s the last point, which is indisputable: None of these proposals that liberals want us to impose on ourselves would do anything about the problem. There are 35 gigatons of carbon emitted into the atmosphere this year; we Americans are only responsible for 6 of it. By the year 2050, China and India alone will produce 50 gigatons. These laws they want us to pass would destroy our economy and have zero impact on these issues they keep raising. And that’s the part they don’t want to debate at all.’” [Tampa Bay Times, 5/20/14]

 

PolitiFact Rated Rubio’s Claim That Human Activity Was Not Causing Climate Change “False.” According to PolitiFact, “Rubio said human activity is not ‘causing these dramatic changes to our climate.’ An overwhelming majority of scientists agree that humans, by burning fossil fuels, contribute directly to global warming. Not only is Rubio incorrect, but he’s ignoring a mountain of concrete, scientific research. We rate his claim False.” [PolitiFact, 5/13/14]

 

PolitiFact Rated Rubio’s Claim That The Earth’s Surface Temperatures Have Stabilized As “Mostly False.” According to PolitiFact “Rubio said that ‘surface temperatures in the earth have stabilized.’ He has a point that over roughly the past decade and a half, global surface temperatures have ‘paused,’ particularly compared to their rapid rise in previous decades. But scientists we interviewed agreed that the use of the word ‘stabilized’ represents an unjustified leap from the data, since ‘stabilized’ suggests that we have gotten through the worst of climate change. At the very least, the uncertainty inherent in climate forecasting makes such a claim of ‘stabilization’ premature. More likely, the evidence suggests that the ‘pause’ in global surface temperatures is temporary, with temperatures poised to rise once the oceans start releasing more heat, such as during an El Nino event. It’s not clear when temperatures will rise again, but few scientists doubt that temperatures will rise again at some point. We rate Rubio’s claim Mostly False.” [PolitiFact, 5/27/14]

 

Rubio Claimed He Did Not Deny Climate Change, Only Questioned Human Involvement

Rubio Said He Did Not Deny Climate Change But Questioned If Human Activity Was Causing It. According to the Miami Herald, “Rubio’s comments about the report, first made Sunday on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ exposed him to criticism from scientists, editorial writers and Democrats, who say the potential Republican candidate for president is thinking more about a future GOP primary instead of the health of the planet or Miami. Some branded Rubio a climate-change denier. ‘Denial is a loaded term. That’s a term used to smear people, for example, who deny the holocaust existed or denied other things of that nature,’ Rubio said. ‘I’ve never denied that there is a climate change,’ Rubio said. ‘The question is: Is man-made activity causing the changes in the climate?’ Rubio, however, won’t answer that with a yes or no. ‘I understand, politically, the issue easier to write as ‘he either supports it or he doesn’t. He either believes it or he doesn’t.’ But these are complex issues. Even the science on this has evolved over the past 20 years,’ he said.” [Miami Herald, 5/15/14]

 

Rubio: “All Science Deserves Skepticism.”

Rubio: “All Science Deserves Skepticism.” According to the Miami Herald, “Marco Rubio denies being a climate-change denier. But the Florida Senator isn’t a believer, either. Call him a skeptic. For now. ‘I think all science deserves skepticism,’ Rubio said in an interview about what he does and doesn’t believe about global warming and what to do about it. And right now, Rubio doesn’t want to take too much action. In the wake of a new White House report on climate change that paints a bleak picture for his home county, his state, the nation and the planet, Rubio harbors doubts about some of the findings. He’s especially opposed to suggested fixes designed to lessen the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the United States. Rubio says he thinks the laws won’t work — but will hurt the economy in a ‘devastating’ way.” [Miami Herald,5/15/14]

 

When Asked About His Stance On Climate Change, Rubio Said, “The Climate Is Always Changing”

Rubio Received Several Questions About His Stance On Climate Change After Speech, Said “The Climate Is Always Changing.” According to MSNBC, “In an appearance at the National Press Club, the Florida Republican clarified that he believed climate change was real, but he danced around the central issue of whether it was caused by carbon emissions, as the overwhelming majority of scientists have concluded. “Headlines notwithstanding, of course the climate is changing, because the climate is always changing,” Rubio said.” [MSNBC, 5/13/14]

 
Rubio Called A Democratic Effort To Address Climate Change “Designed To Appease One Mega-Donor”
Rubio Criticized Senate Democrats For Climate Change All-Nighter, Saying It Was “Clearly Designed To Appease One Mega-Donor.”  According to Breitbart, ‘‘Rubio specifically called out how the Senate Democrats are leaving suffering Americans to fend for themselves while holding Monday’s climate change all-nighter on behalf of liberal billionaire Tom Steyer, saying the Democrats’ work on behalf of special interests—rather than the common good—is ‘transparent.’ ‘You have somebody who has pledged close to $100 million on influencing races on behalf of Democrats in exchange for more of a focus on climate change,’ Rubio said. ‘You have this all night production clearly designed to appease one mega-donor on their side even though they make it a career of attacking mega-donors on the other side,’ he said.’’ [Breitbart,3/11/14]

 
Rubio Called Suggestions That Cap And Trade Policies Would Curb Climate Change “Ridiculous”
Rubio Said He Opposed A Cap And Trade Policy, And Said He Was Unsure That Any Policy Changes Would “Stop This From Happening.” According to MSNBC, “In an appearance at the National Press Club, the Florida Republican clarified that he believed climate change was real, but said he objected to ‘cap and trade’ legislation designed to reduce emissions – not because such reductions were unnecessary, but because he thought other countries wouldn’t follow suit with similar legislation of their own. ‘What I disagree with is the notion if we pass cap and trade, for example, this will stop this from happening, when in fact half of the new emissions on the planet are coming from developing countries and half of that is coming from one country, China, that isn’t going to follow whatever laws we pass,’ he said.” [MSNBC, 5/13/14]

 
Rubio Opposed EPA Regulations To Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Rubio Opposed The Obama Administration’s New EPA Regulations, Said Impact Of New Standards Would Be “Terrible” For Americans. According to Breitbart, “In an interview with 102.5 WFLA, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has been under attack recently for questioning the science behind global warming, had a clear message about Monday announcement by the Obama administration of new EPA regulations. Those regulations that will reportedly force approximately 600 existing coal-fired power plants to reduce their carbon pollution 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Rubio argued that the only point of these actions is to set a ‘silly’ global example. The Florida Republican pointed out that China and India are the main problem and they have no plans to reduce carbon admissions or to stop building fossil fuel energy plants meaning the American people will pay ‘a terrible’ price with higher utility bills just so President Barack Obama can ‘lead by example’ on a ‘global stage’…” [Breitbart, 6/3/14]

 

In State Legislature, Rubio Voted For Energy Bill To Regulate & Curb Greenhouse Gases

Rubio Voted For Energy Bill That Would Regulate & Curb Greenhouse Gases. On May 3, 2007, Rubio voted for the bill that creates Energy Policy Governance Task Force; revises provisions for renewable energy source exemption; and excludes assessed value of certain real property for determination of such exemption. According to the Orlando Sentinel, “The bill included these provisions: It would have required all city, county, state and community-college facilities built after July 2008 to meet national standards for conserving resources, including energy, water, raw materials and land; Carbon dioxide and other emissions linked to global warming would have been tracked, with major producers identified. The move was considered a first step to regulating and curbing greenhouse gases; and it would have provided a host of financial incentives promoting alternative energy, including business and residential rebates for solar-power systems, investments in ethanol research and payments to biofuel producers and retailers. [Orlando Sentinel, 6/21/07; CS/HB 7123 – EnergyFlorida House of Representatives Staff Analysis, 4/22/07]

 
Global Warming
Rubio Said Global Warming Had Slowed Down Over The Past 15 Years. According to the Miami Herald, “Rubio said his concern is rooted in what scientists have reported — global surface temperatures haven’t significantly increased in the past 15 years despite an increase in CO2, which traps greenhouse gases. ‘I haven’t done the studies. I can tell you what scientists say,’ he said. ‘Scientists have concluded, in their opinion, that because we have produced more carbon into the atmosphere in the last 150 years, that’s the reason why, in their opinion, the earth’s trendlines are warming,’ he said. ‘What they can’t answer to me is: Well why has that stopped over the last 16 years?’ […] Rubio said that, until questions like this are ‘settled,’ he won’t back laws that raise the cost of fossil fuels. Doing so, he said, wouldn’t make much of a dent in the climate, especially with emerging nations like China and India producing more carbon than ever. ‘In exchange for all this level of uncertainty that’s out there, they want me to support dramatic, unilateral American policies that, for a fact, would be devastating to the economy, but which they admit would do nothing to impact these extreme weather occurrences,’ Rubio said.” [Miami Herald, 5/15/14]

 

Ted Cruz

Climate Change

 
Cruz Doubted The Science Of Climate Change

Cruz Voted No On An Amendment Declaring That Humans Were Causing Climate Change. According to the New York Times, “The Senate on Wednesday twice rejected measures declaring that humans are causing climate change. But in the course of those votes, 15 Republicans, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, voted yes. Mr. Paul, who is considered a likely presidential contender next year, was joined by Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Jeff Flake of Arizona, among others. Two other potential Republican presidential candidates, Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, voted no. It was the first time in years that senators had voted on a climate change measure, and it came in the course of a debate on a bill forcing approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.” [New York Times, 1/21/15]

 

Cruz: “When It Comes To The Advocates Of Government Control Of The Economy, And Climate Change, They Tend To Ignore The Science, To Ignore The Evidence, And Ignore The Data. An Inconvenient Truth, Sort Of Speak, Is The Simple Fact That For The Last 17 Years There Has Been No Recorded Increase In Temperatures.” According to an interview with Talk Radio News Service, Cruz said, “I believe we should follow the science, and follow the data. When it comes to the advocates of government control of the economy, and climate change, they tend to ignore the science, to ignore the evidence, and ignore the data. An inconvenient truth, sort of speak, is the simple fact that for the last 17 years there has been no recorded increase in temperatures.” [Talk Radio News Service, 1/21/15]

 

Cruz: “The Word ‘Denial’ Is Typically Applied In Religious Contexts To Heretics. The Facts Matter, And What Has Happened In The Global Warming Debate Is That There Are Advocates Of Government Power Who Refuse To Engage In The Facts.” According to the Houston Chronicle, “In response to questions from the Houston Chronicle during a Heritage Foundation policy summit, Cruz also dismissed critics who have labeled him a climate change ‘denier.’ ‘It is a dangerous thing when those purporting to talk about science speak in the language of theology,’ Cruz said. ‘I am the child of two mathematicians and scientists. And I believe science should be dictated by data and evidence. ‘The word ‘denial’ is typically applied in religious contexts to heretics,’ Cruz continued. ‘The facts matter, and what has happened in the global warming debate is that there are advocates of government power who refuse to engage in the facts.’” [Houston Chronicle, 1/12/15]

  • Cruz: “It Is A Dangerous Thing When Those Purporting To Talk About Science Speak In The Language Of Theology. I Am The Child Of Two Mathematicians And Scientists. And I Believe Science Should Be Dictated By Data And Evidence.”According to the Houston Chronicle, “In response to questions from the Houston Chronicle during a Heritage Foundation policy summit, Cruz also dismissed critics who have labeled him a climate change ‘denier.’ ‘It is a dangerous thing when those purporting to talk about science speak in the language of theology,’ Cruz said. ‘I am the child of two mathematicians and scientists. And I believe science should be dictated by data and evidence. ‘The word ‘denial’ is typically applied in religious contexts to heretics,’ Cruz continued. ‘The facts matter, and what has happened in the global warming debate is that there are advocates of government power who refuse to engage in the facts.’” [Houston Chronicle, 1/12/15]

 

Cruz: “The Last 15 Years, There Has Been No Recorded Warming. Contrary To All The Theories That – That They Are Expounding, There Should Have Been Warming Over The Last 15 Years. It Hasn’t Happened.” According to CNN, “‘The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that – that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened,’ said Cruz.” [CNN, 2/20/14]

 

Cruz: “You Know, Back In The ‘70s I Remember The ‘70s, We Were Told There Was Global Cooling. And Everyone Was Told Global Cooling Was A Really Big Problem. And Then That Faded.” According to CNN, “‘I am always troubled by a theory that fits every perfect situation. You know, back in the ‘70s I remember the ‘70s, we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded. And then we were told by Al Gore and others there was global warming and that was going to be a big problem. And then it morphed. It wasn’t global warming anymore, it became climate change. And the problem with climate change is there’s never been a day in the history of the world in which the climate is not changing,’ said Cruz.” [CNN, 2/20/14]

 

Cruz: “The Problem With Climate Change Is There’s Never Been A Day In The History Of The World In Which The Climate Is Not Changing.” According to CNN, “‘I am always troubled by a theory that fits every perfect situation. You know, back in the ‘70s I remember the ‘70s, we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded. And then we were told by Al Gore and others there was global warming and that was going to be a big problem. And then it morphed. It wasn’t global warming anymore, it became climate change. And the problem with climate change is there’s never been a day in the history of the world in which the climate is not changing,’ said Cruz.” [CNN, 2/20/14]

 

Cruz: “Climate Change, As They Have Defined It, Can Never Be Disproved, Because Whether It Gets Hotter Or Whether It Gets Colder, Whatever Happens, They’ll Say, Well, It’s Changing, So It Proves Our Theory.” According to CNN, “When pressed about the fact that the arctic is melting, and whether that helps prove climate change is real, Cruz dismissed it. ‘Other parts are going up. It is not you know, you always have to be worried about something that is considered a so called scientific theory that fits every scenario. Climate change, as they have defined it, can never be disproved, because whether it gets hotter or whether it gets colder, whatever happens, they’ll say, well, it’s changing, so it proves our theory,’ argued Cruz.” [CNN,2/20/14]

 

 

Renewable Energy

Wind Energy

Cruz Opposed Extension Of The Production Tax Credit For Wind. According to the Texas Tribune, “Federal tax policies lie at the heart of the industry’s woes. An incentive called the production tax credit, in existence since 1992, expires in December. It allows wind farm owners to lower their tax bills in exchange for producing electricity. Wind companies want Congress to extend the credit, as has happened many times before, to sustain their emissions-free and drought-proof energy source. But a growing number of Republicans, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney, are pushing back against green energy subsidies. […] Of the U.S. Senate candidates from Texas, Ted Cruz, the Republican nominee, said in an e-mailed statement that he wants to ‘develop all forms of energy’ but is ‘not a supporter of government subsidies.’” [Texas Tribune, 9/14/12]

 

Cruz Voted Against An Amendment To Extend The Production Tax Credit For Wind. [US Senate Roll Call Vote #40, 1/28/15]

 
Solar Energy

Cruz Voted Against An Amendment Offering Homeowners A Nationwide 15-Percent Rebate On The Purchase Of Up To 10 Million Rooftop Systems Over 10 Years. [US Senate Roll Call Vote #22, 1/28/15]

 
Biofuels

Cruz: “I Think Biofuels Are Every Important But I Don’t Think They Need To Be Mandated. We Will See The Market For Biofuels Market Grow Based On Technology, Based On Demand, Without The Federal Government Setting An Artificial Mandate.” According to WHOtv, “‘I represent the state of Texas. Texas is a huge agricultural state. Farming and ranching are critical to the state of Texas. I think biofuels are every important but I don’t think they need to be mandated,’ Sen Cruz said. ‘We will see the market for biofuels market grow based on technology, based on demand, without the federal government setting an artificial mandate.’” [WHOtv, 3/19/14]

 

Jeb Bush

Climate Change

 
Jeb Bush Doubted Whether Man Contributed To Climate Change

Jeb Bush Spokeswoman: “He Believes The Climate Is Changing But Research Is Less Conclusive On The Extent To Which Humans Contribute. He Does Not Believe Alarmist, Far Left Environmental Policies Are The Answer.” According to the Wall Street Journal, “Kristy Campbell, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bush, said that he isn’t a declared candidate, so it would be ‘premature’ to speculate on his policy platforms. Still, Ms. Campbell said that Mr. Bush is reaching out to experts on a variety of issues, and has stated his position on climate change previously. ‘He believes the climate is changing but research is less conclusive on the extent to which humans contribute,’ Ms. Campbell said. ‘He does not believe alarmist, far left environmental policies are the answer.’” [Wall Street Journal, 2/26/15]

 

Jeb Bush Said He Thinks “Global Warming May Be Real” But “It Is Not Unanimous Among Scientists That Is Disproportionately Manmade.” In a Fox News interview, Bush said, “I think global warming may be real. Whether it’s manmade or not is the point that Governor Perry was opining on, right? And there’s — there’s — it is not unanimous among scientists that is disproportionately manmade. And so have a conversation about this, defend your views. But I think on the left, I get a little tired is this idea that — the sanctimonious idea that somehow science has decided all this and so therefore you can’t have a view.” [Fox News,8/23/11]

 

Jeb Bush: “I’m A Skeptic. I’m Not A Scientist. I Think The Science Has Been Politicized. I Would Be Very Wary Of Hollowing Out Our Industrial Base Even Further… It May Be Only Partially Man-Made. It May Not Be Warming By The Way. The Last Six Years We’ve Actually Had Mean Temperatures That Are Cooler.” According to Esquire, “Do you believe global warming is primarily man-made? I’m a skeptic. I’m not a scientist. I think the science has been politicized. I would be very wary of hollowing out our industrial base even further… It may be only partially man-made. It may not be warming by the way. The last six years we’ve actually had mean temperatures that are cooler. I think we need to be very cautious before we dramatically alter who we are as a nation because of it.” [Esquire, 7/8/09]

 

 

Chris Christie

Climate Change

 

Christie Flip-Flopped On Climate Change

2010: Climate Change Not Proven

Christie Said Global Warming “Has To Be Proven.” According to the Associated Press, “At a town hall meeting in Toms River this week, Christie said he needs ‘more science’ before he’s convinced that human activity is responsible for global warming. While he did not challenge the voluminous science pointing to man as a chief culprit of global warming, Christie said he’s seen evidence on both sides of the issue and is reserving judgment. ‘To be honest with you, I don’t know. And that’s probably one of the reasons why I became a lawyer and not a doctor, or an engineer, or a scientist because I can’t figure this stuff out,’ Christie said. ‘But I would say at this point, that has to be proven, and I’m a little skeptical about it.’” [Associated Press, 11/11/10]

 

Christie Called For “More Science” On The Topic Of Global Warming. According to the Associated Press, “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he’s skeptical that humans are responsible for global warming. The governor, a new darling of the Republican Party, made the remark at a town hall meeting he hosted in Toms River Tuesday afternoon. Asked by a man attending the event whether he thought mankind was responsible for global warming, Christie says he’s seen evidence on both sides of the argument but thinks it hasn’t been proven one way or another. Christie says ‘more science’ is needed to convince him.” [Associated Press, 11/9/10]

 

Christie Said He Was Skeptical That Humans Were Responsible For Climate Change.According to the Huffington Post, “During a town hall meeting at Toms River, the governor reportedly said that he was skeptical that humans were causing the earth to warm. There are no quotes accompanying the AP piece, save for a note that Christie says ‘more science’ is needed to convince him. But Christie’s office provided the Huffington Post with his full remarks early on Wednesday: ‘Mankind, is it responsible for global warming? Well I’ll tell you something. I have seen evidence on both sides of it. I’m skeptical — I’m skeptical. And you know, I think at the at the end of this, I think we’re going to need more science to prove something one way or the other. But you know – cause I’ve seen arguments on both sides of it that at times – like I’ll watch something about man made global warming, and I go wow, that’s fairly convincing. And then I’ll go out and watch the other side of the argument, and I go huh, that’s fairly convincing too. So, I go to be honest with you, I don’t know. And that’s probably one of the reason’s why I became a lawyer, and not a doctor, or an engineer, or a scientist, because I can’t figure this stuff out. But I would say at this point, that has to be proven, and I’m a little skeptical about it.’” [Huffington Post, 11/10/10]

 

  • Christie’s Press Secretary Said Christie Believed That “The Effects Of Global Warming Can Be Damaging To The Earth.”According to the Huffington Post, “Michael Drewniak, the governor’s press secretary, added the following remarks shortly after this story was published: ‘The Governor believes the effects of global warming obviously can be damaging to the earth, which is why we have to continue to monitor its impact and get further scientific evidence.’” [Huffington Post, 11/10/10]

 
2011-2014: Acknowledged Human Role In Climate Change

Washington Post Column: Christie Was One Of The Only 2016 Contenders Who Had Said That Human Activity Contributed To Climate Change. According to a column by Paul Waldman in the Washington Post, “But the current crop of potential nominees have purer records when it comes to climate denialism: […] Chris Christie: The New Jersey governor will have some explaining to do to GOP voters. Here’s what he said in 2011: ‘When you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role it’s time to defer to the experts.’ Lately, he has been mostly avoiding the issue. […] So there you have it: Only one of the potential contenders (Chris Christie) seems willing to say that human activity is a significant cause of climate change.” [Column – Washington Post, 5/12/14]

 

May 2011: Christie Said He Believed Climate Change Was Real And At Least Partially Caused By Human Activity. According to the Associated Press, “Christie said he is committed to increasing off-shore wind production and making solar energy more affordable. Four nuclear power plants, including the country’s oldest reactor, supply a portion of the most densely populated state’s electricity needs. Christie, who in November raised questions about the causes of global warming, said Thursday that he believes climate change is real and caused, at least partially, by human activity.” [Associated Press, 5/26/11]

 

Christie Said Climate Change Must Be Addressed On A National And International Scale.According to NJBIZ, “On Aug. 19, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that attempted to force the state to remain in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the cap-and-trade pact that he announced in May the state would leave. In his veto message, while Christie acknowledged that human activity plays a role in climate change, he also wrote that RGGI is ineffective at addressing global warming. ‘To be effective, greenhouse gas emissions must be addressed on a national and international scale,’ Christie wrote.” [NJBIZ, 8/29/11]

 

Hurricane Sandy

Christie Would Not Say If Climate Change Played A Role In Hurricane Sandy, Saying It Was “A Scientific Discussion And Debate That I’m Simply Not Engaged In.” According to the Newark Star-Ledger, “Standing beside an Obama administration cabinet member today, Gov. Chris Christie maintained his refusal to acknowledge any role climate change may have played in Hurricane Sandy, calling it ‘a scientific discussion and debate that I’m simply not engaged in.’ HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan visited a Bergen County community with Christie to trumpet the results of the federal Sandy rebuilding task force, whose report discussed the need to deal with rising sea levels brought on by climate change. ‘The fact is we have to look at what’s happened in this state and react accordingly and appropriately,’ Christie said during a news conference. ‘We are pursuing significant infrastructure improvements to our state in order to try to make ourselves stronger and more resilient for whenever the next storm comes. The rest of that is a scientific discussion and debate that I’m simply not engaged in.’” [Newark Star-Ledger, 8/20/13]

 

Christie: “I Don’t Think There’s Been Any Proof Thus Far That Sandy Was Caused By Climate Change.” According to WNYC, “New Jersey Governor Chris Christie today rejected the idea that state agencies like New Jersey Transit needed to prepare for climate change ahead of Sandy. ‘Cause I don’t think there’s been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change,’ he said.” [WNYC, 5/20/13]

 

Christie Said The Idea That Global Warming Caused Hurricane Sandy Was “An Esoteric Question.” According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Did global warming and rising sea levels trigger Hurricane Sandy? And does it matter? Gov. Christie says it doesn’t. Whether environmental changes caused the storm is an ‘esoteric question,’ he said at a news conference at the Shore earlier this month. Victims of the storm don’t ‘give a damn’ either – as confirmed by a group of Sandy survivors who applauded Christie’s remark.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/18/13]

 
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Christie Issued An Executive Order To Pull New Jersey Out Of The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. According to the Asbury Park Press, “Gov. Chris Christie, calling the nation’s first market-based effort to control greenhouse gases ‘a failure,’ announced his intention to pull out of the agreement Thursday, prompting opponents to say the governor is more interested in burnishing his national image than protecting the environment. Christie during a Statehouse news conference Thursday said he will issue an executive order to allow for New Jersey’s exit from the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative by the end of the year.” [Asbury Park Press, 5/26/11]

 

Christie Was Under Pressure To Rejoin RGGI From Both EPA And New Jersey Republicans Like Thomas Kean. According to the New York Times, “The pressure on Mr. Christie to rejoin the program intensified in June, when President Obama proposed an Environmental Protection Agency regulation that would require all states to create climate-change plans. For states under the regional plan that once included New Jersey, complying will largely mean operating under the existing cap-and-trade system. Energy policy experts as well as some of Mr. Christie’s fellow state Republicans — including his mentor, Thomas Kean, a former New Jersey governor — say the most efficient way for New Jersey to comply with the rule would be to rejoin the program. ‘I disagreed with the decision when he did it,’ Mr. Kean said in an interview. ‘I wish we’d stayed in the program.’” [New York Times, 9/18/14]

 

Public Service Enterprise Group, The State’s Largest Utility, Had Supported Joining The Regional Program. According to the New York Times, “New Jersey’s largest electric utility, Public Service Enterprise Group, supported the state’s participation in the program and has pushed to take the policy national. Michael Jennings, a company spokesman, wrote in an email that the utility is ‘advocating that the E.P.A. allow states like New Jersey the flexibility to pursue a comprehensive approach to reduce greenhouse gases.’ But he did not directly address questions about Mr. Christie’s refusal to join the program.” [New York Times, 9/18/14]

 

Christie Called The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative “Too Weak.” According to the Star-Ledger, “Christie, who says global warming is real and partly man-made, has called RGGI too weak to influence power plant operators and leads to what is essentially a tax on utility ratepayers.” [Star-Ledger, 5/27/14]

 

Christie Called The Carbon Market Created By RGGI A “Gimmicky” Program. According to ClimateWire, “Along the way, Christie vetoed legislation that would have put New Jersey back into the cap-and-trade system, which requires the region’s power sector to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. He also made light of the first-ever U.S. carbon market, calling it a ‘gimmicky’ program that failed to achieve its intended aim since carbon permits were first auctioned in September 2008.” [ClimateWire, 5/4/12]

 

Christie Said That New Jersey Would Not Rejoin RGGI “On My Watch,” And Said That the Program Was “Just Another Tax On People.” According to NJ.com, “Despite growing pressure from Democrats, Gov. Chris Christie stressed today that New Jersey will not rejoin a regional agreement to reduce carbon dioxide pollution as long as he is governor. ‘The answer is no,’ the Republican governor said during a news conference. ‘We’re not going to. Not on my watch.’ […] Christie said today that ‘RGGI does not make the air in New Jersey any clearer.’ ‘It’s just another tax on people,’ he said. Christie dismissed critics who say the state is losing money. ‘As if the money appears like magic,’ he said. ‘It appears to the ratepayers of this state as a tax on their bills, with no great impact on the environment.’ Still, a report by The New York Times today cites a 2011 study by Boston consulting firm The Analysis Group that showed electricity bills in New Jersey increased less than one percent under the program, while the state collected $118 million in fees for pollution permits purchased by power plants.” [NJ.com, 9/18/14]