In Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, campaign-approved representatives for Obama and Romney duked it out during an informal debate on energy and environmental policy hosted by the Business Roundtable...
Trading blows on Romney's behalf, Linda Stuntz, founding partner of the Washington, D.C., law firm Stuntz, Davis & Staffier and former deputy security of Energy under George H.W. Bush...
"The notion that the U.S. can act unilaterally on carbon emissions and make a material difference in global greenhouse gases is not realistic," she said. "It will only hamstring our economy."
According to a campaign surrogate: “Although Romney does not support EPA’s climate regulations, he is ‘certainly not a denier’ when it comes to the reality of climate change and the fact that human activities are contributing to rising global temperatures . . . But he does not believe unilateral regulations in the United States would be effective because of rising emissions from countries in the developing world, such as India and China.”
Just two and a half months ago in New Hampshire, Romney expressed concern about climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.
"I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and global warming that you're seeing," Romney said on June 3 in Manchester.
“We can become far more effective by pursuing my policy of energy independence.
“And if we can get China, India and Brazil and the rest of the world also to come together in a global effort, then that's going to change, if you will the CO2 emissions for the entire planet. And that's something I support."
“Unfortunately, some in the Republican Party are embracing the radical environmental ideas of the liberal left. As governor, I found that thoughtful environmentalism need not be anti-growth and anti-jobs. But Kyoto-style sweeping mandates, imposed unilaterally in the United States, would kill jobs, depress growth and shift manufacturing to the dirtiest developing nations.
Now, if we're going to get into an agreement with the rest of the world on CO2 caps and so forth, I want it agreed to with the whole world, not just us. Last time, when they were talking about the Kyoto accord, it only applied to developed nations, not to developing nations like India and China. But within 10 years, the developing nations, India, China, and others were putting out more CO2 than the developed nations. So if we're gonna have some provisions of that nature, it's got to be global, not unilateral.
Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, Romney's plan focuses on voluntary initiatives, restricting any mandatory requirements to only a few large industries and the state itself. The plan includes no enforcement mechanism for requiring attainment of the goals.
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) on May 6 unveiled the state's new Climate Protection Plan, which encourages private citizens and requires state agencies and the state's large businesses to reduce carbon dioxide emissions...
The plan's goals are similar to provisions of the Kyoto Protocol--which was unanimously rejected by the U.S. Senate in 1997 and subsequently rejected by President George W. Bush--by calling for the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2010. It calls for an additional 10 percent reduction by 2020 through strict standards for old coal-fired power plants, promotion of renewable energy, encouraging "green" building technology, energy efficiency, cleaner vehicles, and public awareness.
"But when you put in place a new cap or a mandate, and particularly if you don't have any safety valve as to how much the cost of that cap might be, you would impose on the American people, if you do it unilaterally, without involving all the world, you'd impose on the American people a huge new effective tax: 20 percent on utilities, 50 cents a gallon for gasoline -- that's according to the energy information agency -- would be imposed on us.
"And here's what happens. I've lived in the business world. I've lived in the real economy for 25 years of my life. What happens if you do that? You put a big burden on energy in this country as the energy-intensive industries say, 'We're going to move our new facilities from America to China, where they don't have those agreements.'"
"Now what was wrong with Kyoto is that it said 'OK America, you put in place these caps, but China, who is now the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, you don't have to do anything.' I want China, and India, ... by the way, they're competing for our jobs. I don't want to put our employers and our employees costs which the Indians and the Chinese then don't have to pay which make our jobs even less competitive."