The Candidates On Climate Change


Romney: I think the risks of climate change are real. And that you're seeing real climate change. And I think human activity is contributing to it. I would develop within this country sources of energy which would allow us to be free of foreign oil. But sources that don't emit CO2. And that's nuclear power, clean-burning coal, all of our renewable resources and so forth. I also wanna see much greater efficiencies in our autos, in our homes, in our businesses. That'll get is energy independent.

I don't wanna have America unilaterally think it's somehow gonna stop global warming. They don't call it America warming. They call it global warming. And that means China, which is the biggest CO2 emitter in the world, as well as other nations, like Indonesia and Brazil, are gonna have to be a part of the global effort. So Kyoto was wrong, because it left major polluting nations out.


Richardson: No, if anything they're underblown. Three things I would do is I would have fuel efficiency in all vehicles 50 miles per gallon. The second I would say all electricity in this country, 30 percent by the year 2020 has to come from renewable energy: solar, wind, biomass. And the third would be I would put a mandate that says that we are going to have a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2040. Mandates. Fines, to poluters, to power plants.


Giuliani: There is global warming. Human beings are contributing to it. I think the best answer to it is energy independence. We've got more coal reserves in the us than they have oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. If we find a way to deal with it and use it so it doesn't hurt the environment, we're going to find ourselves not contributing to global warming and also being more energy independent. I think we have to take another look at nuclear power. France is 80 percent nuclear. We're 20, but going down to 15. We haven't had a licensed nuclear power plant in 30 years. It has to be done carefully. But we haven't lost a life to nuclear power yet. We have wind, solar, hydroelectric, hybrid vehicles. All these things need to be increased - and an appropriate emphasis on conservation. You can't do it with any one of these things. You can't just do conservation. Otherwise you're not going to have growth.


Biden: I think Al Gore has done something really quite phenomenal. He has brought into the consciousness the reality of what is going to happen. Whether it's 2040, whether it's 2050, 2070. It's going to happen unless we change behavior. I literally would make an executive order saying the United States government will not purchase one single vehicle that didn't get 45 miles to the gallon. And would not - and as a fleet, all the vehicles we buy -- and would not build one single building that was not green. Whether I am in Iowa ... (inaudible) ... ethanol. They go "yeah, great for my state." I say "how many ethanol gas stations you got out here?" And they go like this. Like "no." There are not. So the second thing is you gotta build infrastructure. That the federal government has to be a catalyst for. The third thing I would do is I think you could when you do is announce to the nation that you're making the same kind of commitment, it sounds kind of corny. The same kind of commitment that Kennedy made about going to the moon.


Huckabee: I don't know. I mean, the honest answer for me, scientifically, is "I don't know." But here's one thing I do know, that we ought to not let this become this big political football and point of argument. We all ought to agree that we live on this planet as guests. I think Republicans have made a big mistake by not being more on the forefront of conservationism.

I consider myself a conservationist. I think we ought to have some cap and trade. It worked with acid rain. I think it could work with CO2 emissions. I think we ought to be out there talking about ways to reduce energy consumption and waste. And we ought to declare that we will be oil free of energy consumption in this country within a decade, bold as that is.

Frankly, it's a matter of national security to get to the point where we're not dependent upon oil coming from countries who, frankly, aren't very friendly to us.