“I’m a green Republican,” he said. “I believe in climate change, and I believe that humans have had something to do with climate change.”
But that is about as far as Gomez seems willing to go when discussing environmental policy.
While Gomez and his staff are quick to note that he trusts the scientific community and acknowledges that humans are at least partially to blame for the planet’s warming, he is light on any specifics about what he would do to mitigate the worsening effects of worldwide climate change.
On his campaign website, Gomez outlines his desire for “rational” solutions to climate change, and hits “politicians in Washington” for their support of solutions that are, in his estimation, “not rational.” Nowhere is a list of the legislation that he would pursue as a Senator to combat climate change, or even an outline of broader policy recommendations.
Instead, in almost every instance in which Gomez discusses the environment, it is immediately followed by an equally unwavering endorsement of the Keystone XL pipeline as a job creator, a pathway to lower energy costs, and, alarmingly, environmentally friendly.
In reality, it is none of those things. As few as 35 permanent jobs will be created by the KXL pipeline, recent reports suggest it could actually increase U.S. fuel costs, and the detrimental environmental impacts of its construction have been well-documented.
In a follow-up response, Gomez went on to suggest that if the pipeline was not completed, connecting the Canadian tar sands with ports in eastern Texas, the unrefined oil would instead somehow find its way to China. Opponents of KXL are quick to note, however, that there is nothing to stop TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline, from selling their oil overseas even after transporting it across the length of the United States. Even the consortium of companies investing in the pipeline admit that much of the oil will find its way to the gulf coast’s export markets.
Beyond that, and broad proclamations of support for alternative energy, Gomez has refused to take a position on any substantial climate legislation.
ThinkProgress spent three days following the Gomez campaign last month, and at half a dozen different campaign stops refused to answer a single question on his environmental policy, or anything else.
Will Ritter, the campaign’s communications director, did take a few minutes to discuss Gomez’s environmental policies during a campaign stop in Cohasset, MA, but was equally noncommittal. When asked if the campaign could provide any specific policy positions related to climate change, he responded by asking us to list specific proposals.
Cap and trade? “We can take a look at that, sure.”
A carbon tax? “We don’t currently don’t have a policy on the matter, not that I’m aware of.”
Higher fuel emissions standards? “It honestly has not been asked yet. It’s not an issue we’ve come across in any interview.”
“You can email me, and we’ll sit down with him when we do our policy to find out where he is and we can get you some answers back,” he said.
ThinkProgress reached out to Ritter via email multiple times with the same requests for Gomez’s positions on any number of climate-related issues, and despite the promise to provide some answers on Gomez’s climate policy, we have yet to receive any response.
Gomez’s reluctance to embrace any substantive environmental policies is perhaps explained by his own financial interests. As ThinkProgress reported last month, Gomez has thousands of dollars invested in nearly a dozen different energy companies.