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Green Donors Bet Romney Is Faking His New Climate Change Views And Will Flip Flop Back If Elected

By Stephen Lacey  

"Green Donors Bet Romney Is Faking His New Climate Change Views And Will Flip Flop Back If Elected"

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According to his own standards on the campaign trail today, Mitt Romney was once a “radical” on energy issues.

In 2003, as governor of Massachusetts, he supported “investing in cleaning technologies” for an old coal plant in the commonwealth responsible for dozens of deaths, saying “I will not create jobs … that kill people.”

Also that year, Romney set up a $15 million green energy trust fund for renewable energy in order to create a “major economic springboard for the commonwealth.”

And in 2005, before deciding to pull out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Romney called cap and trade “good business.” That was back when the Economist magazine named him a “climate friendly” Republican.

Today, Romney says “we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet,” explaining that his new energy policy is to “aggressively develop our oil, our gas, our coal.”

Romney’s changing positions on a broad range of issues have left supporters wondering where he’ll actually land on the issues if he becomes president. As Politico reported yesterday, some donors in the environmental community are putting their bets on another flip flop on climate and energy issues:

Julian Robertson, founder of the Tiger Management hedge fund, helped put cap-and-trade legislation on the map with $60 million in contributions over the past decade to the Environmental Defense Fund.

Now, Robertson has given $1.25 million to Romney’s Restore our Future super PAC, plus the maximum $2,500 to the Romney campaign.

Other green-minded financial backers may not be giving as much as Robertson, but they still share the view that climate-change science and a solid environmental agenda wouldn’t be a lost cause if Romney won the White House.

“My feeling is that on these issues that people learn,” said former Gov. Thomas Kean (R-N.J.), who maxed out last fall to Romney with a $2,500 check. “And my hope is, as time goes on, he will understand that not everybody agrees on how you deal with these issues, but I hope he will agree with 99 percent of the scientists who believe this is an issue that we have to deal with.”

This sentiment echoes what other observers have predicted. For example, Andrew Light, an international climate expert with the Center for American Progress, said he doesn’t think a Republican president would put an end to American involvement in climate negotiations. Because they are now a “central driver of broader foreign policy,” it would be tough for a candidate like Romney to pull out.

“I am certain that there would be members of the administration who are not isolationists on foreign policy,” said Light.

Although some experts believe Romney’s climate stance on the campaign trail might differ from his actual policies, signs don’t point to dramatic change. Last week, Romney chose oil billionaire Harold Hamm to chair his energy advisory panel — joining a group of lobbyists who have worked for the coal and tar sands industries.

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11 Responses to Green Donors Bet Romney Is Faking His New Climate Change Views And Will Flip Flop Back If Elected

  1. M Tucker says:

    Republicans…you cannot trust a single one. NOT ONE. They have agendas that are at odds with what the majority of Americans want, at odds with the wellbeing of the planet, and, for the most part, have agendas hidden from public view. Just ask Wisconsin or Michigan or Ohio or Arizona to mention just a tiny fraction of the states that are suffering from Republican agendas. They are bad for the planet and bad for America. If you want Big Fossil Fuel sycophants to run the country then Republicans are for you. If you want to continue with 19th century energy technology and 19th century social agendas then Republicans are for you. If you want to continue on a backward path to suffering and a continued decline in our standard of living then keep listening to Republicans.

    I find this troubling:
    “Andrew Light, an international climate expert with the Center for American Progress, said he doesn’t think a Republican president would put an end to American involvement in climate negotiations. Because they are now a “central driver of broader foreign policy,” it would be tough for a candidate like Romney to pull out.”

    First, example please of which Republicans have become “a “central driver of broader foreign policy,”” McCain? The war monger! You don’t need to worry about isolationism from him. What about all the calls for attacks on Iran? No you need to worry about the old tried and true neocon attack first and ask questions later wars with the massive costs hidden from the federal budget. These freaks will not pull out from climate negotiations they will just send someone like John Bolton.

    My god it really is true what has been said of liberals…I Think We Are All Truly Doomed!

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      All international negotiations are used by US Administrations, of either persuasion, as opportunities to bully the rest of the world into acquiescing to US imperial planning. The same goes for all international organisations, in particular the UN, which is, these days, a branch office of the State Department, save for the impotent and despised General Assembly. The US will never boycott important negotiations, but, as at Copenhagen, will impose their diktat or spread disinformation.

  2. cervantes says:

    This game of trying to guess what Romney really believes, and betting that once he’s elected he’ll flip or flop back to non-insanity on one or another issue is for suckers. He probably has no convictions of any kind other than his personal ambition, but even if he does, he will be 100% beholden to his psychopathic billionaire benefactors and the one and only thing they care about is climate change denialism and keeping the fossil fuel gravy train flowing to feed their limitless, insatiable greed. Why anyone would think that a president Romney wouldn’t kiss their evil butts all day long is incomprehensible to me.

  3. Mike Roddy says:

    It would be a careless mistake to assume that Romney will flip back after he’s elected. Look at Bush: during the 2000 campaign, and even early in office, he acknowledged our carbon problem.

    Cheney and the big boys then took over, and that was the end of that. Romney isn’t even starting from a decent perspective, at least this year.

    The Republican Party has become fascist, and will do whatever the fossil fuel companies and the banks who support them want. Romney is no different. If he tried to do the right thing, the attacks from Limbaugh and Fox would be too much for him to bear, and Congress, dependent on oil company campaign funding, would be in open rebellion. Romney knows this, and will kick the can to his successor.

  4. davej says:

    Thinking that President Romney will govern like Governor Romney seems like wishful thinking. Given his multiple positions on just about everything, it’s virtually impossible to know what he really believes or stands for. It seems reasonable to believe that if he will say anything to get elected, he’s likely to do whatever he needs to get re-elected, which is unlikely to include being “climate friendly”. No indication he’s planning on a one-term presidency.

  5. Brad Arnold says:

    Romney (or any other US President) will be forced to endorse LENR, because in addition to being clean, it is very very cheap and extremely abundant, so the whole senario of if Romney is really green or not is mute:

    There is a new clean energy technology that is one tenth the cost of coal. LENR using nickel. Incredibly: Ni+H(heated under pressure)=Cu+lots of heat.

    This phenomenon (LENR) has been confirmed in hundreds of published scientific papers: http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/RothwellJtallyofcol.pdf

    “Over 2 decades with over 100 experiments worldwide indicate LENR is real, much greater than chemical…” –Dennis M. Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

    “Energy density many orders of magnitude over chemical.” Michael A. Nelson, NASA

    “Total replacement of fossil fuels for everything but synthetic organic chemistry.” –Dr. Joseph M. Zawodny, NASA

    By the way, here is a survey of all the companies that are bringing LENR to commercialization: http://www.cleantechblog.com/2011/08/the-new-breed-of-energy-catalyzers-ready-for-commercialization.html

    • Mike Roddy says:

      Cold fusion has been studied for decades, and they still don’t have a scaled up prototype. That puts it in the “dream” category. We need to focus on current viable cleantech, such as wind and solar.

  6. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    More flip flops to come. Just don’t expect any action if he gets elected

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Actually, in my opinion, the chance of Romney back-back-flipping is actually marginally greater than that of Obama acting as he pretends that he will (when he needs votes).

      • davej says:

        Not sure what your point is, but I think it’s fair to say that President Obama, no matter how much he disappoints the left, will still be far left of anything we could expect from Romney.

  7. In wading in here on the discussion about Republican candidates, I would like to turn the table around so to speak. If President Obama does not get re-elected, then, as James Hansen famously said, “game over for the climate”. This coming year, everyone who considers herself/himself an environmentalist must do everything in their power to re-elect Obama, no matter what you feel about his politics (I’ve done my own share of complaining in blogs). This single point is very clear to me, and I hope to all others speaking here. Spend the rest of this year in critical mode: Volunteer! Volunteer! Volunteer! Donate! Donate! Donate! Let’s get this election done and move on to solving the global climate crisis.