Jon Huntsman: The Only Republican Who Has a Clue on Clean Energy, Climate Change?


    Based on this video, it sure seems like former Utah Governor and former Obama Administration Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman is the only Republican presidential candidate with a clue on clean energy and climate change. Here’s Huntsman, at a 2008 debate, referring to Huntsman’s signing Utah onto the “Western Climate Initiative” (including a regional cap-and-trade program):

    We have to make sure that we recognize a couple of important facts as we go forward. One of the facts of life for Utah will be that a very important engine of growth for us over the years will be the new innovations and technologies and capital equipment surrounding a new energy economy, a green energy economy, things like carbon capture and sequestration…But in order to get to the heart and soul of carbon emission, which is a problem, because it leads to polluted skies and air quality problems and climate change, we must put a value on carbon. Until we put a value on carbon, we’ve never going to be able to get serious with dealing with climate change longer term. Now, putting a value on carbon either suggests that you go to a carbon tax or you get a cap-and-trade system under way…As the head of the Western Governors’ Association, I’m doing my best as the leader of this group to develop a comprehensive energy program that we’re going to turn over to the next president of the United States, which will include issues of affordability, issues of energy independence, and issues of sustainability. And when I speak of sustainability, I talk about ultimately a cap-and-trade system...

    Of course, several other Republican presidential candidates – Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and Tim Pawlenty, for instance, who declared that “[g]lobal warming definitely exists, so we have to take steps to control greenhouse emissions and carbon emissions and the like” – have backed away from their previous, science and reality-based stances on clean energy and climate change. We’ll see if Jon Huntsman follows the same path towards political pandering and away from what 99.9% of climate scientists understand needs to be done. For now, though, I’m rooting for Jon Huntsman to help move the Republican Party back to the pro-environment views it used to hold under Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, etc., etc.