In January of 2011, Governor Pawlenty was interviewed by Christianity Today. When asked about cap-and-trade schemes, Governor Pawlenty stated that he had looked at the systems when Governor and determined that he would not implement them to address pollution.
Question: During your term as governor, you supported reductions in greenhouse gases and a regional cap and trade plan. What measures should the federal government support to care for the environment?
"All of us should be in favor of reducing pollution, but we need to do that in a way that doesn't wreck the economy. I came to the conclusion after looking at it very carefully that cap and trade is the wrong approach. I think it is a ham-fisted approach that is government-centered and top down, and the burdens it would have visited on the economy were unwise and really unbearable."At the first Republican Presidential Debate, Fox (host of the debate) replayed a 2007 ad that Pawlenty recorded for the Environmental Defense Fund in which he argues for cap and trade as a solution for climate change. When asked to discuss the ad, Pawlenty abashedly replied, "Do we have to?"
After trying to explain that he didn't actually support cap and trade policy as governor—he just supported the "study" of it—Pawlenty decided to try apologizing:
"I’ve said I was wrong. It was a mistake, and I'm sorry," Mr. Pawlenty told the Fox television audience, presumably filled with potential Republican primary voters. "You’re going to have a few clunkers in your record, and we all do, and that’s one of mine. I just admit it. I don’t try to duck it, bob it, weave it, try to explain it away. I’m just telling you, I made a mistake."Pawlenty has apologized for this before. In March, he told conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham that his support for cap-and-trade was a mistake and pointed to other Republican 2012 hopefuls who made similar "mistakes."
"On The Issues"
- Increase supply; diversify sources; drill ANWR. (Jun 2008)
- The more oil supply, the better. (Jun 2008)
- Extend tax incentives for energy efficiency and energy R&D. (May 2008)
- Encourage development of locally owned wind energy sources. (Nov 2006)
- Stop harmful EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. (Mar 2010)
- Set goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025. (Jan 2007)
Tim Pawlenty's Energy Platform as published by New Hampshire Primary Blog:
Supports goal of severing us from foreign oil and maximizing American sources of energy
Let's have drilling in ANWR
Let's have drilling off our coast, particularly with state approval
Let's make sure we have clean coal and use the 250 year supply of coal we have in this country
Let's expand nuclear, make sure that it's safe
Let's use this game changing amount of natural gas that we've now find and discovered within the territorial reach of the United States - enough to power our entire base load energy needs for at least 100 years and maybe two or three hundred years
And then for the renewables, let's do those that make economic rational sense
I've been a strong proponent of renewable fuels, but we need to focus on those things that make economic sense
Ethanol, biodiesel are things that I've strongly supported
Remember when we talk about subsidies, mandates, and the like it doesn't just apply to biofuels. Oil is subsidized. Coal is subsidized. The whole nuclear energy was researched, paid for, commercialized, and to this day is subsidized by the federal government.
If we're going to talk about subsidies, don't just pick on biofuels. Let's put 'em all on the table.
Tim Pawlenty on Cap and trade [from the New Hampshire Primary Blog]:
T-Paw also disavows his past support for cap and trade in the video:
A couple years ago now I completely disavowed that position and said it was wrong and a mistake.
I wrote a letter to Congress saying don't pass cap and trade. The country doesn't support it. The Congress doesn't support it. I don't support it. It's a bad idea. It's ham-fisted.
All of the likely, or I should say leading, 2012 candidates at one point or another embraced the same thing.
I made a mistake. I've got some clunkers in my record like everybody does who's been in an executive position
I considered it, concluded it was wrong, and disavowed that position a couple years ago
Tim Pawlenty on global warming and climate change
Yeah, well, they don't call it, first of all, America warming. It's global warming to the extent that it exists.
You have China, India, and other places just saying we're not going to do it.
If you start with the proposition of climate change, the climate is always changing. There is no doubt that the climate is changing. The real question is "Why is it changing?" and how much of that - if any - is attributable to human behavior.
There is a great scientific debate whether any of it, a little, some, a lot is caused by human behavior.
The bottom line is that I think the weight of the science indicates that if there is any human behavior involved it is a modest amount.
I think climate change occurs, but I think the bulk of it is mostly natural historic trends in the climate.
And I think there is some suggestion that humans have caused some of it, but the answer isn't to then to have government come in with this top-down cap and trade scheme.
Let the markets work, let technology work, let peoples' preferences work and they'll figure out the best way to address it.
(The Political Guide, 5/11/2011, Mother Jones, 5/6/2011, New Hampshire Primary Blog, 4/3/2011)