My post earlier this morning about Romney’s embrace of anti-environmentalism was more timely than I knew. According to Climate Wire, he told farmers yesterday:
“And then there’s pushing cap and trade, I understand if they push cap and trade it will not only massively impact the income of farms, it will take millions of acres out of farming.” [Romney 2012]
Where does he get this stuff? Start with the fact that the Administration has no apparent plans for reviving cap-and-trade (although economists wish it did). Then there’s the part about “millions of acres.” Frankly, I’ve never heard that claim before, and I can’t imagine where anyone would have come up with the idea. Maybe Romney thinks that cap-and-trade will let Big Bird free to trample the corn fields?
The part about future generations doesn’t need much discussion. If we don’t do something about climate change, our descendants will live on a drastically altered planet, with more droughts, floods, heat waves, and wildfires.
But the best rebuttal to Romney comes from . . . Romney. Here’s what he said when he was Governor of Massachusetts:
“Massachusetts is committed to active participation in the effort to develop a multi-state cap and trade program covering greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.” [Romney 2004]
As late as November 2005, he hailed a proposed regional cap-and-trade program called RGGI, saying it was as “good business” that would spur investment in renewable energy. So, in terms of cap-and-trade, Romney was for it before he was against it.
By the way, RGGI has been in effect for years now. As Romney must know, there’s no sign that it’s driven farmers out of business. But neither facts, nor his own past positions, nor the interests of future Americans, seem to carry much weight with this candidate.