Romney’s Embrace of the House Republicans’ Anti-Environmental Agenda

A lot of Romney’s views about energy and regulation seem familiar.  There’s a reason for that.  Driven by the Tea Party, the House has passed numerous deregulatory laws, some of them multiple times. On average, the House Republicans averaged more than one anti-environmental vote for every day the House was in session in 2011. Romney echos this anti-environmental agenda faithfully, as the following table documents:

Romney’s Position Republican House bills
“Require congressional approval of all new ‘major’ regulations” The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 10) requires approval from both houses of Congress before federal agencies can implement any significant rule, including those to protect the environment and public health.
“As president, Mitt Romney will eliminate the regulations promulgated in pursuit of the Obama administration’s costly and ineffective anti-carbon agenda.” The FY2011 funding bill prohibited EPA from using any funds for the purposes of “enforcing or promulgating any regulation … or order, taking action relating to, or denying approval of state implementation plans or permits because of the emissions of greenhouse gases due to concerns regarding possible climate change.”
“I will permit access to our resources in the Gulf of Mexico, the Outer Continental Shelf, western lands and the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.” H.R. 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, to expedite leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and open new areas off the Virginia coast to oil and gas drilling.As of February, House Republicans had voted twelve times to approve drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.
“Mitt will approve the Keystone XL pipeline” H.R. 1938 would have required the Obama Administration to make a decision on the Keystone XL permit by November 1, 2011, and to short- circuit the existing State Department review process.
“In my administration, coal will not be a four-letter word. Instead, we will applaud the industry’s success in consistently expanding electricity output while reducing pollution.” House Republicans passed H.R. 2401, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, to overturn EPA’s regulations of interstate pollution and its mercury and toxics rules for coal plants.
“Romney will also press Congress to reform our environmental laws to ensure that they allow for a proper assessment of their costs.” Under the Latta amendment, air quality standards would cease to be health-based and would instead be set in part based on economic costs to polluters. The Latta amendment passed with only 11 Republicans voting in opposition.H.R. 3010, the Regulatory Accountability Act, would have imposed a more general cost-benefit mandate.
Would eliminate government financial support for renewable energy except for research funding. H.R. 2354, an appropriations bill for 2012 that allocated just $1.3 billion to clean energy and efficiency programs. This is almost 60% below the President’s request and 27% below the previous year’s levels.The Ryan budget outlined significant budget cuts for energy programs, reducing overall funding by 83% by 2020.

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Reader Comments

6 Replies to “Romney’s Embrace of the House Republicans’ Anti-Environmental Agenda”

  1. Dan,
    Thanks for posting this information. Romney’s Position does not seem to be “anti-environmental” but rather a normal difference of opinion between political parties. There is nothing in Romney’s Position that should concern ordinary citizens. Petty arguments over environmental policy are not a major issue in this election. The environment should be just fine under a Romney administration, No need to worry, have a good day.

  2. Dan,
    Thanks for posting this information. Romney’s Position does not seem to be “anti-environmental” but rather a normal difference of opinion between political parties. There is nothing in Romney’s Position that should concern ordinary citizens. Petty arguments over environmental policy are not a major issue in this election. The environment should be just fine under a Romney administration, No need to worry, have a good day.

  3. bqrq,
    I think Dan did a nice job of summarizing the demonstrable anti-environtal positions of both Romney and House Republicans. This so-called “normal difference of opinion” is actually a fundamental difference on critically important policy choices. One party wants to maximize profits for polluting industries at the expense of the environment and the health of communitiesand the other at least acknowledges that the externalities of industry, including pollution and the wasting of resources, must be internalized by the industries that profit immensely from the processes that cause that externalities in the first place. It’s a matter of equity, environmental quality and health – and the current bread of Republican, including Romney, are clearly on the wrong side of this issue. While they would like the public to turn a blind eye to their pandering to profiteers at the expense of everyone else, people who care are paying attention. The environment will absolutely not be fine if Republicans gain control of Congress and the Presidency.

  4. bqrq,
    I think Dan did a nice job of summarizing the demonstrable anti-environtal positions of both Romney and House Republicans. This so-called “normal difference of opinion” is actually a fundamental difference on critically important policy choices. One party wants to maximize profits for polluting industries at the expense of the environment and the health of communitiesand the other at least acknowledges that the externalities of industry, including pollution and the wasting of resources, must be internalized by the industries that profit immensely from the processes that cause that externalities in the first place. It’s a matter of equity, environmental quality and health – and the current bread of Republican, including Romney, are clearly on the wrong side of this issue. While they would like the public to turn a blind eye to their pandering to profiteers at the expense of everyone else, people who care are paying attention. The environment will absolutely not be fine if Republicans gain control of Congress and the Presidency.

  5. Dear leftslogic.
    Thanks for sharing your opinions. Many of us older citizens have been watching the modern environmental movement since it began over 40 years. The hype and hysteria that we hear so much of today is nothing new, nor is it very original. Rest assured that we in America enjoy the cleanest and safest living environment in the history of the world. Be happy.

    Obama cannot save us from climate change. I respectfully suggest that you stop wasting your time on meaningless nonsense and think about realistic opportunities for helping others where you can make a positive contribution.
    Cheers,

  6. Dear leftslogic.
    Thanks for sharing your opinions. Many of us older citizens have been watching the modern environmental movement since it began over 40 years. The hype and hysteria that we hear so much of today is nothing new, nor is it very original. Rest assured that we in America enjoy the cleanest and safest living environment in the history of the world. Be happy.

    Obama cannot save us from climate change. I respectfully suggest that you stop wasting your time on meaningless nonsense and think about realistic opportunities for helping others where you can make a positive contribution.
    Cheers,

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About Dan

Dan Farber

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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