Environmental Decisions made by Presidential Candidates

Spring 2012 –


Michele Bachmann – Minnesota Representative

–       Downsize EPA

  • “What we need to do is pass the mother of all repeal bills, but it’s the repeal bill that will get a job killing regulations. And I would begin with the EPA, because there is no other agency like the EPA. It should really be renamed the job-killing organization of America.”
  • Voted YES on forbidding the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases (April 2011)

–       Undo the Clean Air Act

  • Signed H.R.391 which excludes carbon dioxide, water vapor methane, and nitrous oxide from the definition of “air pollutant” and states that nothing in the Clean Air Act should be treated as authorizing or requiring the regulation of climate change or global warming

–       Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution (June 2009)

–       Voted NO on protecting free-roaming horses and burros (July 2009)

–       Opposes replacing coal and oil with alternative energy sources

  • Voted YES on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling (May 2011)
  • Voted NO on tax incentives for renewable energy (February 2008)
  • Voted NO on investing in homegrown biofuel (August 2007)


Herman Cain – Georgian business executive and radio host

–       Reduce dependence on foreign energy sources

  • “America is a land blessed with abundant natural resources and the capability of the people to obtain them. Still, liberals continue to perpetrate the misunderstanding that the high energy consumption of a thriving nation and conservation of our precious planet are at odds with one another. Because they have perpetuated such a myth, liberals have forced excessive environmental regulations that have stifled our domestic energy production, and instead forced American consumers to rely far too heavily upon foreign oil.” (May 2011)
  • “We have all of the resources we need in this country to establish energy independence if we had the leadership. The dynamics that impact the price of oil — and ultimately the price of gasoline: getting it out of the ground, refining and distribution, and speculators. If the world market believed that we were serious about energy independence, and we were going to utilize all of our existing resources, the speculators would stop speculating up, and they would speculate down until we got our own oil out of the ground.” (May 2011)

–       Implement a “drill here, drill now” policy

  • “With all due respect, Mr. President, there is something you could do to ease the pain at the pump. Namely, declare and implement a “drill here, drill now” strategy. And remove the ridiculous restrictions on shale oil deposits available out west. The very speculators you are blaming for the run-up in gas prices would quickly retreat if they thought you were serious about an energy independence plan to maximize all of our existing natural resources.” (April 2011)

–       In response to which department of the federal government he would eliminate:

  • “I would start with the EPA and start all over. It’s out of control. Now, I know that makes some people nervous, but the EPA has gone wild. The fact that they have a regulation that goes into effect January 1, 2012, to regulate dust, says that they’ve gone too far. So rather than try to fix it, eliminate all of the things that they have right now and then start rebuilding a responsible EPA.”


Newt Gingrich – former Speaker of the House and Georgia representative

–       “Every green tax credit is a loophole.” (September 2011)

–       Drill here, drill now, pay less policy

  • “The Left couldn’t survive in a world where we had the courage to say, “Why don’t we find American oil and why don’t we find American gas, and why don’t we have the next building boom in the United States, not in Dubai. And why don’t we make sure that the terrorists run out of money?” And that ought to be our approach to this, so let’s do it now.” (February 2011)

–       Set up a billion dollar prize fund for first mass-produced hydrogen car

  • “We need very large prizes for fundamental breakthroughs. There ought to be a billion-dollar tax-free prize for the first hydrogen car that can be mass-produced for a reasonable price. Hydrogen has to be the ultimate basis for a truly bold energy program because it has no environmental impact and it is universally available as a natural resource.” (December 2007)

–       Stop scare tactics about drilling in Alaska

  • “It is time for an honest debate about drilling and producing in places like Alaska, our national forests, and off the coast of scenic areas. The Left uses scare tactics from a different era to block environmentally sound production of raw materials.”

–       Replace EPA with new Environmental Solutions Agency

  • “I don’t think the EPA bureaucrats, who are dedicated to a Washington centered, top down, bureaucratic control by litigation and regulation, are going learn a new dance, a new approach, and a new model. This is double true because Obama wants to use EPA to control carbon, so he can control all of the non-health economy. Now a new Environmental Solutions Agency, I believe, would do a better job of both protecting the environment and the economy.” (February 2011)


Ron Paul – Congressman from Texas

–       Voted YES on barring EPA from regulating greenhouse gases (April 2011)

–       Voted NO on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution (June 2009)

–       Voted NO on tax incentives for energy production and conservation (May 2008)

–       Voted NO on prohibiting oil drilling and development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (August 2001)

–       Voted YES on scheduling permitting for new oil refineries (June 2006)

–       “Recycling, for the most part consumes more energy than it saves.” (April 2011)

–       Voted NO on environmental education grants for outdoor experiences (September 2008)


Rick Perry – Governor of Texas

–       Create jobs by taking advantage of natural resources

  • “We’ve got 300 years of resources right under our feet in this country. Yet we’ve got an administration that is blockading our ability to bring that to the surface, whether it’s our petroleum, our natural gas, or our coal. And 1.2 million jobs could be put to work. We don’t have to wait on OPEC anymore. We don’t have to let them hold us hostage. America’s got the energy. Let’s have American energy independence.”

–       Has said that the Environmental Protection Agency has waged “a war on American fossil fuel production.” (October 2011)

–       Campaign policy paper issued October 14 states:

  • Repeal EPA’s authority over greenhouse gases
  • Limit EPA’s enforcement authority to “national or regional issues for which the individual states seek arbitration or assistance”
  • Cut EPA’s budget by 60%
  • Suspend and reconsider all new clean air regulations
  • Return drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico to 2007 levels
  • Allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


Mitt Romney – Former Governor of Massachusetts

–       Invest in new technology to get us off foreign oil

  • “Is global warming an issue for the world? Absolutely. Is it something we can deal with by becoming energy independent and energy secure? We sure can. At the same time, we call it global warming, not America warming. So let’s not put a burden on us alone and have the rest of the world skate by without having to participate in this effort. It’s a global effort, but our independence is something we can do unilaterally.” (December 2007)

–       “We’re using too much oil. We have an answer. We can use alternative sources of energy — biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear power — and we can drill for more oil here. We can be more energy independent and we can be far more efficient in the use of that energy.” (September 2006)

–       $20 billion for becoming less dependent on foreign energy sources

  • “We spend about $4 billion a year right now on energy research to try and help us become less energy dependent on foreign sources. And I think over the coming years we need to increase our investment to become energy independent from about $4 billion a year to about $20 billion a year.” (January 2008)

–       Invest in oil refineries

  • “Big oil is making a lot of money right now, and I’d like to see them using that money to invest in refineries. Don’t forget that when companies earn profit, that money is supposed to be reinvested in growth. And our refineries are old. Someone said our refineries today are rust with paint holding them up. And we need to see these companies, if they’re making that kind of money, reinvest in capital equipment.” (June 2007)

–       States should be able to make their own emission standard

  • “I side with states to be able to make their own regulations with regards to emissions within their own states. I side with states being able to make their own decisions, even if I don’t always agree with the decisions they make.” (January 2008)




Barack Obama – current President

–       Goal to have one million 150-mpg plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2014 as announced August 4, 2008

–       “For example, nobody has been a bigger promoter of clean coal technology than I am. Testament to that, I ended up being in a whole bunch of advertisements that you guys saw all the time about investing in ways for us to burn coal more cleanly. I’ve said that I’m a promoter of nuclear energy, something that I think over the last three decades has been subject to a lot of partisan wrangling & ideological wrangling. I think that that has to be part of our energy mix.” (January 2010)

–       Reduce carbon emissions

  • “This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands. Let us resolve that all nations–including my own–will act with seriousness of purpose, and reduce the carbon we send into our atmosphere. This is the moment to give our children back their future. This is the moment to stand as one.” (July 2008)

–       Subsidize clean energy by canceling oil subsidies            

  • I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s. Clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market. So tonight, I set a new goal: By 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy source (State of the Union, January 2010)

–       Asked EPA to halt tightening of Clean Air Act (September 2011)

  • “After careful consideration, I have requested that [E.P.A.] administrator [Lisa] Jackson withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards at this time. Work is already underway to update a 2006 review of the science that will result in the reconsideration of the ozone standard in 2013.”

–       “I have continued to underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover. Ultimately, I did not support asking state and local governments to begin implementing a new standard that will soon be reconsidered.” (September 2011)

–       “As the president has made clear, the administration will continue to take steps to defend the authority of the Clean Air Act, and the important progress we have made to protect the air we breathe. These are smart standards that will save thousands of lives a year, and leverage technologies already successfully deployed in plants across the country.” (Obama Administration, September 2011)

–       Plan to speed up oil drilling

  • “Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists, between those who would claim drilling is a cure all and those who would claim it has no place. Because this issue is just too important to allow our progress to languish while we fight the same old battles over and over again.” (May 2011)

–       “As the largest energy consumer in the United States, we have a responsibility to American citizens to reduce our energy use and become more efficient. Our goal is to lower costs, reduce pollution, and shift Federal energy expenses away from oil and towards local, clean energy.” (January 2010)


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