Mitt Romney on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Sep 03, 2012


Governor Romney believes in man-made global warming, but he is not certain to the extent that man is causing the change in the environment. He supports a global effort to cap carbon emissions and possibly a global cap-and-trade, but not one that applies only to the US. Governor Romney supports lowering energy use through renewable resources and increased efficiency. He proposes "No Regrets" policies which he states is encouraging the use of US and renewable energy which has the combined affects of energy independence and lowering greenhouse emissions. Governor Romney supports the use of nuclear, clean coal, liquid coal (if carbon sequestered), solar, wind, and any other renewable resource. He also supports drilling ANWR, and offshore.

2008 Presidential Campaign

In May of 2007 Governor Romney stated in a campaign speech that he believed in global warming and that man was causing it, but he was not sure the extent to which man was causing it. He stated that we needed to find a way to reduce our use of energy, and expressed his support for numerous forms of energy development, including drilling in ANWR and offshore. This was the introduction of "No Regrets" policies that allow us to become energy independent and reduce the greenhouse gas that we emit.

At a 2007 New Hampshire town hall, he reasserted his belief in man-made global warming, stating that it was clear to him and a lot of other people that the earth was getting warmer and that man was playing some part in that warming. He stated his support for numerous forms of US energy, including nuclear, and noted that the topics of national security and energy independence were tied together. He stated his support for tax incentives for fuel efficient vehicles.

Later, at a 2007 Iowa town hall, Governor Romney was asked about international agreements on cap-and-trade and other environmental issues. He responded that previous agreements, such as the Kyoto protocols only targeted developed nations and left out nations such as China and India, which are today the highest polluters. He noted that he would not agree to any carbon capping solution that capped US emissions, but left out other countries.

This support for carbon capping schemes only on a global basis was restated at other various town halls, along with Governor Romney's belief that man-made global warming existed, but the extent that humans were actually contributing was unknown. He repeatedly stated that it wasn't called "America warming" but rather "global warming."

2012 Presidential Campaign

In June of 2011, Governor Romney responded to questions at a town hall and repeated several of his views, including his view that man was contributing to global warming and that the US should not enter into any cap-and-trade schemes unless it applies world-wide.

Governor Romney made energy policy one of the chief components of his 2012 economic plan for the presidency. In that plan, he is critical of the idea that green jobs are created at a pace equivalent to other energy jobs, and harshly critical of the limited production due to moratoriums in ocean drilling. Governor Romney's plan consists of actions to reduce and reform regulation, increase production of energy, and expand research and development. As part of the regulatory reform, Governor Romney proposes streamlining and fast-tracking the permitting process for safe companies and procedures, overhauling outdated legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, and reforming nuclear regulation to make building nuclear power plants feasible. To increase production, Governor Romney would sanction an inventory of energy resources, explore for resources anywhere it can be safely done including ANWR and offshore, extract shale gas, and partner with neighbors. To expand research and development, Governor Romney would focus government funding on research and development of new energy technologies and on initial demonstration projects that establish the feasibility of discoveries, and fund projects through a DARPA model of long-term guaranteed funding.

  • Significant Regulatory Reform
    • Establish fixed timetables for all resource development approvals
    • Create one-stop shop to streamline permitting process for approval of common activities
    • Implement fast-track procedures for companies with established safety records to conduct pre-approved activities in pre-approved areas
    • Ensure that environmental laws properly account for cost in regulatory process
    • Amend Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview
    • Expand NRC capabilities for approval of additional nuclear reactor designs
    • Streamline NRC processes to ensure that licensing decisions for reactors on or adjacent to approved sites, using approved designs, are complete within two years
  • Increasing Production
    • Conduct comprehensive survey of America’s energy reserves
    • Open America’s energy reserves for development
    • Expand opportunities for U.S. resource developers to forge partnerships with neighboring countries
    • Support construction of pipelines to bring Canadian oil to the United States
    • Prevent overregulation of shale gas development and extraction
  • Research and Development
    • Concentrate alternative energy funding on basic research
    • Utilize long-term, apolitical funding mechanisms like ARPA-E for basic research


Des Moines, Iowa Town Hall

In May of 2007, Governor Romney took questions at a Des Moines, Iowa town hall. When asked about carbon caps, Governor Romney does not directly answer the question, but states that he would not support capping US emissions without capping international emissions.


Hopkinton, NH Town Hall

On November 10, 2007 Governor Romney held a town hall in Hopkinton, New Hampshire. He was asked about his views on energy and global warming. He states that global warming is happening and that man may be contributing to it.


Cedar Rapids, Iowa Town Hall

On November 30, 2007 Governor Romney participated in a town hall in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, When asked about carbon capping and a Kyoto type protocol, Governor Romney states that he would not support provisions that were not global.


Manchester, New Hampshire Town Hall

Just after a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire in December of 2007, Governor Romney was asked if he supports cap-and-trade. He states that he would support it on a global system, but not solely for the US.


California Debate

In January of 2008, Governor Romney participated in the California Presidential Debate at the Reagan Library. Governor Romney stated that he opposed caps on emissions without the involvement of the entire world, but that he believed that states such as California possessed the right to make their own laws in this area.


Cavuto Appearance - Drilling

In August of 2008, Governor Romney appeared on Neil Cavuto's show on Fox News. He was asked about President Obama's plans for drilling and statements that he favored expanded drilling. Governor Romney asserts that President Obama is wrong and that more drilling is needed.


Iowa Town Hall

On May 28, 2011 Governor Romney gave a town hall in Iowa. At that town hall, he spoke in negative terms about President Obama's support for cap-and-trade. He stated that it would increase uncertainty, and raise energy costs.


Manchester Town Hall

On June 3, 2011 Governor Romney gave a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire. In that town hall, he was asked about his views on global warming (21 minutes into video). He responded that he did indeed believe in global warming and that he did believe that man was causing it.


Believe in America Act

On September 6, 2011 Governor Romney proposed an economic plan as part of the 2012 presidential campaign. Achieving energy independence was one of the items that Governor Romney pledged.


Reagan Debate

In September of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the Republican debate in the Reagan Library. He expresses support for drilling in numerous areas.


TribLive Op-Ed

On October 19, 2011 Governor Romney wrote an op-ed for concerning energy policy. He states in that op-ed that he supports opening the Marcellus shale deposits.


Western Debate

In October of 2011, Governor Romney participated in the Western Debate in Las Vegas. He was asked about Yucca Mountain and states that he opposes forcing the people of that state to accept nuclear waste from other areas.


Huckabee Forum

In December of 2011, Governor Romney participated in a forum that was moderated by Mike Huckabee. He spoke about the involvement of the federal government in fracking and the declaration of carbon dioxide as a pollutant.


2012 Campaign Website Statements


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