Newt Gingrich on Energy and the Environment

Last Updated : Jan 31, 2012


Prior to 2008, Congressman Gingrich believed in man made global warming and supported a cap-and-trade program. In a February 2007 PBS interview, Congressman Gingrich stated that he agreed that there was evidence of man made global warming and that he believed that a cap-and-trade system would benefit the economy. He noted that people react positively to incentives and negatively to punishments. He proposed incentives programs to promote lower carbon emissions along with the carbon trading system.

In a 2007 debate with Senator Kerry, Congressman Gingrich stated that the evidence was sufficient that global warming existed and that action needed to be taken immediately. The obvious implication being that if action can address the issue, then it was man made. That same year, he introduced a "Contract with the Earth" and spoke about the concept of "Green Conservatism" as a method of winning the environmental debate against the left.

In 2008, Congressman Gingrich made a public service announcement with House Speaker Pelosi noting the dangers of global warming, and the need to take action to solve the problem. The commercial asked viewers to go to That site name points to the Climate Reality Project at That site promotes the view that climate change is real, that it must be enacted upon with legislation such as cap-and-trade, and that the Earth is in danger without that action. It was founded and chaired by Al Gore, and presents no "conservative" or private market solutions to global warming.

In 2008, Speaker Gingrich shifted his view to be in complete opposition to cap-and-trade and to be skeptical of globla warming claims. Congressmen Gingrich has maintained on his "Answering the Attacks" website that he does not believe that there is a scientific concensus that global warming is real and man made. He also states that he made the commercial with Speaker Pelosi because he wanted to promote conservative and free market approaches to solving the problem. At a conference that same year, he stated that as a historian, it was impossible to known the extent of global warming and how much humans were contributing.

Congressman Gingrich also testified in hearings (not as a Congressman, but as an advisor) against the Waxman-Markley cap-and-trade program. He has asserted his strong opposition to the program numerous times.

Congressman Gingrich's strongly supports expanded drilling both onshore and offshore. In 2008, he started a movement for drilling in the US and wrote a book titled "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less." To aid in energy efficiency, Congressman Gingrich has proposed a series of prizes to be awarded to individuals or companies that develop new energy efficient automobiles and other items. He supports the removal of bureaucratic and legal obstacles to responsible oil and natural gas development in the United States, offshore and on land. He also supports ending the ban on oil shale development in the American West. He has stated that to incentivize safe oil production, the federal government should create a federal royalty revenue sharing to give coastal states an incentive to allow offshore development.

In addition to immediate drilling, Congressman Gingrich supports a rapid expansion of nuclear energy, hydrogen energy, wind, and solar energy. He also supports tax incentives to retrofit coal energy facilities for new carbon sequestering technologies. He has stated that he supports the goal of obtaining 25% of US energy from renewable sources by 2025. 

Congressman Gingrich has opposed EPA regulation of carbon emissions and has called for the EPA to be abolished. His 2012 energy plan consists of the following 6 points:

  • Remove bureaucratic and legal obstacles to responsible oil and natural gas development in the United States, offshore and on land.
  • End the ban on oil shale development in the American West, where we have three times the amount of oil as Saudi Arabia.
  • Give coastal states federal royalty revenue sharing to give them an incentive to allow offshore development.
  • Reduce frivolous lawsuits that hold up energy production by enacting loser pays laws to force the losers in an environmental lawsuit to pay all legal costs for the other side.
  • Finance cleaner energy research and projects with new oil and gas royalties.
  • Replace the Environmental Protection Agency, which has become a job-killing regulatory engine of higher energy prices, with an Environmental Solutions Agency that would use incentives and work cooperatively with local government and industry to achieve better environmental outcomes while considering the impact of federal environmental policies on job creation and the cost of energy.


The American Eleven

In September of 2006, Congressman Gingrich released an article through the Human Events website noting eleven items he believed should be pursued. One of those items was energy independence. He notes his support for nuclear energy, hydrogen energy, clean coal, and biodiesel. He also notes a plan to split oil revenue with the states for offshore drilling. 


Bold Solutions

In January of 2007, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for the Human Events Website noting bold solutions that he was proposing on numerous subjects. One of these subjects was National Security and the Environment. Congressman Gingrich proposes a series of prizes for energy projects, including a vehicle that gets more than 500 gallons per mile.


PBS Interview

On February 15, 2007, Congressman Gingrich was interviewed by PBS and discussed the subject of energy and global warming at length. In that interview, Congressman Gingrinch expressed his support for a cap-and-trade system, and stated that global warming was a real and pressing problem. He asserts that the US economy would be better off today if a program of capping carbon emissions and trading them was put into place in 2000, when George W Bush took office.


Support for 25 by 25

On February 20, 2007 Congressman Gingrich spoke at a group called 25 by 25. He speaks about the security aspect of the US needing to supply it's own energy. He notes the national security importance of getting 25% of our power from renewable energy by 2025.


Debate with Senator Kerry

On April 10, 2007 Congressman Gingrich debated Senator John Kerry concerning global warming and environmental laws. In that debate, Congressman Gingrich stated that urgent action was needed on climate change.


Green Conservatism

In April of 2007 Congressman Gingrich released an article on the Human Events website declaring the principles of green conservatism. He again supports the idea of prizes for energy projects. He also proposes the idea of tax credits for policies and practices that reduce carbon emissions and for those who reduce their "carbon loading."

In August of 2007 Congressman Gingrich spoke about supporting nuclear power and how much carbon emmission would be lowered had the US followed the same nuclear development as France.


Contract with the Earth

In October of 2007, Congressman Gingrich outlined a plan for a Contract with the Earth. In a Human Events article, he discusses his plans for addressing the environment, and states that liberals do not have a monopoly on being good stewards of the environment.


National Constitution Center Debate

On March 20, 2008 Speaker Gingrich participated in a debate in Philadelphia with the National Constitution Center. In that debate, he discusses his views on whether or not global warming is man-made. He states that it is difficult to know if global warming is man made.


We Can Solve It

In an April 2008 commercial for, Congressman Gingrich appears with Speaker Pelosi and states that climate change is an issue that needs to be urgently addressed. That website - is a pointer to the Climate Reality Project at That entity was started by Al Gore and he still chairs it. It promotes the viewpoitn that global warming is real, that it is man made, and that steps such as cap-and-trade are necessary to stop it. 

Congressman Gingrich's 2012 campaign website runs a page called "Answering the Attacks." On that page, Congressman Gingrich states that the advertisement that he made with Speaker Pelosi was a mistake and that he does not believe that there is settled scientific evidence of global warming. He states that he made the advertisement in an effort to promote conservative solutions. Looking up the information on shows that it was registered by Climate Reality since 2007. This means that the site advertised promoted no "conservative" or private market approaches to climate change.


Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less

In May of 2008, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events discussing the merits of drilling in the US. He backed up this article with a video. He called the push to increase petroleum production "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less." Congressman Gingrich also wrote a book entitled "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less."


Rebranding the GOP

In May of 2008, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events. In that article, he listed 9 things that could be done to rebrand the GOP. Three of those were related to energy.


Support for Nuclear Energy

In May of 2008, Congressman Gingrich wrote an article for Human Events in which he described his support for nuclear energy and listed 10 items that the US should pursue related to energy.


3 Things on Oil Prices

In June of 2008 Congressman Gingrich spoke on energy for American Solutions. He stated that there were 3 things that could be done to lessen oil prices. These items were:

  • open the strategic oil reserve
  • increase oil exploration
  • maximize the development of alternative fuel



News Week Interview

In October of 2008, Congressman Gingrich was interviewed by Newsweek on energy policy. They discuss wind power, green jobs, and the cost of gasoline.


Waxman-Markey Testimony

On April 27, 2009 Speaker Gingrich spoke in testimony on the proposed cap-and-trade legislation known as Waxman-Markey. He asserts his opposition to the bill.


Reagan Debate

In September of 2011, Congressman Gingrich participated in the Republican Primary debate at the Reagan Library. He spoke about the need to open up Alaska to development.


Western Debate

In October of 2011, Congressman Gingrich participated in the Western Debate on CNN. He was asked about the latino vote and states that he believes that latinos want the same things as other races - to have a good education and a good job.


CNN National Security Debate

Congressman Gingrich participated in the national security debate on CNN on November 22, 2011. When asked about energy and states that if the US was serious, it would open enough sources in the US to drop the cost of oil overnight.


Huckabee Forum

In December of 2011, Congressman Gingrich participated in a forum that was moderated by Mike Huckabee. He speaks about his commercial with Speaker Pelosi and his support for an environmental solutions office.


2012 Presidential Campaign Website Statements



Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

This representative has not been identified as sponsoring or cosponsoring significant legislation related to this title.


[1] Website: Article: Gingrich and Kerry face off on climate, except they donít really face off all that much Author: KATE SHEPPARD Accessed on: 05/12/2011

[2] Website: The New American Article: Newt's Contract with the Earth: Pseudo-Science, Big Government Author: DANIEL SAYANI Accessed on: 05/18/2011

[3] Website: PBS Article: Interview - Newt Gingrich - February 15, 2007 Author: NA Accessed on: 01/31/2012

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