White House contender Huntsman: Listen to climate scientists

This is an issue that ought to be answered by the scientific community; I’m not a meteorologist. All I know is 90 percent of the scientists say climate change is occurring. If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we’d listen to them. I respect science and the professionals behind the science so I tend to think it’s better left to the science community — though we can debate what that means for the energy and transportation sectors.

The consensus view among climate scientists is that Earth is warming and human-generated emissions — from burning coal and oil and other activities — are a major cause.

Huntsman embraced cap-and-trade when he was governor of Utah, signing on in 2007 to a program among Western states and Canadian provinces called the Western Climate Initiative aimed at cutting regional greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020.

The initiative’s policies include a regional cap-and-trade system that is supposed to launch in 2012. But its reach is shrinking.

Arizona has abandoned participation in the cap-and-trade plan, and it’s under fire in other states with GOP governors, including New Mexico, where a business task force created by Gov. Susana Martinez (R) recommended last month that the state also downgrade its role to “observer” status.

Huntsman, for his part, is declaring the program a failure before its formal launch.

“Cap-and-trade ideas aren’t working; it hasn’t worked, and our economy’s in a different place than five years ago. Much of this discussion happened before the bottom fell out of the economy, and until it comes back, this isn’t the moment,” he said, according to Time.

Another GOP White House hopeful — former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty — has reversed his decision to embrace cap-and-trade when he was in office.