Conservatives know well that Mitt Romney has so far refused to back away from his contention that anthropogenic global warming is real, and yet the former Massachusetts governor continues to lead the Republican race for the presidential nomination. In seven debates, none of Romney’s competitors have challenged him on this position. This week, however, the blog Moonbattery found a very interesting memo from Romney’s office in 2005 announcing tough new regulations on emissions — and noting a partnership with a familiar conservative bête noire in this administration (via Sundries Shack):
Governor Mitt Romney today announced that Massachusetts will take another major step in meeting its commitment to protecting air quality when strict state limitations on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants take effect on January 1, 2006. …
Massachusetts is the first and only state to set CO2 emissions limits on power plants. The limits, which target the six largest and oldest power plants in the state, are the toughest in the nation…
In addition to reaffirming existing stringent CO2 limits, the draft regulations announced today, which will be filed next week, contain protections against excessive price increases for businesses and consumers. They allow power generation companies to implement CO2 reductions at their own facilities or fund other reduction projects off-site through a greenhouse gas offset and credits program.
In other words, the Romney administration in 2005 essentially did what Barack Obama’s EPA wants to do now. He imposed CO2 emission caps — the “toughest in the nation” — in an effort to curtail traditional energy production. Not only did Romney impose these costly new regulations, he then imposed price caps to keep power companies from passing the cost along to the consumer. As we have seen in RomneyCare, regulation and price controls eventually drive businesses into bankruptcy or relocation.
So what has happened to Massachusetts’ electrical production since signing these regulations into law? According to the EIA, whose latest data is for 2009, it dropped 18% in four years, from over 46 billion megawatt hours to 38 billion. International imports, however, went from 697 million megawatt hours in 2006 to 4.177 billion megawatt hours two years later, and to almost 5 billion megawatt hours in 2009, more than twice the amount imported in any of the previous twenty years.
And who advised Romney on these regulations? Why, none other than Obama’s chief science adviser, John Holdren:
In the development of greenhouse gas policy, Romney Administration officials have elicited input from environmental and economic policy experts. These include John Holden [sic], professor of environmental policy at Harvard University and chair of the National Commission on Energy Policy and Billy Pizer, and economist at Resources for the Future, an environmental policy think-tank based in Washington DC.
“Holden” here is Holdren, who co-chaired the NCEP in 2005. This is the same John Holdren who wrote in favor of coercive government population-control policies in the 1970s, and who in 2007 suggested government-imposed redistribution as a cure for American exceptionalism. The other adviser mentioned in this paragraph comes from a group which has among its top five donors in 2009 a familiar name — the George Kaiser Foundation. Kaiser, one will recall, is a big Obama bundler — and the main investor in an outfit called Solyndra.
If we’re looking for an alternative to the current administration’s partnerships with people like Holdren and Kaiser, shouldn’t we find a nominee that didn’t partner with either on energy policy?
Update: Here’s the memo: