Make no mistake, Paul is not a climate convert. He has questioned the validity of climate science and left plenty of rhetorical room to oppose environmental policy. Paul also has called the pillar of Obama’s second term climate agenda—regulations to rein in carbon emissions from power plants—an “assault to our economy” and vowed to roll back the regulation.

But in recent months, Paul has indicated that human activity is contributing to climate change and suggested support for cutting emissions.
The senator voted “yes” on an amendment last month affirming that climate change is real and human activity contributes to it, while Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz voted “no.”

Paul also sees an upside to environmental regulation in some cases. “I’m not against regulation. I think the environment has been cleaned up dramatically through regulations on emissions as well as clean water over the last forty or fifty years, but I don’t want to shut down all forms of energy such that thousands and thousands of people lose their jobs,” Paul said during a November interview on HBO with Bill Maher.