Jon Huntsman: Energy Hawk?

Apparently one section of Jon Huntsman’s recently released jobs plan has some of his previous supporters up in arms. I’m not sure exactly who these “supporters” are, since they clearly aren’t found in large numbers among primary voters, but the theory seems to go that he was once considered a green warrior.

WASHINGTON – As recently as June, an environmental website declared former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman the “greenest” of the Republican presidential candidates. But the “jobs plan” Huntsman released Wednesday may put an end to that kind of talk.

Huntsman’s 12-page outline detailing his plan cements the former U.S. ambassador to China as a full-fledged energy-production hawk.

“Energy independence” is the third of four objectives in the plan, behind tax reform and regulatory reform (trade is the fourth), but the plan has the most amount of detail in its energy section. It gets a full three pages, far more than any of the three other subject areas.

If you were ignorant of history and looked at nothing else, you’d probably find a lot to like in Huntsman’s energy proposals. In fact, they could have been lifted nearly word for word from… well.. Hot Air. He speaks of increasing energy imports from Canada instead of the Middle East, building pipelines and aggressively offering a level playing field for all forms of domestic energy to compete in the free market.

That’s something of a u-turn, though. As the article notes, Huntsman was a founding father of cap and trade, building the Western Climate Initiative. He also recently went out of his way to create some space between himself and the rest of the primary field by tweeting his repeated belief in anthropogenic global warming. It’s therefore understandable that the article’s authors might express some confusion over how he now endorses such a pro-American energy policy.

But, in any event, welcome aboard the energy train, Mr. Huntsman. Every voice speaking common sense on this issue is one more in the column of the good guys.