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Huckabee Flip-Flops on Cap-and-Trade

Huckabee Flip-Flops on Cap-and-Trade

By Erin McPike - December 15, 2010

In a blog post on his Web site on Wednesday afternoon, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee responded to a story on RealClearPolitics that pointed out that in 2007, he supported a mandatory cap on greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, and in 2009 changed that position to say he opposed such a cap.

"If companies chose to participate voluntarily as part of their corporate policy, then fine," Huckabee wrote on Wednesday. "But I was clear that we could not force U.S. businesses to do what their Chinese counterparts refused to - and doing so would have been a serious job killer.

"I understand this issue well, and I realize the potential damage that would occur if it passes because I was the chair of the 37 state-member Oil and Gas Compact Commission for 2 years," he added. Huckabee concluded, "This kind of mandatory energy policy would have a horrible impact on this nation's job market. I never did support and never would support it - period."

But Huckabee did indeed support that policy in 2007, when he was running for president.

He appeared in Manchester, N.H., in mid-October and spoke at the Clean Air-Cool Planet conference, where he backed mandatory cap-and-trade.

"I also support cap and trade of carbon emissions," he said at the time. "And I was disappointed that the Senate rejected a carbon counting system to measure the sources of emissions, because that would have been the first and the most important step toward implementing true cap and trade."

Two years later on Oct. 21, 2009, Huckabee flipped his position.

He wrote on his blog, "I understand that the point of cap and trade is to force Americans to use less energy. The wrong way to do that is to mandate a reduction by companies. The effect on the American economy will be catastrophic."

He went on, "I would be supportive of a voluntary cap and trade that would give businesses an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to good stewardship of the environment, but this proposal punishes American businesses but does nothing to actually reduce pollution and only increases Chinese manufacturing."

A spokeswoman for Huckabee said that the former governor is traveling and unavailable for comment at the moment.

Erin McPike is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at emcpike@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPike.

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