This week in climate change, Gov. Chris Christie maintained his steady beat in New Hampshire, meeting with a group of nearly 200 college students at a pub in Hanover. Christie highlighted New Jersey’s mix of energy sources, which is moving away from fossil fuels. “Fifty-three percent of our electricity is produced by nuclear power… and New Jersey is in the top three solar states, behind California and Arizona.” Christie said each state should adopt a portfolio of energy sources that makes sense for them. “Iowa should emphasize wind turbines,” he cited as an example.
Midweek the fourth Republican debate was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was asked the sole climate change question, whether America can sustain its energy boon and have a meaningful climate change program.
“The first thing I would do as president is repeal the regulations that are hampering our energy that the president has put in place,” Paul responded. “While I do think that man may have a role in the climate, I think nature also has a role.” He mentioned that temperature and CO2 levels have varied historically.
“We need to look before we leap,” Paul said. America “needs a balanced solution…needs someone who understands we need energy of all forms…It would be a mistake to shut down all the coal powered plants [lest we] wake up and our big cities are either very cold or very hot.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush added, U.S. carbon emissions are at the lowest levels since 1995 “not because of Solyndra or the central planners in DC…it’s the explosion in American natural gas.” Bush pointed out “40 percent of all the economic activity in the age of Obama is energy” and suggested, “We got to get to conservation, environment policy that goes beyond just carbon.”
Only eight candidates made the main stage and three of the 15 remaining candidates, including vocal climate free market proponents, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Gov. George Pataki, slipped from eligibility for the pre-debate.
Later in the week, Sen. Paul, speaking to Fox News commentator Gretchen Carlson about unrest on U.S. college campuses, noted “If you challenge climate change, it’s almost like they will put you in prison for challenging a religious dogma.”
“Only certain opinions are acceptable on college campuses,” Paul said. “We need more robust debate.”