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TIPSHEET: Christie Bows Out Then Endorses Fellow Climate Flip-Flopper Romney for President

Contact: Kate Geller, (202) 785-8683 or

October 11, 2011  

Shortly after ending speculations about a potential presidential run, Governor Christie today announced his endorsement and approval of a fellow flip-flopping governor on climate science, Mitt Romney.

A tale of two flip-flopping governors:

Both Romney and Christie backed out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a partnership of northeastern U.S. states and Canadian provinces to reduce carbon emissions, to pander to national conservatives.  [Star-Ledger, 5/26/11; Politico, 6/9/11]

Governor Romney put limits on harmful carbon pollution, while presidential candidate Romney doesn’t think carbon pollution endangers public health.

2006: As part of Governor Romney’s Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan, the state set stricter limits on carbon emissions from power plants.  Romney said “These carbon emission limits will provide real and immediate progress in the battle to improve our environment…They help us accomplish our environmental goals while protecting jobs and the economy.”  [Massachusetts Office of the Governor, 12/7/05]

July 2011: Romney said "We have made a mistake is what I believe, in saying that the EPA should regulate carbon emissions. I don’t think that was the intent of the original legislation, and I don’t think carbon is a pollutant in the sense of harming our bodies.’” [Politico, 7/18/11]

In 2010, Christie was “skeptical” about whether climate change was manmade. A year later he agreed that humans contribute and that we have an “obligation” to reduce global warming pollution.

2010: Christie said “Mankind, is it responsible for global warming? Well I'll tell you something. I have seen evidence on both sides of it. I'm skeptical…” [Huffington Post, 11/10/10]

2011: “When you have over 90 percent of the world's scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it's time to defer to the experts.”  Christie added: “We have an obligation to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions." [Politico, 5/26/11]

While running for governor, Christie made clean energy part of his campaign platform.  As governor, Christie slashed renewable energy goals and used the state’s $65 million global warming fund to close budget holes.

2009: While running for governor, Christie endorsed President Obama’s energy plan and even put his support in a television ad.  In the ad, Christie said: “There is no doubt that renewable energy is the future here in New Jersey and there is really no better time for us to begin the discussion about how it will not only lead us to energy independence, but also how it will help create more good paying, middle class jobs in New Jersey.” [ThinkProgress, 5/26/11]

2010: Christie used the entire $65 million allocated to combat global warming to balance New Jersey’s budget.  [New Jersey Newsroom, 4/12/10]

2011: “Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday that he planned to scale back New Jersey’s goals for renewable energy as he looked for an ‘achievable’ approach to generating electricity in the state.”  [New York Times, 6/7/11] 

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