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Romney Panders to Big Oil and Detroit in Attack on McCain

Contact: David Sandretti, (202) 785-8683 or January 15, 2008  

Washington, DC - After being beaten soundly in Iowa and New Hampshire by candidates who support action on global warming, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney launched a brazen attack on Arizona Senator John McCain to pander to the auto industry and big oil on the eve of the Michigan primary.  His apocalyptic attack of economic doom is a far cry from Romney's previous pronouncements and policies regarding the need to address global warming and improved air quality - positions he has abandoned over the course of this campaign.
The desperate attacks on reasonable responses to the threat of global warming appear to be a last ditch effort to save his failing campaign and appeal to a portion of the electorate who have been economically vulnerable for many years.  He made no such attacks on McCain during the Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire primary. 
But this is not the first time that Governor Romney appears to have customized his views on global warming and clean energy issues to better suit his next election.  
Romney on Auto Emissions Standards and Fuel Economy... Then and Now: As a candidate for president, Romney has not articulated a position on auto emissions standards or fuel economy. But a story in today's Boston Globe entitled, "Romney singing new tune, sweeter to Detroit's ears" it notes that as governor, "Romney imposed tough emissions standards in December 2005 that added Massachusetts to a growing list of states seeking to force the auto industry to produce cleaner-burning cars - which automakers considered a back-door attempt to raise fuel standards. Under the rules, cars sold in the state after 2015 must emit 30 percent less carbon dioxide, 20 percent fewer toxic pollutants, and as much as 20 percent fewer smog-causing pollutants than under federal standards."

Romney on RGGI: With New York Governor George Pataki, Romney was the leading voice in support of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cooperative effort by Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In May of 2004, Romney said, "...we are going to save the commonwealth a lot of money. We are going to help stimulate key industries and we are going to improve our environment. That's a no-brainer from my standpoint.'' -regarding his proposed Climate Protection Plan." (Worcester Telegram & Gazette, May 7, 2004)
Romney later reneged on his support for this initiative.  The Governor reversed his position from support of RGGI on the same day he announced he would not run again for governor of Massachusetts.
Rather than pander to those  polluting interests still clinging to the dirty energy past, we need to move forward and embrace the clean energy future.  This will not only end our dependency on an oil industry which has wrung record profits from the pockets of American consumers, it will also create millions of jobs,  improve air quality and reduce health care costs. 


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