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Romney Changes Tune On Climate As Perry Opens Up Lead In Polls

Hours after being called “mushy on environmental issues” by a Republican senator, Mitt Romney has tweaked his position on global warming. Asked Wednesday at a Lebanon, N.H., town hall meeting whether he believed in global warming and if humans contribute to rising temperatures, Romney said he doesn’t know.

“Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is,” Romney said, as reported by Reuters. “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans.”

“What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to,” he added.

Just two and a half months ago in New Hampshire, Romney expressed concern about climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

“I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and global warming that you’re seeing,” Romney said on June 3 in Manchester.

The comments left the former Massachusetts governor in danger of being outflanked on the right when it comes to the question of climate change — which the vast majority of climate scientists insist is real and caused by man-made carbon dioxide emissions.

Last month, Romney campaign officials said that it was important to distinguish between “greenhouse gases” and “pollutants” in his views on climate change and potential Environmental Protection Agency regulation.

“Gov. Romney does not think greenhouse gases are pollutants within the meaning of the Clean Air Act, and he does not believe that the EPA should be regulating them,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “CO2 is a naturally occurring gas. Humans emit it every time they exhale.”

On Wednesday, Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, a leading climate skeptic, said he plans to formally endorse Texas Gov. Rick Perry — in part because of Perry’s environmental record.

Perry has helped lead the charge against the Obama administration’s climate change policies and has been a vocal critic of EPA regulations. And he recently accused climate scientists of cooking the books in order to win grants.

Inhofe said that he likes Romney but that he’s “a little mushy on environmental issues,” the Tulsa World reported.

Politico, 24 August 2011