In the early stages of the race for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012, eight names are mentioned most frequently: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour, Bobby Jindal and Dick Cheney.
Of these eight early contenders, five outright deny or question climate science, while the remaining three are opposed to all meaningful action.
In a March 2001 memo to Vice President Dick Cheney (PDF, page 17), then energy industry lobbyist Haley Barbour urged the Bush administration not to let environmental initiatives trump sound energy policy. Specifically, he wrote:
A moment of truth is arriving in the form of a decision whether this Administration’s policy will be to regulate and/or tax CO2 as a pollutant. The question is whether environmental policy still prevails over energy policy with Bush-Cheney, as it did with Clinton-Gore. Demurring on the issue of whether the CO2 idea is eco-extremism, we must ask, do environmental initiatives, which would greatly exacerbate the energy problems, trump good energy policy, which the country has lacked for eight years?Most Americans thought Bush-Cheney would mean more energy and more affordable energy.