Friday, May 29, 2009

Global Warming Heating Up In Debate.

Utah's Next Governor Doesn't Buy Human-Caused Global Warming
By Timothy B. Hurst

Just two weeks after President Barack Obama's choice for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, was replaced by new Kansas governor, Mark Parkinson - who quickly ended a nearly two-year standoff by granting an air permit for a new coal-fired power plant in the southwestern part of the state - another one of the President's high-profile political appointees will be replaced as governor by a politician less concerned about the environment.

Now that President Obama has tapped Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, a Republican, as the next U.S. Ambassador to China, attention has turned to his likely replacement, Utah Lieutenant Governor Gary Herbert, and the direction the new governor plans on taking the state. While observers don't expect any sudden policy reversals, Herbert's position on the human-causes of global warming stands in striking opposition to his predecessor's.

The pair, described by some as a political odd-couple, stand strongly opposed on a variety issues across the political landscape. Herbert said in a news conference Monday that he and Huntsman have always agreed on "core issues."

"We understand the importance of clean air and clean water and being good stewards of the Earth," said Herbert, who has said in the past he does not believe in man-made climate change.

While Huntsman had entered Utah into the seven-state Western Climate Initiative in an effort to set the stage for a market-based control on greenhouse gas emissions, Herbert is less concerned with the issue, noting that a carbon cap would raise energy prices and drive jobs overseas.

"I have no plans to pull us out" of the bipartisan cap-and-trade program being developed by Western states, Herbert said, despite calls for such a move by some conservative Republican legislators.

At least he doesn't plan on pulling out right away.

Click here for the remainder of the story.

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