Mitt Romney: Clean Air Act Not Meant For Regulating Carbon Pollution


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Another day, another news story from the campaign trail as Republican candidates continue to run away from taking responsibility for the US's carbon problem. The latest to do so is Mitt Romney, who made news earlier this year by saying that the world is getting warmer and "that humans contribute to that." Now Romney appears to be hedging, telling an audience today in New Hampshire that the Clean Air Act should not be used to deal with carbon emissions. Said Romney, via Politico Think Progress:

"I think we may have made a mistake...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."

Romney's "mistake" comment references the Supreme Court decision that the EPA can use the Clean Air Act to deal with carbon emissions. The EPA, which is in the midst of creating new rules for coal fired power plants, is using its legal authority to deal with pollutants that affect public health and the climate.

Romney also said:

"My view is that the EPA in getting into carbon and regulating carbon has gone beyond the original intent of that legislation, and I would not take it there...But I do believe in making sure that we reduce the pollutants that harm our health."

Mercury from coal plants have been linked to developmental defects in 300,000 infants born at risk because of their mother's exposure to toxic mercury pollution. It's estimated that 24,000 people die every year in the US from emissions from coal plants. So maybe Romney wants to regulate them after all?

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