Boehner’s Climate Change Rejectionism Positioning to be Palin VP Running Mate?


George Stephanopoulos of ABC’s This Week pushed House Republican Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH-08) who gave an astonishingly rejectionist response on the significance of contemporary climate change trends.
My hunch is that Boehner is positioning himself to be vice presidential running mate material for Sarah Palin in 2012 — as these answers were the sort she’d give.
This Week with George Stephanopoulos
18 April 2009, interview with Rep. John Boehner, House Republican Leader:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask you then about energy. We showed your statement on the president’s decision through the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases. Also, you’ve come out against the president’s proposal to cap-and-trade carbon emissions.
So what is the Republican answer to climate change? Is it a problem? Do you have a plan to address it?
BOEHNER: George, we believe that our — all of the above energy strategy from last year continues to be the right approach on energy. That we ought to make sure that we have new sources of energy, green energy, but we need nuclear energy, we need other types of alternatives, and, yes, we need American-made oil and gas.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But that doesn’t do anything when it comes to emissions, sir.
BOEHNER: When it comes to the issue of climate change, George, it’s pretty clear that if we don’t work with other industrialized nations around the world, what’s going to happen is that we’re going to ship millions of American jobs overseas. We have to deal with this in a responsible way.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So what is the responsible way? That’s my question. What is the Republican plan to deal with carbon emissions, which every major scientific organization has said is contributing to climate change?
BOEHNER: George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide. And so I think it’s clear…
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you don’t believe that greenhouse gases are a problem in creating climate change?
BOEHNER: … we’ve had climate change over the last 100 years — listen, it’s clear we’ve had change in our climate. The question is how much does man have to do with it, and what is the proper way to deal with this? We can’t do it alone as one nation. If we got India, China and other industrialized countries not working with us, all we’re going to do is ship millions of American jobs overseas.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it sounds like from what you’re saying that you don’t believe that Republicans need to come up with a plan to control carbon emissions? You’re suggesting it’s not that big of a problem, even though the scientific consensus is that it has contributed to the climate change.
BOEHNER: I think it is — I think it is an issue. The question is, what is the proper answer and the responsible answer?
STEPHANOPOULOS: And what is the answer? That’s what I’m trying to get at.
BOEHNER: George, I think everyone in America is looking for the proper answer. We don’t want to raise taxes, $1.5 to $2 trillion like the administration is proposing, and we don’t want to ship millions of American jobs overseas. And so we’ve got to find ways to work toward this solution to this problem without risking the future for our kids and grandkids.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you are committed to coming up with a plan?
BOEHNER: I think you’ll see a plan from us. Just like you’ve seen a plan from us on the stimulus bill and a better plan on the budget.

You heard it here first (or at least early). . .Palin-Boehner in 2012.
Obama would have a lot of fun with that pair.
— Steve Clemons


23 comments on “Boehner’s Climate Change Rejectionism Positioning to be Palin VP Running Mate?

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “While Obama is trying to shut down our own nuclear industry here in the U.S.
    You ever been through a 7.0 or larger quake, “section 9”?
    Until you have, don’t feed me this shit about “safe” nuclear power.


  2. Dave Huntsman says:

    silver –
    Two problems with your statements I see are:
    1. increase by one cent Forever? Is that just to show people that
    they do HAVE to switch? Do you believe that somewhere in the
    future, no one will need gasoline?
    Yeah, forever; petroleum truly is an issue. We import most of it
    (that gives a couple of reasons: security, trade imbalance, jobs).
    We know that some of those profits overseas really do go to
    really bad guys who are bent on making our life hell: (that
    portion that really does fund islamic extremism; Hugo Chavez in
    Venezuela; the Iranian mullahs; Vladimir Putin. All supported by
    the high demand for oil).
    And, it pollutes a lot; including adding to global warming. (Even
    plug-in hybrids from a coal-burning grid produces less CO2
    than transporting oil from overseas and burning it hear).
    We really are to the point where “oil addiction = bad on almost
    every level”. And like I pointed out, we can use a gradually
    increasing tax on it bootstrap the cleaner – and, more American
    – options that we need.
    And remember the amounts here: when I was in high school,
    you could get gasoline at 29 cents a gallon. Last year it was
    over $4 (and it will be again). But this gradual tax – the money
    of which stays in our economy, does not get shipped
    overseas – and takes over 8 years to go up a single dollar.
    That’s why it’s psychological effect is so important – and so
    immediate; yet the real amounts end up being much less than
    the gyrations of past years.
    2. Is mass transit a true solution for our country? In the city,
    yes… It should work. But the country? Have you ever lived in the
    First, you may be misunderstanding me: I didn’t say abolish
    cars. The cars we do have must, every year, be increasingly:
    using less petroleum, more natural gas, more electricity, more
    truly renewable biofuels, etc. etc. Brazil proved you can switch
    an entire nation over on fuels over time by mandating the ability
    to use flex fuels, which is not that big a deal. (That’s just one
    Also: even using part of the gradual tax to fund increases in
    transit for lower-income folks does not automatically mean
    ‘trains’ or something. In fact, I can tell you what most of the
    funds there would be used for: natural gas-driven small vans
    and buses. Natural gas is an even more natural fuel for things
    like transit vehicles which have central refuellng stations (which
    is already the case).
    But let’s talk more advanced transit: I’ve lived in high-density
    cities (Tokyo), very low density (Houston) and in between. There
    IS a market for developing automated technology for individual
    car-sized personal transit that takes you from point-to-point,
    rather than over a small number of fixed routes even if there’s
    nobody there to pick up or drop off. The nation that figures out
    the technology for this first, wins, and will be the exporter to the
    rest of the world.


  3. section9 says:

    Yah, I noticed that the Chinese were installing new, non-polluting
    nuclear plants.
    While Obama is trying to shut down our own nuclear industry here
    in the U.S.
    One country plans ahead, one doesn’t. Change you can believe in!


    • Janie Teague-Urbach says:

      China is facing horrible environmental problems, which will now include Nuclear waste disposal and safety. the fact that they don’t really care about the effect on the people does give them an edge…should we follow their example? REALLY?

  4. section9 says:

    Liberals believe many silly things about the Wasilla Warrior, but
    the most foolish thing they believe, apparently, that Palin would
    sink her candidacy by picking a symbol of all that is wrong with
    Washington: John Boehner.
    Please: Obama is doing fine enough as it is in his manful
    attempt to become the Debt Collector for the Chinese People’s
    Republic. Sarah doesn’t need to join in the fun by picking one of
    the guys who helped get us in the mess that we’re in, especially
    now that Obama has sold his soul to international finance capital
    and the Chinese Communists.
    How’s that 20 trillion dollars in new debt working for you Dems?
    Oh, that’s right!!! Gang of Four! Oh, wait, wrong Big Character
    Bush’s Fault!!!


  5. silver slipper says:

    Your right – I do agree with most of what your saying, because your putting solutions to pollution before increase in cost, and you emphasize the gradual…. But is that what our EPA is planning? I think they are planning increase prices sooner rather than later.
    Two problems with your statements I see are:
    1. increase by one cent Forever? Is that just to show people that they do HAVE to switch? Do you believe that somewhere in the future, no one will need gasoline?
    2. Is mass transit a true solution for our country? In the city, yes… It should work. But the country? Have you ever lived in the country? When I grew up, we had to drive 20 mins to a small grocery store, 30-45 mins to shop for clothes, and 30-40 mins one way to go to school. Do you think a mass transit system can help persons who live in such spread out areas? The persons who live in the country also are the poorest. That’s why the electric car so far has such limited possibilities for us as it is now. Because even city life – many people prefer to live in the suburbs, but their work is in town. With traffic jams, it would be quite difficult to manage on an electric car (as they are now).
    But again I agree that there has to be real options for Americans, before their price of energy goes up. And for our energy sources to all be from America – Awesome!


  6. Randy says:

    When politicians, or anybody for that matter, makes such ridiculous
    statements, I really have to question whether they possess any sort
    of critical analysis skills whatsoever. If someone is so close-
    minded and so dense that they think the carbon dioxide issue
    concerns its effects as a carcinogen (??), how in the world can we
    respect their opinions they on any other issues?


  7. Dave Huntsman says:

    silver –
    We may be closer to being in violent agreement than you realize.
    (I also strongly agree with the natural gas in cars part; that is the
    one big missing piece in Obama’s energy policy so far, in spite
    of his Chief of Staff being a known proponent of it).
    I strongly agree that a large jump in gasoline prices overnight,
    like has recently been done for some sin taxes, is the
    wrong thing to do – particularly right now in this
    environment. BUT……
    It is imperative we put a policy in place, right now, that doesn’t
    have that negative shock – but that gets it across, to Americans,
    and to the rest of the world, that we are seriously attacking our
    oil addiction problem (which feeds in to so many of our other
    big problems: trade deficit, national security, global warming,
    etc. etc.). The single best way to do it – in my view – is to
    announce a time in the future when a gradually rising tax on
    gasoline from petroleum (but not from natural gas, or renewable
    biofuels, etc.). SUCH AS; Announce now that the Federal
    gasoline-from-petroleum-only tax would go up by one penny,
    per gallon, on the first of every month; starting on Jan. 1, 2011.
    (or 2013, whatever); that that one penny per month on oil-
    based gasoline would increase FOREVER, no limit; and that the
    proceeds would go into a trust fund to fund alternative energy
    R&D, as well as to fund a nationwide increase for affordable
    mass transit that very-low income people need to get to jobs et
    al without cars.
    The pluses to the above:
    – no massive shock to the entire economy – in ANY year.
    – increases per year are on the order of what many of us can see
    in a single week now.
    – doesn’t even start till later – BUT WOULD START HAVING AN
    IMMEDIATE EFFECT, as the rest of the world, oil futures, – and us
    – would know that we were finally getting serious about the
    damn imported oil. ie, we wouldn’t wait for it to have the needed
    psychological effect.
    – helps the deficit; we end up taxing the bad to pay for the
    good. And as oil consumption here goes down, it’s financial
    effect is mitigated by the fact it is ever increasing – but slowly.
    – assigning half of the income to increasing mass transit for low
    income people nationwide is one way of countering the cost
    ‘trickle down effect’ to those most likely to notice it.
    – applying it to only the petroleum content of auto fuel means
    that there is a direct path away from the increases sure to come:
    by biofuels from sustainable sources (ie mostly American-
    sourced); from natural gas (again, unlike petroleum, mostly
    American-sourced); automatically encourages plug-in electric
    vehicles (using as their sources coal, natural gas, and nuclear –
    again, all American-sourced).
    – and because this extremely gradual tax on something (mainly
    imported) that must go eventually anyway would be replaced by
    stuff mainly American (and more American jobs), I think this
    would get past Congress – IF there was any leadership there, of
    either Party.


  8. silver slipper says:

    No Dave, I’m saying…. Our local governments should make wind power accessible (where it’s feasible), should build more nuclear plants, should increase solar power, more natural gas propelled cars (if they are less polluting), drill locally (to give us a stable source of oil), have more refinery plants (to keep the price of gas stable), and THEN increase the price on energy that is more polluting. I don’t know, but energy is something we all NEED. It’s not like the recent huge increase in the price of cigarettes. Most of us know we should stop smoking, and maybe the increase price will help some decide to quit. Even though I live in a city, I still have to drive pretty far – 15 miles to my kids’ school, 10 miles to my work, 3 miles to buy groceries. And do you know what? It’s important to me that I make it to all of those places, and it takes energy. Maybe that’s something we could learn from China too – if what you said is correct: “much less one still burning tons of coal, and whose old (dirty) coal plants they almost dare not shut down until the cleaner
    replacements are actually on line.”
    Our country was in quiet a bit of stress when gas went up to $4 dollars a gallon. That increase in gas price increased many of our other expenses – like say… anything transported by transfer trailer trucks… which is almost everything! My question is how can the individual American handle the cost of cap and trade at this time of economic “crisis”.


  9. Dave Huntsman says:

    “So why do they have so much smog – so much so that our
    Olympic athletes didn’t even want to go there to compete? If
    their efforts are so effective, there should be less smog
    shouldn’t there?”
    Massive wind and nuclear building, as well as restrictions on new
    cars, hardly clean up the air immediately in any country; much
    less one still burning tons of coal, and whose old (dirty) coal
    plants they almost dare not shut down until the cleaner
    replacements are actually online. The one thing the communist
    party of china fears even more than future climate change, is
    revolution. That’s why a growth rate of ‘only’ 6% – something
    any western country would kill for = is in fact a ‘failure’ in their
    eyes; they need even more to keep themselves in power.
    “..But to go ahead and increase the price on the ONLY sources
    of energy we have available, before giving Americans an
    alternative, is well … strange. Especially when we are in a
    recession – or “crisis” if we want to use our President’s term.”
    One of the reasons for our terrible situation in terms of energy
    choices and environment is the absolute refusal of
    Administration after Administration – Congress after Congress –
    to do anything about it, decade after decade. To put it more
    bluntly: that sort of thinking is the reason we don’t have those
    choices now. You’re essentially arguing that the U.S. continue to
    dig itself into an even deeper hole rather than making any hard
    choices. I disagree.


  10. silver slipper says:

    So why do they have so much smog – so much so that our Olympic athletes didn’t even want to go there to compete? If their efforts are so effective, there should be less smog shouldn’t there?
    I’m open to ALL efforts to take care of our planet. But to go ahead and increase the price on the ONLY sources of energy we have available, before giving Americans an alternative, is well … strange. Especially when we are in a recession – or “crisis” if we want to use our President’s term.


  11. Dave Huntsman says:

    silver slipper, you appear to be not informed on the basic facts;
    “..while China just keeps polluting away…”.
    Hardly; China
    – has a higher fuel efficiency requirement on its new cars than
    we do – even now.
    – China is installing wind power at a faster rate than we are –
    and doing it with Chinese workers, I might add. (70% of Chinese
    wind farm components are made in China). And they are using
    that base to export to the world – what we could, and should,
    have done, if the policies of the last 10 years had been more
    – China is also installing new nuclear plants (ie, non-polluting
    during operation, at least in terms of air and water), than the
    U.S., Japan, and all of Europe – combined.
    I’ll limit it to there for the moment. But your whole contention is
    simply wrong; China, across the board, is taking stronger steps
    than we are on many – most??- of these sorts of things that you
    think would kill us if we did them (as if we on Earth have a
    choice as to whether or not to do some of these things).
    And if they weren’t…..remember that they will pay even harder
    for climate change effects than we will. They are already having
    greater fresh water problems than we are; and much more of
    their population is exposed to rising sea levels than ours. That
    may be one reason – outside of our broken political system –
    that they are, in many ways, more on top of these things than
    the U.S. is.


  12. silver slipper says:

    How can we Americans afford a 20% increase in our energy prices? How can we afford a $4.00/gallon price for gasoline? (I’m using that price, because when it was that high, then Presidential candidate Obama said he was okay with that, just not with how fast the price went up.) It looks like the new cap and trade emissions plan will increase that terrible divide between the rich and poor that many on this website complain about. It will be the poor people who have to start riding the bus, turn the air conditioner off in the summer, and wait as long as possible to turn the heat on in the winter. I’m sure there will be more deaths from heat in the summer. Are we ready for that? – Oh, btw, that will happen to us, while China just keeps polluting away.


  13. Dave Huntsman says:

    Steve, on this one I think you’re missing the forest for the trees.
    Neither Boehner nor Palin could survive the ‘laughing stock test” in
    terms of non-sense answers to policy questions. Neither can even
    intelligently espouse climate denialist propaganda correctly.
    The person running hardest for the Republican nomination in 2012
    is Newt Gingrich. He (arguably) is more intelligent than either of
    those two; is running hard to the right to get the nomination; and
    knows that 2012 is his last opportunity to get the nomination,
    based on how John McCain’s age so obviously became an issue in
    this campaign.
    And if the time approaches and he’s a real candidate, one of his
    possible picks for VP would be JD Watts, formerly R-Oklahoma.


  14. Denny says:

    Here’s my favorite response from John Boehner: “I think you’ll see a plan from us. Just like you’ve seen a plan from us on the stimulus bill and a better plan on the budget.” Does he think we’ve forgotten the fiasco that was the GOP’s alternative budget proposal? It happened only a few weeks ago!
    Political posturing is a plan only politicians benefit from…


  15. Diane says:

    I watched this yesterday, listened to his comments carefully, and
    was shocked (I know, I know, I’m naive) at how inarticulate and
    intellectually challenged he appears to be. He would make a perfect
    running mate for Sarah Palin.


  16. Dan Pangburn says:

    Apparently the spread between the rising CO2 level and the not-rising temperature will need to get even larger to convince Mr. Thorp. It will get larger. Solar activity has not been this low this long since 1913 and the PDO is in its downtrend.


  17. Clay Thorp says:

    Dan Pangburn,
    Just one more anti-progressive attitude toward a global initiative. The CO2 levels aside, the amount of particulate matter, NO2 and other poisonous pollutants that industrialization has pumped into our atmosphere have raised asthma rates in children, cancer in the elderly and other yet undiscovered health problems the world over. Not only is the climatology community on the same page, the medical community is on the same page THE WORLD OVER. Get off your anti-Gore UK bus and join the rest of us in the real world.


  18. Clay Thorp says:

    Boehner…his last name is pronounced BONER. Need I say more?


  19. Hexnut says:

    Cow farts composed of carbon dioxide? That is a new one. Maybe Boehner got that from the same biology teacher that taught him creation science and that the earth was created 5000 years ago and that men walked around with dinosaurs. Is there any wonder that republicans are considered anti-science? Or even just stupid?


  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Obama would have a lot of fun with that pair”
    Yeah, you’re right, the three of them could make a game inventing new lines of horseshit to feed us.
    “New transparency”…utter bullshit. States secrets, anyone?
    How about no prosecutions for ANYONE involved in torture? And now the posturing piece of shit is worrying about the “safety” of the Iranian held American journalist? What right does Obama have to judge another country’s treatment of foreign citizens under detainment?
    Steve, your commnent, that I quote above, implies that Obama is someone commendable, and “above” Palin and this sack of shit Boehner. Truth is, in less than ten months Obama has shown himself to be a liar, to consider himself and his Washington compatriots utterly and totally above the law, and to be as big a warmonger as Bush, perhaps even more so. I warned this blog about the lying posturing prick, and he is proving my predictions solid in far less time than I thought it would take. He’s no better than Bush, and Palin and Boehner are just two more peas in the same pod. Theres not a one of these bastards that won’t look you straight in the eye and lie with impunity. And Obama is no different. In ten months, he has shit all over his Oath of Office.
    I doubt he’ll do much more than posture and bullshit on the environment as well.


  21. Dan Pangburn says:

    Since 2000, atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased 18.4% of the increase from 1800 to 2000. According to the average of the five reporting agencies, the trend of average global temperatures since 1998 shows no increase and since 2002 the trend shows a DECREASE of 0.8 C/century. Many Climate Scientists are completely unaware of some relevant science and understand other relevant science poorly (it’s not in their curriculum). The missing science proves that added atmospheric carbon dioxide has no significant influence on average global temperature. See my posts at for the proof. As the atmospheric carbon dioxide level continues to increase and the average global temperature doesn’t it is becoming more and more apparent that a whole lot of people have been mislead. I wonder how wide the spread will need to get for the Climate Science Community to accept that they have missed something. Any action that is taken to reduce human produced carbon dioxide to reduce global warming is a mistake and puts freedom and prosperity at risk.


  22. CaitlynA says:

    How did the claim of CO2 being a “carcinogen” come into this, and
    why wasn’t Boehner called out on it? Does Boehner think that you
    can just make up things and put them in the mouths of opponents?
    I appreciate that Stephanopoulos was making the effort to force
    Boehner to answer his original question, but letting this slide by
    just adds fuel to the far right chatter.


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