December 11, 2009

How Rubio Stood Up To Crist On Cap-And-Trade


R. George,

With cap-and-trade in the news this week and President Obama set to travel to Copenhagen for a gathering of nations pushing for a UN-brokered climate change policy, we would like to share some information with you about Marco's record in standing up to similar job-killing policies in Florida.

To sum things up, when Governor Charlie Crist tried to implement a cap-and-trade system via executive order in 2007, Marco was the first Republican leader to stand up and oppose his plans.  As Speaker, Marco then went on to pass unanimously-supported legislation giving the Legislature veto power over Crist's state cap-and-trade plan, while preparing Florida for the negative impact of any eventual federal cap-and-trade system.

As President Obama pursues the same type of job-killing, business-crippling cap-and-trade policies that Charlie Crist tried to impose, Marco offers Floridians reassurance that he's the only candidate in this race with a proven record of standing up to this agenda.

We encourage you to review "The Rubio Record" below on this issue.  And if you believe that we should send Marco to Washington to stand up against the same kind of cap-and-trade policies he fought in Florida, please support Marco with a contribution of $25, $100 or any amount you can give today.

Thanks for your support,
Team Rubio

Charlie Crist Was On The Front Lines Of The Global Warming Crusade.  "With 'STOP GLOBAL WARMING' bracelets dangling from his wrist, Gov. Charlie Crist last week took his seat between the two women who would soon embrace him in a hug before a row of television cameras: rock star and environmental activist Sheryl Crow, and Laurie David, producer of Al Gore's documentary on global warming." (The Lakeland Ledger, 04/27/07)

In 2007, Gov. Crist Signed An Executive Order To Set Up A Cap-And-Trade System In Florida.
"Republican Gov. Charlie Crist acknowledged Wednesday that his global warming initiative puts him at odds with the White House and some of his party's longtime supporters in the utility and construction industries. … The governor intends to sign three executive orders at the end of his summit Friday that will set up a cap-and-trade system for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the state's utilities, rewrite the building code to require more energy-efficient construction and appliances and require utilities to get 20 percent of their power from sources other than fossil fuels. … Crist's proposals drew cheers from Democrats in the state House, who said reducing emissions is a moral obligation, and from several environmental groups." ("Crist Picks Green Over Red: The Governor Is Well Aware His Warming Initiative Is Unpopular With Some In His Party," St. Petersburg Times, 7/12/07)

Crist Himself Has Since Acknowledged Cap-And-Trade Policies Like His Could Be Considered A Tax.
"Q: What about the cap-and-trade legislation that many, such as Republican Senate opponent Marco Rubio, criticize as a hidden tax on energy consumption? Crist: 'Well, it may be. That may be accurate. As with anything, any proposal, you want to try to do it right and not be over oppressive if you will as it relates to how you implement things.'" ("Is Gov. Charlie Crist Cooling On Climate Change?" Miami Herald, 8/6/09)

On The Other Hand, Rubio Spoke Out Against Charlie Crist's Job-Killing Energy Mandates.
  "The potential to integrate greener approaches into the fabric of Florida's economy is unlimited, but we must be willing to embrace the free-market approach - not European-style big government mandates. … Instead of adopting measures that will have little if any impact on our environment and make life in Florida more expensive, we need a strategy that encourages environmental conservation, fuel efficiency and energy diversity, while continuing to stimulate our economy." ("Use Common Sense on Energy Policies," Op-Ed By Marco Rubio, Miami Herald, 7/25/07)

"House Speaker Marco Rubio lashed out at Gov. Charlie Crist's clean energy initiatives this week, calling them expensive 'European-style big government mandates' that could have 'negative consequences' for Florida.'… But while Rubio lauded Crist's 'willingness to spend political capital tackling such an important issue,' he said the approach 'will have little, if any, impact on our environment and make life in Florida more expensive.' Rubio, who was noticeably absent from a climate change summit hosted by the governor in Miami this month, believes that neither Florida nor the nation have the technology needed to achieve Crist's goals in a cost-effective way. 'Floridians are already paying too much in taxes and insurance,' his editorial said. 'The last thing we need is an increase in our utility bills.'" (The Miami Herald, 07/25/07)

"Twice this week, the Miami Republican penned opinion pieces that criticized Crist's positions on gambling and global warming. … Crist has embraced global warming as a concern, signing executive orders limiting greenhouse gas emissions, mandating strict emissions limits for cars sold in Florida and forcing utilities to generate 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources. In his op-ed piece, Rubio commended Crist's focus but said mandates will only lead to higher utility costs. A better way, Rubio said, is to encourage business to invest in new technology that can reduce pollution." (The St. Petersburg Times, 07/27/07)

While Rubio Advocated "Market-Based Solutions," Crist Stood Fast on Big-Government Mandates.
  "[Rubio] said the state should pursue market-based solutions to foster clean energy technology. He wants to make Florida universities the hub of such technology as ethanol development, and supports putting more state money into tax incentives to encourage energy efficiency. Crist, who had not seen the opinion piece, said Tuesday that critics who claim that tougher emissions standards aimed at reducing greenhouse gases will lead to higher energy costs are wrong. 'I think there truly is gold in green and there is entrepreneurial opportunity in doing what's right for Florida, in making sure we have better energy, cleaner energy, and less carbon emissions for our cars,' he said." (The Miami Herald, 07/25/07)

"What Florida can afford to do about global warming - or can't afford not to do - was the subject of dueling legislative meetings in Tallahassee last week. House Speaker Marco Rubio, Crist's opponent on climate change, has argued that Floridians can't afford the governor's green dreams." (The St. Petersburg Times, 11/11/07)

Legislation Passed By The House In 2007 Was Vetoed By Crist Because It "Does Not Go Far Enough" To Combat Climate Change."
  "In a surprise move, Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed an energy bill late Wednesday evening, because he said it didn't advance clean energy policy enough. Crist said the 74-page bill, which the Legislature passed unanimously, added too many bureaucratic layers that would get in the way of curbing greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming. 'While this bill purports to advance these important goals, it unfortunately does not go far enough and, in some instances, takes a step backward,' Crist wrote in his veto letter. 'We can do better. We must do better.' For example, the massive bill set up a number of studies and councils tasked to research energy projects. Crist said he wants to move more aggressively than that. 'I don't want there to be too much bureaucracy for us to get better energy,' Crist said to reporters early Wednesday, suggesting he might veto the bill." (The St. Petersburg Times, 6/21/07)

In 2008, The House Passed Legislation That Blocked Governor Crist From Implementing His Costly Emission Reduction And Cap-and-Trade Plans.
  "The House unanimously approved a massive energy bill Tuesday…But the House was unwilling to go too green. The Department of Environmental Protection would not be able to adopt California's more-stringent motor vehicle emissions standards without legislative approval, under a provision Republicans added to the bill. 'We want to make that decision here in Florida, and without this amendment, what this (bill) actually does is ties us to the whim of California,' said Rep. Ralph Poppell, R-Vero Beach. That amendment could put House members on a collision course with their colleagues in the Senate and Gov. Charlie Crist."  ("Far-Reaching Energy Measure Clears House, But Future Iffy," Palm Beach Post, 4/29/08)

"The legislature punted the rule making to state regulators, and required both measures to come back to the legislature for approval. The bill also included a 'safety valve' to keep carbon from getting too expensive, which arguably weakens the system since the price is meant to be a deterrent to polluting." ("Crist Amped By Energy Bill, But Green Impact Is Faded," St. Petersburg Times, 5/6/08)

The Miami Herald Noted The Disappointment Of The Environmental Lobby.  "Holly Binns, director of Environment Florida, a nonprofit environmental watchdog group, is less encouraged. … 'The thing that worries me the most is that all these initiatives have to get final approval from the Legislature, which is where good legislation often goes to die.'"  ("Crist's Green Plan A Work In Progress," Miami Herald, 6/25/08)

The Bottom Line: Rubio's Efforts Helped Prevent Charlie Crist's Cap-And-Trade Push, With The Miami Herald Saying Crist's Plans "Were Shredded" By The Legislature.
  In 2007, Charlie Crist signed executive orders. Without action from the Legislature, Crist's executive orders would have mandated a California-style cap-and-trade regime in Florida. Rubio and the House advanced legislation that substantially weakened Crist's cap-and-trade scheme while laying the groundwork for Florida to pursue market-based solutions to minimize the adverse impact of any law eventually signed at the federal level. Getting Crist to agree to this compromise was no easy task, since a Crist veto would have meant that Crist's executive orders would have stood as law. In fact, the Miami Herald reported that "Crist's [cap-and-trade energy policy] plans were shredded by the Republican Legislature." (Miami Herald, 8/7/09)

All Told, Rubio's Actions No Doubt Played A Part In Crist Abandoning Cap-and-Trade…At Least For Now.
  "Under mounting criticism from fellow Republicans, Crist looks ready to cancel his climate-change summit and is backing away from advocating a 'cap-and-trade' energy policy. At his well-publicized climate summit last summer, Crist pushed a number of energy plans to encourage renewable energy development and establish a cap-and-trade market that would penalize fossil-fuel use. But Crist's plans were shredded by the Republican Legislature and his cap-and-trade proposal has been bashed as a 'tax' by his Republican U.S. Senate opponent, Marco Rubio, who has been ardently courting the GOP's conservative wing. `Well, it may be [a tax]. That may be accurate,' Crist, who recently signed an anti-tax pledge, said Thursday." (The Miami Herald, 8/7/09)

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when Governor Charlie Crist tried to implement a cap-and-trade system via executive order in 2007, Marco was the first Republican leader to stand up and oppose his plans.  As Speaker, Marco then went on to pass unanimously-supported legislation giving the Legislature veto power over Crist's state cap-and-trade plan,

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