Rubio was asked to explain at the GOP debate why he held very different views on climate change when he was a Florida state senator. In 2007, he embraced the policy of cap-and-trade as both inevitable and an economic opportunity for Florida.
But that’s bad politics for a Republican candidate today, so he answered the debate with an alternative history. “I have never supported cap-and-trade and I don’t believe it’s a good idea now,” he said Thursday night.
The curious part of his answer, though, was his pledge against a policy many states are now embracing. “When I am president of the United States of America, there will never be any cap-and-trade in the United States.”
So much for states’ rights! Nine eastern states, California, and Washington state have all devised or begun implementing cap-and-trade systems to cut their carbon footprint. And because of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan regulating carbon pollution from the power sector, red states may soon join them. Twenty states are “pushing for a system where power generators could purchase carbon allowances or credits across state borders as a way to meet EPA’s goals,” E&E News explains. “States like Arizona, North Carolina and North Dakota—whose governors are staunch opponents of the Clean Power Plan” where top officials see carbon trading as an attractive option if the EPA’s rule prevails.
That sounds a bit like what Rubio once argued.