HUCKABEE AND ENERGY.

With all the talk about the Huck in the past few days, here's another thing worth noting: he also supports some relatively progressive climate and energy policies. Well, at least compared to his opponents. Last week, he came out in support of a cap-and-trade system.

"It goes to the moral issue,'' Huckabee said, in a press conference in New Hampshire. "We have a responsibility to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, to conserve energy, to find alternative forms of energy that are renewable and sustainable and environmentally friendly."

He joins John McCain as the only Republican candidates to support cap-and-trade, and to actively discuss policy that would address the issue.

Huckabee was also the only GOP candidate to mention getting America off oil at the Values Voter Summit over the weekend, though of course it in the "energy independence" frame. He's promised to achieve energy independence by the end of his second term should he be elected (and reelected), and supports expanding use of nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel, and biomass. Also, he's voiced support for raising CAFE standards and a renewable portfolio standard.

Sure, he evades the subject of whether or not human activity is causing climate change, and his concern about the planet is steeped in "caring for God's creation" rhetoric rather than acknowledging the very real consequences of climate change. But hey, he's engaging in the policy debate at least, whereas the others (outside of McCain) aren't. More on Huckabee's climate and energy stances here and here.

--Kate Sheppard

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