So we’ve learned over the past few days that a trio of Mitt Romney’s chosen advisers helped the Obama administration craft ObamaCare. And on top of that, that Gov. Romney sought the advice of Malthusian green activist John Holdren, when Romney was considering a cap and trade regime for Massachusetts. Holdren hails from the radical side of the green and AGW movement. Today, Ed Morrissey points out that Romney also worked on that same cap and trade idea with Douglas Foy. Another global warming proponent, Foy was a member of Romney’s cabinet, and helped out in crafting a vigorous cap and trade scheme for Massachusetts.
Foy’s name doesn’t get a mention in the 2005 memo that praises Holdren as a partner in the CO2 regulations, although it’s hard to imagine that Foy didn’t take part in the regulatory effort. Foy did produce, along with Romney, the “Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan” of 2004, which proposed a regional cap-and-trade carbon-trading system as well as an interstate “CO2 Registry” partnership that would have pressured businesses to “disclose their greenhouse gas emissions inventories and reduction programs.” Was that voluntary? Well, read this and determine for yourself just how voluntary it sounded:
By recording emissions and reductions in a consistent format, the registry will ensure that Massachusetts’ sources receive all appropriate consideration for verified emissions reductions under any existing or future greenhouse gas regulatory regime[.]
Basically, Foy wanted to tell businesses that by self-reporting immediately ahead of the coming cap-and-trade system, they could establish a more reasonable baseline for reduction targets. A rush to compliance would have given Romney’s team some political cover on the imposition of a cap-and-trade system by saying that the early participation showed that the business sector was on board the plan.
Romney eventually dropped that plan, around the same time he started considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination. Cap and trade itself was so onerous that even the Democrat-controlled Congress refused to pass it, during President Obama’s first year in office.
The good scribes at other conservative publications can continue to tout Romney’s lay leadership in his church to their hearts’ content — though that’s likely to backfire badly if Romney is the nominee — but his leadership in office is what we should be focusing on. And Romney’s stewardship of Massachusetts included empowering some of capitalism’s more insidious green enemies, and crafting the failed state-run health care program that helped usher in ObamaCare.
Though he takes pains to sound conservative now, over and over again, when he had real political power Mitt Romney appointed liberals to positions of influence and authority. Why? And shouldn’t he have to answer for his own record and actions in the only elective office he has ever held?