Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Utah's Next Governor Not Making Friends With Views on Climate

With current Utah Governor Jon Huntsman having been nominated to be the Obama Administration's new Ambassador to China, Lieutenant Governor Gary Hebert, who is in line to replace Mr. Huntsman once confirmed, attended this week's meeting of the Western Governors Association.

Among the topics discussed during the second day of the conference was climate change. While administration officials such as Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Council on Environmental Quality head Nancy Sutley spoke of the need for action on global warming, Mr. Hebert, who had sat quietly through the first two days of meetings, challenged the viewpoint that global warming was real. Judging by the response, perhaps he was better off continuing to listen (via the Deseret News):
"I've heard people argue on both sides of the issue, people I have a high regard for," Herbert said. "People say man's impact is minimal, if at all, so it appears to me the science is not necessarily conclusive."

His comments drew a smattering of applause from the audience at the association's three-day meeting, which ends today. The governors, who have backed a resolution urging regional and national efforts to deal with global climate change, did not join in.
Suffice it to say, given Mr. Hebert may be eating lunch alone at the gubernatorial cafeteria for the foreseeable future.

Mr. Hebert's views are particularly unfortunate given his would-be predecessor's views on climate change, which exemplified the notion that Republican leaders in conservative states can indeed be leaders in the fight on climate change.