Pope Francis weighing in on climate change in his latest encyclical is having an effect on the race for the GOP nomination, and candidate Jeb Bush, the Huffington Post is reporting today. Jeb Bush appears now to believe in human-caused climate change, and is embracing a reduction in carbon emissions.
Bush was approached at the Road to Majority conference hosted by a reporter from the Undercurrent YouTube channel, who asked him what he planned to do about climate change. Jeb Bush answered, “Continue to embrace the reduction of carbon emissions that have taken place.”
Bush spoke about the issue in New Hampshire, New Republic reported recently, stating he had come close to “acknowledging climate change.”
“The climate is changing, and I’m concerned about that,” Bush said, “We need to restore our competitive posture, which I think our energy revolution will allow us to do, and then simultaneously […] be cognizant of the fact that we have this climate change issue and we need to work with the rest of the world to negotiate a way to reduce carbon emissions.”
NextGen Climate, the climate change advocacy group created by billionaire Tom Steyer, has praised Jeb Bush’s stance on climate change and carbon emissions, Reuters reports. The group stated Bush stands out from the other GOP candidates in his stated views on climate change.
“In the coming weeks, we urge Jeb Bush to outline his specific plan to reduce carbon emissions,” NextGen Climate said in a statement.
Steyer also criticized Bush for his past support of developing the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that is opposed by NextGen Climate. Reuters reports also that Bush has made comments in the past questioning whether climate change is caused by human activity.
Many of Bush’s comments on issues related to climate change and carbon emissions seem to be either contradictory or evolving as some would say. Like many politicians, Bush is perceived by some to be cautiously taking what appears to be the most politically viable positions on the issue in order to get elected president.
Jeb Bush, who has taken what some call “liberal” positions on Common Core education reform and comprehensive immigration reform, and who now embraces reducing carbon emissions to address climate change, has come under question by political pundit Nate Silver on whether he might too liberal to be the GOP nominee for president.
Bush might be seeking a more moderate image, perhaps to become more electable in the general election possibly against Hillary Clinton, but he has to get enough voters from Republicans and independents, including conservative voters, to win the Republican nomination and make it to the general election. The more that conservatives, who vote the most heavily in GOP primaries, perceive Bush to be moving to the left, the more of a challenge he faces in winning the GOP nomination.
[Photo of Jeb Bush by Justin Sullivan for Getty Images.]