Jeb Bush Is All Over The Place On Climate Change

Jeb Bush is hard to pin down on climate change.

The former Florida governor, who has taken more moderate stances on controversial issues such as immigration and education than many of his Republican White House rivals, is attempting to thread the needle on climate change, energy and the environment.

In recent months, Bush has suggested that the U.S. should adapt to climate change and work with other countries to cut carbon dioxide emissions while also outlining a moral case for protecting the planet. The green group funded by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer even applauded Bush for saying he was "concerned" about the changing climate.

That set Bush apart from Republican presidential contenders such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz who questions whether global temperatures are rising and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who has thrown cold water on the idea that the U.S. can convince countries like China and India to rein in emissions.

But Bush is a far cry from being climate champion. He has does not acknowledge the scientific consensus that human activity drives climate change and attacks the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency enforcing President Obama's ambitious effort to tackle global warming.

And apart from suggesting that increased reliance on natural gas would lower American emissions, Bush has given little indication that he would put forward any overarching plan of his own to confront climate change.

Bush's record so far is evidence of an attempt to walk a fine line, strategists say.

"He's leaving some wiggle room," said Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist and former campaign advisor to John McCain. "I don't think Jeb Bush will stick his neck out too far heading into the primary. But he also won't want to have his hands tied one way or the other on climate change if he reaches the general."

Read more from Clare Foran at NationalJournal

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