Mike Huckabee on Environment

Former Republican AR Governor; possible draft candidate


Climate change is questionable; address other issues instead

Q: Do you believe climate change is man-made?

HUCKABEE: Whether it's man-made or not, I know that when I was in college I was being taught that if we didn't act very quickly, that we were going to entering a global freezing. Go back and look at the covers of Time and Newsweek from the early '70s. We were told that if we didn't do something by 1980, we'd be popsicles. Now we're told that we're all burning up. Science is not as settled on that as it is on some things. I find it interesting. The Left has completely embraced the Pope's message on climate change.

Q: So what should be done?

HUCKABEE: Climate change is the wrong question. We should instead focus on good, stable energy prices and making America an exporter of energy not just for economic reasons but quite frankly to disrupt the balance of power with Russia, Iran, and the Saudis. This is a game changer. And America needs to be using the resources that it has to empower Americans, help poverty, and also change the global balance.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 21, 2015

Ethanol mandate is a matter of national security

[On the RFS, the Renewable Fuel Standard which requires corn-based ethanol] Mike Huckabee argued that the ethanol mandate was a matter of national security: "America need to do three things to be free: feed itself, fuel itself, fight for itself," the former Arkansas governor said, adding that relying on foreign governments for energy leads to a weakened United States.

Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, hit back at criticism that politicians like him simply support the RFS for political reasons: "The decisions are made not just frankly for what's best for Iowa--that's not the rationale. You can't make a decision and say, 'It's good for Iowa. Gee, they're the caucus state, we better suck up to them.' We better make decisions that are good for every consumer," he said.

Source: CNN coverage by Ashley Killough, of 2015 Iowa Ag Summit , Mar 7, 2015

Hunters are some of our most dedicated environmentalists

[We went pheasant hunting during Iowa caucus season.] Our excursion into the fields showed how at ease I was in that world. Though I'd never hunted pheasants before, I had had hunting experience since I was a child. Those photos made it in the pages of Newsweek and in newspapers literally around the world.

We went hunting again the day after Christmas, when lots of fathers and sons in Iowa hunt together. Once more, network media were on hand to give us outstanding coverage. I reminded the reporters that hunters are some of this country's most active and dedicated conservationists, and that Middle America won't have to clamor for attention in a Huckabee administration. They all nodded. Shuffling around in heavy clothes trying to keep from freezing. After a few minutes I went back out looking for more birds; the reporters went looking for a warm room.

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p. 17 , Nov 18, 2008

2006: Smoke-free workplace across all of Arkansas

Attitudes about smoking have changed dramatically since my childhood, and I for one am thrilled. One of the last legislative bills I signed into law as governor was the Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006. It creates a smoke-free workplace for the entire state (not just restaurants and bars) by prohibiting smoking in a workplace employing 2 or more people. It doesn't restrict people's right to smoke, but it protects the greater rights of workers to have a safe environment since it is now scientifically proven that secondhand smoke is actually more deadly than the smoke inhaled into the lungs of the primary smoker. There is no way an Arkansas governor could have signed a bill like that even 3 years earlier, but the culture had changed, and once people's preferences and practices changed, so did the law. In that order. Signing that bill was one of my prouder moments, knowing how smoking had robbed my parents of their health and the opportunity to live long enough to see their son run for president.
Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p.180-181 , Nov 18, 2008

Stewardship of the air and land and soil is very important

I have always been a conservationist. Stewardship of the air and land and soil is very important to me. I will follow the principle I learned from the Boy Scouts: Always leave the land better than when you found it. I am proud of my record in Arkansas, building constructive consensus on key issues. I look forward to bringing the same leadership to America.
Source: 2008 Presidential campaign website mikehuckabee.com “Issues” , Feb 3, 2008

Follow Boy Scout rule: leave earth better than we found it

Q: Thousands of reputable scientists have concluded with almost certainly that human activity is responsible for the warming of the Earth. Do you believe global warming exists?

A: The most important thing about global warming is this. Whether humans are responsible for the bulk of climate change is going to be left to the scientists, but it’s all of our responsibility to leave this planet in better shape for the future generations than we found it. It’s the old Boy Scout rule of the campsite: You leave the campsite in better shape than you found it. I believe that even our responsibility to God means that we have to be good stewards of this Earth, be good caretakers of the natural resources that don’t belong to us, we just get to use them. We have no right to abuse them.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC , May 3, 2007

Supported conserving Buffalo River in north AR against dams

While I understand that building dams on streams can sometimes be useful in flood control, the creation of water reservoirs necessary for sustaining life, or for the production of electricity, we must be careful to balance our use of those resources to ensure that we do not lose all our natural treasures by altering them.

In the 1960s and early 1970s conservationists in Arkansas successfully fought back attempts to build a dam on the Buffalo River in North Arkansas, the phenomenal stream that became America’s first National River. To this day it is one of the most magnificently beautiful and vibrant natural streams on the continent. Every time I experience a canoe float down the Buffalo I realize I owe an extraordinary amount of gratitude to some stubborn conservationist from a previous generation who kept the Buffalo River from becoming little more than a memory for old-timers to talk about.

Source: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, p. 76 , Jan 4, 2007

Conservatives believe in conservation

My position as a conservative Republican with a disdain for excessive taxation is well earned. My hosts were apprehensive about discussing the ballot initiative, which would have dedicated tax monies to conservation.

I said, “Gentlemen, I can assure you that I will not campaign against the proposal, and in fact, I am strongly in favor of it.”

There has been a perception that conservative Republicans do not care much for the environment or the protection and preservation of natural resources. I remind people that the very word “conservative” means that we are all about conserving things that are valuable and dear. Few things are more valuable to us than the natural resources that God created and gave to us to carefully manage.

One of the proudest moments I have had as a governor is the passage of what became Amendment 75 to the Arkansas Constitution. It forever dedicates a small but vital revenue stream to the conservation of our state’s valuable and irreplaceable resources.

Source: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, p. 71-72 , Jan 4, 2007

The earth is the Lord’s; we are merely its caretakers

My own personal faith reminds me that “the earth is the Lord’s” and that we are not its owners; merely its caretakers. From the very first pages of Genesis in the Old Testament we are reminded that God is the Creator and we are responsible for tending to that which he created; to preserve it and to protect it. We are indeed given the liberty and in fact the admonition to enjoy and utilize the resources, but use is not abuse and we have no right to pillage the planet unmercifully. We should see to it that our care for the environment enhances not only its aesthetic value but preserves the resources themselves for future generations.
Source: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, p. 73 , Jan 4, 2007

More state autonomy on brownfields & Superfund cleanups.

Huckabee adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), otherwise known as Superfund, was created to clean up the worst hazardous waste sites across the country and to recoup expenses from responsible parties. Since the law was enacted in 1980, the Superfund program has caused significant amounts of litigation, while cleanup of hazardous waste sites has not been as fast or effective as the statute envisioned. In addition, states have not had the necessary tools or funding from the federal government to adequately clean up state sites. “Brownfields” sites—abandoned or undeveloped non-Superfund industrial or commercial sites under state jurisdiction—have gained increasing attention from Congress in recent years as passage of a comprehensive Superfund package has become increasingly unlikely.

NGA’s Position

NGA supports the reauthorization of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980. NGA policy calls for more opportunities for states to take authority for cleanup of National Priorities List (NPL) sites, increased autonomy and funding over brownfield sites, and the concurrence of a Governor before a site can be listed on the NPL.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA15 on Aug 1, 2001

Support State Revolving Loan Fund for flexible Clean Water.

Huckabee adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

The Clean Water Act (CWA) has not been reauthorized since 1987. At that time, provisions were added to address nonpoint source pollution, pollution from diffuse sources such as runoff of fertilizers and pesticides, stormwater runoff, and sediment. Governors and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disagree on the best approach to addressing the problem of nonpoint source pollution.

NGA’s Position

NGA supports the reauthorization of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (the Clean Water Act). The Governors support an increased focus on watershed management planning, including funding for the State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) and nonpoint source pollution programs. States should have the flexibility to develop plans for attaining federally approved water quality standards in impaired waters - in consultation with local government officials and stakeholders - and to allocate responsibility for cleanup among contributors. The TMDL regulations should be revised, by legislation if necessary, to give states adequate flexibility, funding, and time to address impaired waters.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA9 on Aug 1, 2001

Supports national drought policy, focusing on readiness.

Huckabee signed the Southern Governors' Association resolution:

Source: Resolution of Southern Governor's Assn. on NDPC 01-SGA10 on Sep 9, 2001

Maintain water flow in Mississippi & Missouri Rivers.

Huckabee signed the Southern Governors' Association resolution:

Source: Resolution of Southern Governor's Assn. on Mississippi River 01-SGA14 on Feb 27, 2001

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Page last updated: Jun 15, 2016