Jim Rubens, running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, has embraced what he calls "free-market" energy solutions. That must have been a shock to his buddies at the far-left Union of Concerned Scientists, where he spent years advocating government action to increase energy prices in the name of curtailing global warming.
"I believe the best energy policy is to end government energy market interventions which have slowed clean energy technology innovation," Rubens said in a recent press release.
"I oppose cap and trade because of its ineffectiveness and excessive complexity and government intervention," he said. Yet back when he was not running in a Republican primary for U.S. Senate, Rubens advocated strong government intervention in and regulation of energy markets.
On June 23, 2006, he testified before legislators that New Hampshire should adopt its own renewable portfolio standard (requiring a certain percentage of the state's energy to come from renewable sources) and join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), both of which New Hampshire did.
Those heavy-handed government interventions in the energy sector are two reasons why New Hampshire has higher energy prices than it should.
Rubens has long advocated a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. In 2008, he wrote that the United States needed to reduce its emissions by "at least 80 percent" from 2000 levels by 2050. That is a much more stringent standard than the new EPA plan to cut emissions by 30 percent by 2030, which Rubens says he opposes.
"Carbon trading schemes, emission caps and taxes have largely failed worldwide to reduce emissions," Rubens now says. Those are some of the very policies he spent years helping to implement. Lucky for Rubens, he is not performing this switcheroo solo. It is a duet.
Gary Lambert, running for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 2nd District, last week signed Americans for Prosperity's pledge not to support any energy policy that results in increased revenue to the government.
This is the same Gary Lambert who, as a state senator, voted for RGGI, which raises energy prices so the government can distribute the extra money to energy conservation projects the government likes.
When New Hampshire had a chance to remove itself from this wealth redistribution scheme, Lambert was one of the Republicans who voted to keep us in it.
In 2011, Lambert defended RGGI, saying the increased electricity costs were justified. He made the same defense in an interview with The Telegraph of Nashua last September. Now he repudiates that position, which he has held for years.
What a difference running in a competitive primary can make in a candidate's views.