Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s Views on Climate Change

Indiana Governor Mike Pence

Multiple media reports suggest presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is strongly leaning toward Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) as his pick for vice president. Pence, who boasts a lifetime score of 4  percent from the League of Conservation Voters, does not accept the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary driver of climate change. Here are six of Pence’s comments on the subject:


  1. From his congressional campaign website in 2000: “Global warming is a myth. The global warming treaty is a disaster. There, I said it…I know Monica Lewinsky seems like the most important issue in America but, call me crazy, I think the quiet expansion of the liberal environmentalist agenda by Al Gore and Clinton White House that will cost thousands of jobs could be more important. Say no to the global warming treaty.” (via Buzzfeed
  2. Then-House Speaker Boehner turned to Pence to lead a Republican effort against Democrats’ climate change bill in 2009, tasking the Indiana congressman in April of that year to head the House GOP American Energy Solutions Group. He hammered at a Republican talking point against the cap-and-trade bill—that it would raise energy costs by thousands of dollars—in a June 2009 radio address. “If the Democrats’ cap and trade bill were to become law, estimates suggest that the average family would face up to $4,300 a year in extra energy costs and anywhere between 1.8 and 7 million American jobs would be lost,” he said.
  3. In a June 2015 letter, Gov. Pence vowed his state would not comply with an Obama administration regulation meant to curb carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s power plants. “If your administration proceeds to finalize the Clean Power Plan, and the final rule has not demonstrably and significantly improved from the proposed rule, Indiana will not comply. Our state will also reserve the right to use any legal means available to block the rule from being implemented. I believe the Clean Power Plan as proposed is a vast overreach of federal power that exceeds the EPA’s proper legal authority,” he wrote to President Obama. 
  4. Back in 2014, Pence urged the Indiana congressional delegation to use the appropriations process as a way to deny the Obama administration funding to implement its climate change agenda. “Using the power of the purse, Congress has the ability to block or prevent implementation of the EPA’s proposed regulations on new and existing power plants. I respectfully urge you to support legislative efforts to do so,” he wrote in a letter.
  5. Pence helped draft the Republican House alternative to the Waxman-Markey comprehensive climate legislation back in 2009. As drafted, the legislation (H.R. 2846) set the national goal to build 100 new nuclear reactors over the next 20 years. While it would have authorized new funds for solar energy and other low-carbon sources, the bill did not include provisions to cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions or otherwise reduce them. It included legislative language to specifically bar regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
  6. Asked on MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Matthews” about climate change in 2009, Pence told host Chris Matthews: “I think the science is very mixed on the subject….in the mainstream media, Chris, there is a denial of the growing skepticism in the scientific community about global warming.”