Governor Donald Carcieri trumpeted the importance of wind energy yesterday as the vice chairman of a bi-partisan group of 29 governors pushing for greater federal support for wind.
The event added to a nice green sheen the governor has cultivated. But close watchers know it's the energy independence wind promises that most excites. And the governor's environmental record is, in fact, more mixed than most know.
To wit: last week, largely unnoticed, Carcieri joined another group of governors - 18 of them, plus the governors of Puerto Rico and Guam - asking Congressional leaders to block the Environmental Protection Agency's effort to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Their rationale: we need to hold down energy prices in a down economy.
The effort drew a strong reaction from the EPA, with a spokesman rejecting the premise that "addressing greenhouse gases threatens the economy." It is, perhaps, a bit disingenuous to suggest the effort won't cost us something. But the EPA's push, which comes out of a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2007 giving the agency the right to regulate the gases, is one of the more important environmental undertakings in the country right now. And Carcieri, wind advocacy notwithstanding, has made it clear where he stands.