Updated 6:45 p.m.
Republican Senate candidate Adam Hasner is attacking one of his primary opponents by linking him to a stalled cap-and-trade climate change law in Florida. That may sound like par for the course in GOP politics except for one small problem: Hasner co-sponsored that bill, and praised it publicly when it passed the state legislature.
In a press release attacking Republican candidate George Lemieux — who already served in the Senate in an interim capacity after Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) resigned — Hasner tied his opponent to a cap-and-trade initiative spearheaded by former Governor Charlie Crist.
Like many Republicans, though, Hasner knows a thing or two about supporting cap and trade in the pre-Obama era.He cosponsored the legislation calling for the creation of a cap-and-trade regime in Florida. And when it passed the Florida House, his office issued a press release on behalf of the bill’s sponsor praising the initiative
“Responsibly addressing global climate change and anticipated national cap-and-trade legislation, while continuing to focus on energy diversity, reliability and affordability, the bill will place Florida’s energy sector and economy in
a position to best protect the interests of Florida’s citizens,” the release read.
A spokesman for Hasner points out that the Florida cap-and-trade bill prevented Crist from implementing a stricter pollution reduction regime by Executive Order. And he notes that Hasner’s office issued press releases for all Republican members as a courtesy.
Crist signed the bill in 2008. But the law was never fully implemented, and now state Republicans hope to repeal the entire initiative.