ABC News’ Rick Klein Reports: Among the issues Sen. John McCain will have to smooth over with his new running mate: global warming.
In an interview for the September issue of the conservative magazine Newsmax, Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, said she does not believe climate change is caused by human behavior.
“A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made,” Palin said in the interview, which was posted online Friday.
McCain, R-Ariz., by contrast, has broken with his party’s dogma by supporting a mandatory program to cap carbon emissions — a point of pride for McCain as he burnishes his independent reputation.
Palin’s quote about global warming not being manmade is also at odds with the freshly approved GOP platform for 2008. That language — adopted by the party this week — marks the first time the Republican Party’s policy document addresses climate change.
"The same human activity that has brought freedom and opportunity to billions has also increased the amount of carbon in the atmosphere," the document reads. "Increased atmospheric carbon has a warming effect on the earth."
A McCain campaign spokeswoman, Maria Comella, disputed suggestions that Palin does not recognize the reality of global warming. As governor, she created a new “sub-cabinet” agency last September, to advise her office “on the preparation and implementation of an Alaska climate change strategy.”
She has also endorsed efforts to learn more about human impacts on climate change.
“Governor Palin not only stands with John McCain in his belief that global warming is a critical issue that must be addressed, but she has been a leader in addressing climate change,” Comella said.
Palin and McCain disagree on another key environmental issue: drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in Palin’s home state of Alaska. Palin is for it, while McCain wants to keep the refuge off-limits.
“It’s nonsense not to tap a safe domestic source of oil. I think Americans need to hold Congress accountable on this one,” Palin told Newsmax about drilling in ANWR.