ENVIRONMENT
01/09/2012 03:10 pm ET

Mitt Romney EPA Debate Question: GOP Candidate Skirts Stance On Air Pollution Rule

During Sunday morning's GOP debate, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney tiptoed his way through a contentious environmental issue.

Romney was asked about the merits behind the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). Also known as the "Good Neighbor" rule, the Obama administration initiative is designed to reduce power plant emissions that travel across state borders.

In delivering his answer, The Hill notes that Romney avoided saying whether he backs the rule, but did reveal support for the overall idea behind the mission.

"I am not familiar with the specific regulation as it applies to New Hampshire, but I do believe we have a responsibility to keep the air clean and we have to find ways to ensure that we don’t have the pollution of one state overwhelming the ability of another state to have clean air," Romney said.

Natonal Journal adds that Romney was active in promoting clean-air regulations during his time as Massachusetts governor. As a state sitting downwind from polluted areas, their report points out that Massachusetts stands to benefit from CSAPR.

Over the past year, the EPA has been far from a Republican favorite. GOP representatives have made hundreds of attempts to target individual environmental regulations. Other Republican voices have gone even further, suggesting that the entire outlet be eliminated.

Some candidates have an easier time remembering their opposition to the EPA than others. Watch Texas Governor Rick Perry's epic debate flub from November 2011, where he struggled to name the agency:

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