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Positions of the Republican candidates, in brief

By Calvin Woodward

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 17 2012 3:16 p.m. MST

Paul: Remove restrictions on drilling, coal and nuclear power, eliminate gasoline tax, provide tax credits for alternative fuel technology.

Perry: Proposes more development on federal lands and slashing regulations to spur drilling in restricted areas including Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Romney: Supports drilling in the Gulf, the outer continental shelves, Western lands, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and offshore Alaska; and exploitation of shale oil deposits.

Santorum: Favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, scaling back "oppressive regulation" hindering drilling elsewhere, and eliminating energy subsidies in four years.

ENVIRONMENT:

Gingrich: Convert EPA into "environmental solutions agency" devoted to research and "more energy, more jobs and a better environment simultaneously." Once backed tougher environmental regulation.

Paul: Previously said human activity "probably does" contribute to global warming; now calls such science a "hoax." Says emission standards should be set by states or regions.

Perry: EPA should be "research and advisory" agency with no enforcement powers except when states seek arbitration of regional disputes. Manmade global warming has "not been proven."

Romney: Acknowledged that humans contribute to global warming, but later said "we don't know what's causing climate change." Cap and trade would "rocket energy prices."

Santorum: The science establishing human activity as a likely contributor to global warming is "patently absurd" and "junk science."

GAY MARRIAGE:

Gingrich: If the Defense of Marriage Act fails, "you have no choice except a constitutional amendment" to ban gay marriage.

Paul: Decisions on legalizing or prohibiting gay marriage should be left to states.

Perry: Now supports constitutional ban on gay marriage after saying states should choose their own courses.

Romney: Favors constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, says policy should be set federally, not by states.

Santorum: Supports constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, not leaving decision to states. "We can't have 50 marriage laws."

HEALTH CARE:

All would seek repeal of Obama's health care law.

Gingrich: Prohibit insurers from cancelling or charging hefty increases to insurance holders who get sick. Offer "generous" tax credit to help buy insurance. Previously supported mandatory coverage.

Paul: Opposes compulsory insurance and all federal subsidies for coverage.

Perry: Raise eligibility age for Medicare benefits, limit benefits for the wealthy, offer federal aid to help elderly buy insurance instead of getting Medicare benefits.

Romney: Opposes federal mandate to obtain coverage; introduced mandate in Massachusetts. Proposes "generous" subsidies to help future retirees buy private insurance instead of going on Medicare.

Santorum: Would seek to starve Obama's health care law of money needed to implement it. Supported Bush administration's prescription drug program for the elderly, now regrets doing so.

IMMIGRATION:

Gingrich: In contrast to most rivals, supports option of giving legal status to illegal immigrants who have sunk roots in the U.S. and lived otherwise lawfully. Supports path to citizenship for illegal immigrants' children who perform U.S. military service. Make English the official language. Divert more Homeland Security assets to at Mexican border.

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