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Christie: We should invest in all types of energy

NJ Gov. Chris Christie said he wants to see more investments in renewable energy come from the private sector.

"We worked with the private sector to make solar affordable and available to businesses and individuals in our state," he said during Wednesday's Republican debate.

"That's the way we deal with global warming — not through government intervention, not through government taxes, and for God's sake, don't send Washington another dime until they stop wasting the money they are already sending now."

New Jersey is among the top 10 states in the country with the most solar energy. Christie said he was also interested in other energy sources, like oil, natural gas and wind.

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The Republican candidates have had mixed views, which are sometimes unclear, on climate change. For the most part, the candidates are wary of the way in which green policies and regulations can potentially affect the economy.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in a recent interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he believes in climate change but opposes a fix that hurts the economy. "Man absolutely affects the environment," he said, adding, "Of course we have to be sensitive to it, but we don't want to destroy people's jobs based on some theory that's not proven."

The candidates may not feel a need to express any view on climate change, because it doesn't matter to most Republican voters, according to a study in January.

The Pew Research survey found that just 15 percent of Republicans think addressing global warming is a top priority, compared with 54 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of independents. Pew numbers show a wide ideological divide over climate change, with conservatives generally skeptical of either the scientific evidence or skeptical of regulation.

— CNBC's Robert Ferris contributed to this report.