Bill Weld on Energy & Oil
Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)
JOHNSON: Yeah, I do. But I think that the free market has really addressed this in a big way, that we as consumers are demanding less carbon emission. Coal has been bankrupted. There are just no new coal facilities that are going to be built.
Q: You can certainly do a lot by eliminating coal use, but scientists warn you have to do a lot more than that. Eventually you have to stop burning oil & natural gas-
WELD: Five years ago natural gas was everybody's darling because it wasn't oil and it wasn't coal. I'm kind of skeptical that renewables are going to be 75% of the base in terms of electricity by the year 2045. But I think there's a lot we could do. Technology could get us out of this. The missing piece was carbon capture and sequestration: if somebody figured out a way to sequester CO2 in the ocean in a way that was safe and that it wouldn't come back, that would be a breakthrough.
JOHNSON: No, I think it's an interesting idea, but I'm so indelibly a no-new-taxes guy.
Q: So how would the U.S. government meet its Paris obligations [on carbon emissions via the international conference]?
WELD: It could be trading, trading credits.
Q: Which requires setting a price on carbon, right?
WELD: Yeah, but not through a tax.
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