Jon Huntsman on Energy & Oil
Republican UT Governor
A: We've learned some important lessons as this economy has spun out of control. We have learned that subsidies don't work and that we can no longer afford them. I believe that we can move toward renewable energy, but we're going to have to have a bridge product. Everybody wants to draw from the sun and draw from the wind, and I'm here to tell you that eventually that will make sense, but today the economics don't work. We need something like natural gas. It is ours, it's affordable, and we should begin the conversion process.
Q: In June you said that as president you would subsidize natural gas companies?
A: I would be willing to begin an effort, so long as there was a rapid phase-out. I do not like long-term subsidies. But if there was some sort of way to get the ball rolling with a quick phase-out, I would be in favor of that.
HUNTSMAN: I have put forward a program that is basically patterned after what I did as governor. First and foremost, I want to reform this tax code. Second is regulatory reform, because businesses in this country are saying there's no predictability. Third, this country needs to wean itself from its heroin-like addiction to foreign oil. We need energy independence desperately in this country.
Q: Everybody would like $2 gas, but is it realistic for a president to promise that?
HUNTSMAN: Of course not. We live in the free-market economy. I'm not sure that dictating prices is going to get you anywhere. But let's face the reality of where we are. Presidential leadership [means] tell us where we think we can find that which we have and convert it into jobs and expanding our industrial base, and reminding the American people that they're not paying $4 per gallon for gas. When you add up the cost of troop deployments, when you add up the cost of keeping the sea lanes open for the importation of imported oil, the bulk and distribution and terminal costs, it's $13 a gallon. And I say the American people have had enough. We need a president who's going to provide a little bit of leadership in getting us some direction and opening up the opportunities.
Just as Wall Street is known for finance and Silicon Valley for technology, by 2012, I believe Utah can become the premier destination in America for renewable energy!
And don't tell me it can't be done! In just this past year alone, we have witnessed in Utah the opening of a solar farm, a hydroelectric plant, a wind farm and a geothermal plant. To support this energy development, innovation at our higher education campuses is running at an all-time high, like technologies that will ensure the long-term viability of our abundant natural resources. The University of Utah is now second only to MIT in commercialization of cutting-edge research.
Huntsman appears in the 30-second commercial along with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), and Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT), who take turns finishing each other's statements: