Friday, June 17, 2011

Jon Huntsman on Environment and Energy


Jon Huntsman
On science, religion and global warming:

“To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming." (Huntsman on Twitter, The Hill, 8/18/2011))

On past Cap-and-Trade Support (On Fox News via The Hill)
“Every governor was talking about dealing with emissions back many, many years ago only to find that with the economic implosion, we can't afford anything that is going to put any kind of hamper on economic growth. So cap-and-trade is not something that is viable today,”
2012 Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman campaigned in Windham, New Hampshire over the weekend. The former Governor of Utah and U.S. Ambassador to China called for a new industrial revolution powered by natural gas. Huntsman also noted:
Can I just say something about gas prices real fast? We talked about the price of gasoline, and you know I think all ought to be aware of the realities of gas prices, oil prices and when we’re 60% reliant on the importation of oil it is not only an economic issue, it is a national security issue. When people yell and scream about $4, $4.50, $5 gas prices at the pump let us remember that fully loaded for all taxpayers it’s a lot higher than that. Based on some estimates, it’s $13 or $14 a gallon if you want to take into account what we’re paying for foreign deployments, you want to keep into account the costs of the keeping the sea lanes open for the free flow of product, and the cost of transportation importing the product all gets passed on and on and on…

When I made that comment earlier about an energy policy that draws from some of our domestic needs, we’ve talked about this for 8 presidents now, and it’s a low hanging fruit and increasingly we’re finding more and more in way of raw materials available here on the natural gas side.

With each passing year, we have the ability, thanks to innovations within businesses, to get it in a less invasive way and to clean it up ways that protect the environment as well.

So let’s be realistic when we talk about gas prices. We might think they are high, but think about how really high they are.
Huntsman, at a 2008 debate, referring to Huntsman's signing Utah onto the "Western Climate Initiative" (including a regional cap-and-trade program):
We have to make sure that we recognize a couple of important facts as we go forward. One of the facts of life for Utah will be that a very important engine of growth for us over the years will be the new innovations and technologies and capital equipment surrounding a new energy economy, a green energy economy, things like carbon capture and sequestration...But in order to get to the heart and soul of carbon emission, which is a problem, because it leads to polluted skies and air quality problems and climate change, we must put a value on carbon. Until we put a value on carbon, we've never going to be able to get serious with dealing with climate change longer term. Now, putting a value on carbon either suggests that you go to a carbon tax or you get a cap-and-trade system under way...As the head of the Western Governors' Association, I'm doing my best as the leader of this group to develop a comprehensive energy program that we're going to turn over to the next president of the United States, which will include issues of affordability, issues of energy independence, and issues of sustainability. And when I speak of sustainability, I talk about ultimately a cap-and-trade system...
On Nuclear Power
Jon Huntsman, Jr.

U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China
Clean Energy Forum
January 18, 2011
A few months ago I met the legendary innovator and philanthropist Bill Gates in Beijing. Now generally when Bill Gates mentions he has an idea for a new product, I listen. This time the product is a new kind of nuclear reactor, something that could operate for 40 to 60 years without refueling. Compare that to what we have today where reactors need to be opened up and refueled every 18 months or so.

So if this technology works, we would need a lot less uranium to create a whole lot more energy with far less nuclear waste. And keeping the uranium inside the reactors means we don’t have to worry about terrorists buying it on the black market. You can see why this would be of such great interest to so many people.

But why China? This is an American company, but the simple reality is right now the regulatory environment here in the United States means it would take decades just to certify the design. So by partnering with the Chinese they can move ahead and then commercialize the technology around the globe when it is proven. The end results -- countries around the world would get cleaner, safer energy, and a joint U.S.-Chinese company could lead the world in nuclear reactor construction. That is a very big deal for so many involved.
Utah Governor Jon Huntsman signed key renewable energy legislation at Raser’s Geothermal Plant during Earth Week in April 2009: House Bill 430 and Senate Bill 76.  Senate Bill 76 establishes a Renewable Energy Transmission Authority, or UGREEN Authority (Utah Generated Renewable Energy Electricity Network Authority), which will provide financial incentives and State support to upgrade the electrical grid, making it possible for Utah’s abundant supply of geothermal, wind, solar and other renewable energy resources to be developed to help meet the nation’s energy needs. UGREEN is designed to help renewable energy projects gain appropriate transmission access to the markets where power is needed. The second bill, House Bill 430 provides major tax incentives to renewable projects, including a refundable certificate up to the amount of the economic benefit realized by the State from new state revenues.

From Mother Jones

...He [Huntsman] now rejects cap and trade, he doesn't dispute the underlying science:

You also believe in climate change, right?

This is an issue that ought to be answered by the scientific community; I’m not a meteorologist. All I know is 90 percent of the scientists say climate change is occurring. If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we’d listen to them. I respect science and the professionals behind the science so I tend to think it’s better left to the science community -- though we can debate what that means for the energy and transportation sectors.
The American Independent

During a weekend stop in New Hampshire, according to the Associated Press, Huntsman, 51, noted that he’s “not competing in Iowa for a reason.” That reason, he said is because “I don’t believe in subsidies that prop up corn, soybeans and ethanol.”

(Blue Virginia, 5/7/2011, New Hampshire Primary 2012: Green, Embassy of the United States, Beijing, China, Raser Technologies, 4/23/2009, Mother Jones, Kate Sheppard5/19/2011, The American Independent, 6/6/2011)

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