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tv   Discussion on Energy Policy 2020 Election  CSPAN  November 5, 2019 3:33pm-5:00pm EST

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trump holds a campaign rally in monroe, louisiana. watch live at 8:00 p.m. eastern on cspan. online at or listen live with the free cspan radio app. next, a panel on the roll of energy policy and climate change in the 2020 presidential campaign. among the speakers were former obama administration officials along with representatives from several energy advocacy organizations. from the tlanic council, this is an hour and 20 minutes. from the atlantic council. afternoon, everyone. my name is randy bell, the director of the global energy center here at the atlantic council. thank you for joining us today for this discussion, assessing democratic presidential candidates climate and energy
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policies. i don't think this could be anymore timely given today is the first day that president trump can formally begin withdrawal from the paris agreement. and a year ago -- a year ago yesterday is the election. so we have a whole another year of this. president trump's animosity towards climate policy is at least part of the reason climate change has become a top priority for democratic candidates in the presidential race. it's also the result of increased media coverage, climate induced flooding and wildfires, calls to action in the green new deal and the global climate strikes and voter demands for candidates to formalize demands for energy plans. the september townhall was unprecedented in the seriousness that candidates and at least part of the electorate had in addressing the issue. but the devil is in the details. and as the details emerge and various candidates's plan was be another questions have emerge. to frak or not. to nuke or not. to tax or not tax or capture
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carbon or not. and the list goes on. we have to -- and we have to ask ourselves what the implications of climate and energy policy is for the economy, for our healthy and for international recommendations. so fortunately we have gathered a group of speakers from across the political sprurm, holding different confiscates in the debates around climate and energy. unfortunately we had lorin mannis from sunrise movement to speak today. she is -- she is a political and legislative coordinator for the sunrise movement. she lost her voice and can't be with us. so we're sorry. that have been another interesting voice here. but with that, i want to remind everyone that today's discussion is on the record. it's streaming live and will be archived on the atlantic council's youtube channel. don't say anything that your parents or children would be embarrassed about.
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engaged on this topic but have different viewpoints. we hope some sparks will fly. but, and we're going to make sure that there's a q&a portion at the end. we want to make sure that those are actual questions, not statements, so please be sure to ask a question. with that, i'll turn it over to our moderator, zach coleman of politico, to introduce the panelists and get the discussion started. zach, please. the stage is yours. >> all right. do i stand at this mic or i'm micced up already. so, anyway, so -- sit down? getting stage direction live. so, yeah, i'm going to be moderating the panel here. we have christy goldfist from c.a.p., center for american progress. sarah hunt from the rainy center. charles from citizens for responsible energy solutions. we have amos hockstei n from th atlantic council.
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so we're going to get right into it. i know you all have a lot of questions i don't ask and you're all smart people so i want to give you a chance, too. so this is climate and energy in 2020. so i'm going to start with christy here to my left. the green new deal would require a massive buildout of energy infrastructure. used to be -- the council on environmental quality so i think you're pretty game to answer this. presidents from both parties have complained that permitting even for clean energy projects takes too long. so can candidates reasonably accomplish the green new deal's infrastructure roles with our current laws and which candidates have a viable plan for dealing with these realities? >> great. thank you, zack. i mean, first of all, i just want to say, when you say "the green new deal," it's sort of hard to know exactly what you're talking about. there's the resolution in congress and then there's senator sanders' plan. i think we should figure out
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which to be specific, when talking about plans, who has a green new deal on which of those proposals. your question about permitting, how are we going to achieve the really extraordinary goals that pretty much every single one of the major candidates on the left have laid out, what is consistent across all of their plans, is an embrace of this concept of net zero by 2050 or carbon neutrality by the middle of the century which is an extraordinary fast timeline. if you think about what we were looking at during the obama administration and the mid-century strategy,by were ta talk bing about reducing carbon solution and overall greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050 and that 20% is very significant and especially looking at how do you get to the really difficult to de carbcarbonize sectors. so then how do we build all of this? which i think is your question related to permitting and how quickly we need to go. i think that is a secondary question and something that will -- the president will certainly need to address if we're going to achieve any of
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these goals, but it really is about funding the experts and funding the people who need to do this work and investing in the technology to make sure that the permitting process is as state of the art as it possibly can be. there's a federal permitting council that was stood up under the fast 41 act several years ago that is staffed by the trump administration. and does have a budget and will be able to collect fees from project proponents in order to make sure that their environmental reviews go quickly. but if you look at what's happened to the staff in the agencies that are responsible for conducting these reviews, they've pretty much been decimated. the folks are not there. the budget is not there to actual conduct the work. so when you place priorities as a president, you have to fund those priorities and that will be the key to how quickly they can go. >> with their current laws, though, you're talking about a massive buildout of energy infrastructure. are the timelines and plans that are being proposed even
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realistic within our current framework? >> i would say depends on which one you're talking about. they're not -- i mean, they're not universally the same, and every single one of them is going to require a full approach from an executive administrative standpoint and legislatively. what is the responsibility of congress to help change any of these laws, if we can't get there just through the existing structure we have right now. >> we're going to move on to amos here. candidates like bernie sanders and kamala harris have said they would consider prosecuting fossil fuel companies for climate change. joe biden and elizabeth warren have also called for a more aggressive doj. you know, as our lone representative from the energy industry here, i'm wond whaerg y wondering what you make of the calls, what effect it might have on producers and how are the pledges being received by industry? >> thanks, zack. before i get to that, i just wanted to continue what christy
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just talked about. you have to make a lot of assumptions. i think when people run for president, they don't run with plans that are -- they assume that they have the legislative authorities. they make the assumption that congress will be on their side and they'll be able to pass that. that's not unique on climate change and not unique to this democratic primary versus a republican primary versus any assertion we've ever had. that's an assumption that is baked in, which, of course, it's fair to challenge, will i have the elective authorities, legal authorities to be able to do these things and to change. so i think your question is right as far as if you assume today's -- today's legislative reality or today's legal framework and regulatory framework, but then if you're doing that, you're going to be comparing apples and oranges because the -- you're assessing a plan that is based on a cha e changed regulatory environment and a changed legal authority with a reality that is not.
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so just i think it's important to put that into that perspective. i think when it comes to your question, i should probably start exactly with, again, stating this is a democratic primary and i think people are articulating a vision rather than a detailed plan of how do you get from point "a" to point "b," how do you get there. i think what christy just talked about, changing the vision of what does 2050 looks like, what the goal of 2050, is more radical than it sounds and a lot harder to get there. when -- when you talk about the fossil fuel industry, i think the energy sector as a whole is looking at the primary with a much more -- through a lens that understands that this is a primary, will be more interested in seeing what the ultimate nominee says in that debate with president trump and i suspect that it will be a -- a nuanced
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approach compared to where the nominees are now and i think that that doesn't matter if it's senators sanders or warren or former vice president biden, i think that the conversation will be different because you're talking to different potential voters at that point. i think that the industry does not look at these plans right now as necessarily realistic. we've gone through a change of how the industry views climate change from where it was just five years ago. it used to be you'd go to a fossil fuel energy conference and they would talk about these climate, how nice it is they might grow from 1% to 5%, that would be huge, but at the end of the day it oost's 5%. you'd get the numbers, 1980, what was the ratio of oil in the energy mix and it's exactly the same as it is, you know, nearly 40 years later. those were the favorite kind of talking paint ining points youe
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conference. go to the climate, renewables and clean energy, it would be, 2050, we'll be there 2030 if we just keep it in the ground, the price will go up, everything is going to be great. if you just had the right tax incentives, the technology will be there. that has changed a bit. i don't think it's changed as much in the clean energy side. i think it's changed a lot more in the -- in the energy sector. where you're seeing fossil energy companies becoming huge investors in the clean energy space. not -- not led by the americans, by european fossil energy companies. think that they're viewing this debate in the primary as too early to really take seriously. and to see what happens later. and with a heavy dose of skepticism of whether or not these goals are actually achievable or attainable and, therefore, let's wait and see and none of this is -- some of this is going to happen, most of
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this is not going to happen, in the meantime, i need to diversify my portfolio. they care more about where shareholder pressure is coming rather than where the political landscape in the democratic primary is. >> all right. i'm going to move on to sarah here. you've seen the numbers for democratic candidates' climate pledges. talking trillions of dollars in federal, state and private spending. what do you think of federal spending levels envisioned in the plans, what more can we do through the federal purse to address climate change? >> first of all, i'd like to thank randy and the atlantic council for having me here today. i was an ely fellow a few years ago. i've been to a lot of these events. this is my first time speaking, so i'm very excited. in terms of the numbers, i would, you know, echo what christy said. there's not a lot of specifics in many of the plans, so it's a stab in the dark best guess.
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i do think it's concerning to see these plans that are written as though written, no one involved in the process has ever had payroll, sat around the kitchen table thinking about how are we going to make ends meet, you know, a tank of gas is a tank of gas, and for a long time, a lot of middle-class, low-income american families are still going to need to afford to put gas in their cars. so i do find it interesting in the democratic primary we're having these conversations around climate plans that will strike at the heart of the very voters that they're trying to reach. and their pocketbooks. and what i'd like to see, and i agree with what amos said, this is a primary context. we are seeing democrats who developed these plans casting visions to appeal to their base. i don't begrudge them the chance to do that, but i hope that
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they're careful because eventually they're going to be smacked with the reality of general election politics and if they go too far, if they politicize the issue even more, you see it being wrapped around these conversations in terms of big spending, in terms of socialism, which, you know, legitimate or not, those criticisms do strike a certain fear in a certain part of the electorate and i'd hate to see a democratic nominee paint themselves into a corner in the primary and then have them have to walk back a bunch of it later because i care about climate change. i, as a conservative, i've been a climate policy advocate for five years. i have three nieces and a nep w nephew. i don't want the world to be mad max for them. we need to have a serious national conversation about climate policy. i think we've also got to be realistic that no matter who is president in 2021, we need to be
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moving ahead in the energy space in a smart way. whether it's technology neutral tax credits for rnd, whether it's looking at some of the plans that, you know, charles has worked on it more than i did, but we -- the green real deal with representative gaetz's office looking at systome of th things that can be done that appeal to people on both sides of the aisle. because regardless of electorala plan that can win republican votes in the house and senate, even if you have, once again, as we did, a trifecta for the democrats. i haven't forgotten that. we had a democratic house, a democratic senate, and a democratic president and we couldn't pass a big climate bill, so i hope that democratic candidates and the party will start thinking very carefully about some of the low-hanging fruit we can go after.
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for one clear example of this, from a plan, speaking of costing a lot of money, is senator warren talked about electrifying the fleet in her plan i think by 2035. that will be very expensive. not every middle american, you know, mom in the rust belt who's trying to make ends meet, can afford a new car. something that her plan doesn't really talk about is electrifying industry or industrial facilities. we could electrify ports. we very soon could electrify a large portion of the trucking industry. we can electrify manufacturing. you know, we can make sure that amazon is running all of those nice little cranes in their distribution warehouses on, you know, electric-powered vehicle. so those are things we can do that are low-hanging fruit that are easier, that are more affordable, that could be appropriately incentivized through federal policy. i hope that both democrats and republicans will continue to talk about that.
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>> can i build off of what sarah -- i mean, there are different investment numbers that range anywhere from $1 trillion to $16.3 trillion. so there's a wide range. i think what's happened with the green new deal coming on to the scene the way it has in the past year is a shift in how people think about direct federal spending and who benefits as a result of that direct federal spending. and there are lots of ways, if you look at california or other states that have stepped up here that we're going to have to invest in our infrastructure for this transition. and that's something that people can see in their communities now.incentives, what that looks like, i think in each sector it's going to be a little different. when it comes to elizabeth warren's plan, she has a green manufacturing plan that's all about industry. so, i think she is very much looking at what are the appropriate incentives, some of them are in favor of carbon taxes, others are not. some are more heavy on regulation, some are a
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combination of approaches. but direct federal spending is now a part of the conversation in a way it certainly was not in 2016. >> you know, i -- we're always going to have direct federal spending on some of these issues. i've looked at some of the industrial plan from senator warren. it's not as robust as i would hope. you know, there's a lot of focus on individual people versus the easier things that we can do on a private sector industrial side. but what i would say, as a conservative, when -- this is my big concern, aside from the money, aside from how we're going afford it, because someone's going to pay for it, it's going to be -- it's going to be the middle class, frankly, because they always end up paying for things. i don't understand why, in this age, we are having conversations about expanding the power of a centralized government and its executive. in law school, there was a phrase i'm sure you all know. the things that speaks for itself. so in terms of looking at who
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may or may not win the next election and what that means for national climate policy and i think we need to be talking -- even democrats should be talking more about what the states can do and what can be done, you know, in the private sector, in public/private partnerships, because i'm very concerned about continuing to expand federal power and the power of the purse is its biggest power. >> let me jump to charles on that because, you know, i think he would like to address this as well. i mean, you know, bernie sanders has proposed a sort of green tva to expand renewable power. as christy mentioned, senator warren has proposed an industrial policy, a t10 year $1.5 trillion plan for green industrial mobilization. >> yep. >> why do you think we're seeing such interest in these big federal programs on the democratic side of the aisle right now in these interventions
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from democratic candidates and how did these ideas sound outside the context of this process? >> well, i think that the proposals that i'm seeing from the democratic side are big proposa proposals, ambitious, include federal spending because these are the avenues that many democrats are -- have been successful talking about and want to work on in the near term. thank you for the question, zack. before i get too far, thank you to atlantic council and randy for including me in this panel because this is a timely conversation and one thing that concerns me about what's been said so far is the relax, it's a primary, mantra. we live in an era where we have the green new deal because an establishment democrat was challenged in a primary and that congresswoman went on to win and introduce a resolution, that's part of what's driving this. we live in an era where candidates and elected officials are being held to those campaign promises in an unprecedented way to the point that now president
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donald trump is -- i don't understand how it surprises people, but because all of his promises, in terms of what he's done and said, were promises that he made to win the republican primary and soundly defeat a dozen well-established mainstream republicans. so, i think the relax, it's a primary, it should be taken with a grain of sand because the politics of our era have changed whenn etwitter and information n move so quickly. those promises to with an executive order demand fracking, reduce availability to do that on public lands, has dampened markets and dampened enthusiasm and has raised questions about what is the proper u.s. role in something like liquified natural gas, where are those export markets going to be headed? the spending is a big issue because think the other thing that observers see is the way
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that systome of the democratic candidates are talking about climate solutions really upends the way that business has been done for over 100 years in the united states as it relates to the delivery and production of energy. states have primary authority over their energy mixes. and any proposal that asks to do something different is likely to see challenges by attorneys general across the united states. and so when we look at policies that are -- have all of the eggs in one federal basket, we're going to spend our way out of this, we need to be concerned about will this level of federal spending crowd in investment or crowd out investment in the energy sector? it's an important question. will these federal policies just get tied up in lawsuits, in which case this climate solution really isn't that actionable and that quick? because we're taking away power from states and taking away one of the primary avenues that
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we've seen, emissions reductions in the united states, because federal tax credits and because of state action. renewable portfolio standards. clean energy standards. subsidies for however you want to look at it. we can achieve these mid-century climate change goals but only if we're fighting with both fists. the federal and the state. if it's all up to the federal, then i think we've got some real challenges. >> amos wanted to jump in on this one. >> well, i don't think i've been -- i don't think relax, it's a primary, is a policy goal. i just think that we -- the question is more about how does industry look at it. i think industry is not going to -- is not looking at it too carefully. as far as decisions for investments and so on. i think from that perspective, yes, we are in a primary. i do believe that we will not see much change in talking points. if any of the candidate -- once one of these candidates becomes the nominee, i don't think
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they'll walk back any of the proposals that they are presenting today. and i want to make sure that that wasn't misunderstood. i definitely believe whatever they're proposing today will be their position in the general -- in the general election, and maybe even, you know, becoming more aggressive. however, there is a way of prioritization that will be -- that will -- the nuance will change in how this is addressed and that's normal policy. i believe in a democratic party, climate change has risen to be the top two, maybe three, but in many places, number-one issue and defining issue of hue people evaluate a candidate and not just for president, but for any office. the difference is, the knee wau nuance of what that means in different parts of the country. you alead leluded to that, thes
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largely state positions. we have a number of issues these candidates -- you raised one of them and, in the opening we talked about fracking, no fracking, some these issues, that goes to the heart of how we will have to balance as a party and how the next president will have to balance. some of these things can be done on executive order. you touched on one of them. you can ban fracking on public land. on government land. >> but there's very little fracking on federal lands. >> right. i was going to say, you know, the obama administration banned drilling, not fracking, but drilling, on federal lands, and it had almost no impact on -- >> wait, what are you talking about? >> for -- we -- >> put a pause on -- >> right. >> but not all fossil fuel. >> not all fossil fuel. but even if we're looking today at moving -- if we would make any kind of executive order that would discuss these issues on federal lands, the impact on the actual fossil fuel industry
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would relatively be muted. if you look at where most of e the, most drilling is happening. it would have some impact. it will have a, i think, a greater impact on exports, on people willing to trust whether or not you're starting to touch things like are you going to ban lng exports, are you going to reinstate the embargo on crude oil exports that was removed during the obama administration? these are big questions that are actually not -- that some are discussing in the context of a green new deal but i've seen many versions of what people believe a green new deal is, to christy's point. so i think these are where i think there will be much more contentious issues and i think there will be a lot of democrats who will have some issues with some of these ideas. and how they're discussed and how we move forward on those will have a great impact. when you start talking about electrifying, trying to electrify the fleet, the
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automobile fleet and so on, i think there's actually less argument about if that could be achieved, that would be great. there's issues in making -- getting -- getting to that point. and i still -- i haven't really seen a roadmap of how you get to a fully electrified fleet in such a short period of time. but that's, you know, i don't think anybody is opposed to it. especially not the democratic party, opposed to it as a policy matter. when you get to these other questions, i think that you'll see some broad disagreements on what does this mean? and whether if, in fact, it actually has a positive or a negative impact on emissions and climate change. and how fast we can get to the goals that we want to get to. >> well, then, even on fracking here, you have some division on, you know, you have senators warren and sanders saying they want a national ban on fracking. you have joe biden saying, well, i don't think that's politically possible. i mean, you're talking about the
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state/federal spread here. i mean, what are the political implications of making a statement like that, if you're a democrat, to say, i want to ban fracking? we're talking about moving to the general election at some point. is that -- is that even warranted? wanted? like, do you -- is that a good idea to even state this right now? >> i think that the democratic presidential candidates probably don't take a lot of advice from a republican like me. in terms of how to win the election. but speaker pelosi over the weekend was very specific and clear about this. remember the electoral college. fracking, oil and gas, are big industries in must-win states like pennsylvania, ohio, michigan. i don't know how you win the electoral college by promising to eliminate industries that have been major sources of personal income and tax revenue from municipalities. so, don't take my word for it. i think that speaker pelosi has been out on this issue and trying to advise candidates to
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find different issues or a different approach to solving the climate change problem. in terms of something that is actionable because you can't govern if you don't have the presidency to enact some of these plans. >> the democratic nominee needs to be able to say to a rust belt mom my climate policy will not take away your job, won't take away your husband's job. my climate policy, you know, will not make your life more expensive, and it's also going to help, you know, make a clean environment for your kids. and i think if you ban fracking, i'm, look, the analysis is all over the place, but my concern there, of course, would be we got a coal lobby. there's only so -- we can only build new utility-scale wind farms so fast and, frankly, we don't have commercially scaleable technology that's affordable right now to get us to 100% renewables by 2035 or
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2050 even if we want to. so, we're going to have to do something in the meantime and natural gas is part of that. the other thing that a fracking ban would do, and this -- i don't understand, i think it's irresponsible in the context of, frankly, the pressing national security concerns that we're looking at, even if the energy sector, because of the perspective and, you know, conduct of this president and this administration. they don't think climate change is a serious problem, and yet, climate change and energy are inherent to any discussion of our national security in this day and age, and fracking and american natural gas that we've gotten from fracking has arguably really upended energy geopolitics. it's placed the u.s. in a much better position. and i don't think we can forget that, either. >> i want to get christy involved in this.
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what do you think about the pledges that some of the candidates are making with regard to trackfracking? >> before i speak to that, i want to talk about the states for a second because that really has been an extraordinary bright spot over the last several years. what we're seeing with -- nine states plus d.c. and puerto rico have made some sort of binding targets that they have passed legislatively so people had to vote. these weren't just executive orders that governors signed to put if place plans to get to 100% clean, however it's defi defined, net zero, carbon neutral, however they put it in their legislation. so unlike waxman/markee, there was angst and problems s of hoo address the states, this is going to be front and center of any democratic conversation. the states have come so far ahead and needs to be protected. that's where the technology advancements are going to be made. that's where we're going to be able to see what's possible at the state level. i think that's a very exciting story. i'd love to hear the candidates talk about it a little bit more
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because there was political relevance there. in terms of the commitments, i mean, this is about a vision. a vision of what you want the country to look like. and, yes, there are tradeoffs in how you talk about that vision, but that's where i think the candidates are weighing their own politics and looking at what's the picture that they want to paint. >> so then jumping off of that, i mean, in 2016, hillary clinton said, you know, we want to put fossil fuel -- coal workers out of business. that was a gaffe. she admitted to it. it was her -- >> i don't think it was phrase the exactly that way. it was that jobs -- >> paraphrasing. i'm not hillary clinton. so, but, you know, now democrats to a "t" are talking about a just transition for fossil fuel workers. you have bernie sanders who put out there, he pledged to guarantee workers current salaries for five years and provide things like housing assistance and jobs retraining. clinton did have a plan for transitioning fossil fuel workers, especially coal workers in appalachia but didn't win
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those votes, a lot of them. so, can democrats be honest with workers in fossil fuel-dependent communities and still win their votes, be honest about their future, be honest about what they want, how can democratic candidates demonstrate to people in those communities that they'll be taken care of? >> i think it's essential, this is, again, a shift from 2016, that there is a serious conversation about where the transition happens and what it's going to look like. again, i point to the states. i mean, colorado, new mexico, california, new york, all have very specific policy that points to working with people who lose their jobs as a result of this transition. there's a just transition office that was established in the colorado legislation. that is going to work with workers as that transition happens. i think we have to look and see at the state level how does this policy play out, but we need to understand that we are addressing social and equity issues across this country in
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t the entire political conversation we're having right now and when we have this climate debate and talk about investing in communities, investing in workers and investing in the future that we want, that means there will be money, whether it's through a carbon free, or whether it's through some combination of tax incentives or direct spending. and how do you invest in the people who need that most? and how do you invest in the communities that are going to be impacted in this transition first? we all agree that the infrastructure in this country needs attention. and needs to be funded in terms of rebuilding for the future. so that's got to be a key part of the discussion as we move forward. and people get jobs when we do that. >> i think that points to where the real slam dunks are and potential potential for bipartisanship could be as it relates to dealing with climate change. we do have a lot of infrastructure that is falling apart. there are 88,000 dams in the united states and on the 3% of
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them provide electric power. only 3%. so if we're really looking for all of the possible options to produce renewable power, hydropower should be one of them. do half of the dams need to be taken down to preserve salmon corridors and economic benefits? sure. then we're down to 44,000 dams, to generate jobs and electricity across the country. that's a big deal, and there are bills that are focused on reducing some of that red tape to make that more possible. that have been introduced in the house and in the senate. it they just need enough political momentum to actually get passed. so my organization, citizens for responsible energy solutions, we're firmly focused on what's that low-hanging fruit? we maintain a list, go to and check out some of these possible areas for bipartisanship where there are republicans leading on this issue. in terms of kicking open the door for additional investment
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in renewables in particular, sarah and i are co-authoring, should be publiced this week or next -- >> november 8th. >> november 8th. an article focused on kicking open the door for wind power. offshore wind. wouldn't it be ironic and interesting if the environmental legacy of the trump administration is the launch of offshore wind? because what they're doing right now is although there was a delay with the vineyard wind project off of massachusetts, they're doing a comprehensive environmental review of the entire east coast. to try to make it so that they can fast track the future permits and hopefully greenlight a lot faster some of the other projects that are in the pipeline and could take advantage of that offshore federal land or federal waters, however it's defined. the opportunities are there, but those are actions that we need to move on that we can move on from a federal standpoint. it doesn't give me a lot of confidence and we have to remember that voters are super discerning. and that they interface with their government, too.
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and when you promise that uncle sam will take care of it and manage the electricity sector just as well and just as fast and just as efficiently as we get through the tsa checkpoints and as fast as i work through the dmv lines, it's not super encouraging. and so i think that we need to, you know, remember that the federal play that uncle sam will take care of all of it, just trust us, is going to be met with a lot of skepticism. >> so let me -- >> two quick -- one, i think to christy's point and to what charles actually started this conversation, we do have to have a different kind of conversation about the transition that we've had before. i think the candidates are. i personally hope that we move away from guaranteeing jobs and guaranteeing money. i think that a worker doesn't want to replace his job with a check. he wants actually to go to work. or she wants to go to work. and that -- the idea that, oh, but we'll have construction j s jobs, not every coal miner says,
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oh, great, i want to go work construction in four states over so it's not a one-to-one. we have to have -- there i urge kbt candidates to be less on the specifics and more on the guarantee that we take this plight of this transition very seriously and we're not going to simply say, don't worry, there will be construction jobs. rather, take the dignity of that off at that job and understand that certain towns will be -- will -- if we don't have coal mining, those towns will look very different. and it doesn't mean that this will be difficult for some. you can't paper over everything with money. some of it will have to be attention to detail of how do you get people back to work and offer the transition in jobs? the second, i just want to urge a cautionary note that i think that sarah and charles probably on this panel represent most accurately the majority of republican voters, potentially, but i don't think it necessarily represents where republicans have been in washington, in
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congress. so the idea of the bipartisan effort still bewilders me because i do believe if you look at the states, they're not just, you know, blue states versus red states. there's a lot of great stuff that's happening on renewable energy policy and actually implementation in states that are run by republican governors. but somehow, in the states, it's doable politically, in washington, it's not. so, i'm still -- i still think we have to adjust our expectations to some gridlock on some of these issues here in washington. >> there's reason for optimism, though. just last week, minority leader mccarthy said in the "examiner" essentially we're going to start losing elections as republicans on climate change sooner rather than later. we need to be doing something about it. a senator from a coal state, indiana, is co-founder of the senate bipartisan -- representative matt gaetz, the
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trumpiest congressman in washington, i believe per his own pr people, he has a climate change bill. dan crenshaw, conservative representative from texas, he has i think there's absolutely reason to think that we can have some of these conversations. many of you know this, this is a sophisticated audience, 45q is essentially a carbon -- it was passed, signed into law by this president. there are things that can happen. maybe they're smaller things, but republicans and democrats can find things they can agree on to do about climate and there's a growing conversation on the right, you know, charles and i being gainfully employed is representative of that, too. so i think there's -- there's more reason for optimism than almost might say. >> well, i'm going to use the moderator discretion here and being the paid skeptic, i'm going to switch sides here and,
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but, so, you know, amos, i wanted to ask you, there was a point mentioned about trump's legacy. one of those is definitely he's upset the international order on trade. you know, at this point, now, you also have democratic candidates talking about how they would want to make trade a kind of climate smart, you know, way of doing things. bernie sanders and elizabeth warren have talked about imposing a fee on imported carbon-intensive goods. joe biden said he'd fully integrate climate into trade agreement the, take a hard line on china to provide green debt relief to other nations. i wonder what you make of these plans to better incorporate climate into trades and how that might done. >> i'm glad you asked that because i think one of the biggest gaps in most democratic candidates' discussion on climate is that it is the international piece. this has been a very u.s.-centric, u.s.-focused discussion over the last couple of years. and i think that is a big mistake. we are as a country equipped and
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we have the ability to make the proper investments, changing policy, to really bring about this transition and expedite the timelines that we had just talked about a few years ago as we said earlier. but the international picture is not the same and we have a very patchy outlook when you look at the rest of the world, and let's put europe aside for a moment, even there, there are patches of, you know, coal patch in europe is still very much alive. but let's put that aside. you know, people underestimate the achievement of president obama being able to bring china and india along. and how hard that was. today, it just -- oh, yeah, they were part of the paris. that almost didn't happen. it was very hard and i think it's going to -- >> and did it early. >> yes. >> for everybody else -- >> which allowed us -- for paris to happen. but it doesn't mean that it's
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easy to move forward. and if you look at what's happening around the world, there are new coal plants being built. you know, charles and i were talking about this earlier, in the u.s., it's hard to imagine a coal fired power plant being built. it's not -- you don't have to imagine. you can just go visit the construction sites in many countries in southeast asia, in china, you can look in other parts of the world where we're going. so we have a real gap in -- on climate and we've become so focused in the united states that we forget where we're going and if we -- i don't think it's only about putting penalties of tariffs on, you know, i think it's using the same -- the same tool that i don't like president trump using and we're using it in the same way. we have to go back to seeing how do we change the -- what the requirements are to get to a transition internationally. and the reality is that the cost of finance and the cost of money for renewable energy and clean
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technology, it is not the same as in the u.s. where it's available and relatively cheap. it is either expensive or entirely unavailable. finance needs credit, needs a variety of factors that are there. we can work on these. but it's going to take a lot of work by the international community. a rechanging of some of the priorit priorities, even the world bank and imf where we've already done some of this. it's going to have to be different than what we did in 2014, 2015. there's a lot of gaps there. i think trade is a good tool to do that. but it's not, again, we put everything on -- into one bucket. it's going to be a lot more. we're going to have to -- the next president, if they want to tackle climate change seriously, will have to move from a u.s. green new deal to look at it, again, from an international perspective. a global perspective. of how do we work together, what do we do as the united states in order to make it faster, cheaper
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and more available for countries to make those investments and move away? and i'll end with one point. when you spend a few billion dollars on infrastructure in any country, you are married to that for a very long time because it's very -- it changes the economics of a competing infrastructure project because you just made it much more expensive because you have to now assume the loss on what you just invested in. whether it's a pipeline, a power plant, whatever it is, so the sooner we get to investing in the international side and having that discussion, the better we will be able to project a forecast for a cleaner environment in the future. >> and it can be the international space has always struck me that it can be billions, not trillions, when we're talking about how making an investment that has a real impact. >> sometimes it's not actually giving money. it is working to understand what is holding banks back from
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making an investment in renewable energy in a certain country. and we did that. we had the clean energy finance tax force between the u.s. and india, which there was a problem. india -- no private institution was willing to finance any renewable project in india in 2015. it was all multilateral international financial institutions. it was all, you know, the a.i.d. types in multiple countries, world bank i, fc, but no bank w willing to do it because the legal strekture structures were. sometimes it's not about spending. it's about thinking and privatizing this issue and saying, the u.s. government will spend its efforts to bring in the expertise from the united states, the expertise from other countries, from other institutions to say, what's the gap, what's holding back the investment, how do we bring a peak demand from 2028 to 2034 or 2035 to 2030 and that will also require some reality of we're
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not going to have the same benchmarks and targets as we have in the united states. it's okay to say that those will take a little bit longer because we're climbing uphill. >> the needs of the world are great in terms of energy. we talk about equity and just transition here, again, the needs of the world are great. there are people who will die in india because they don't have a windowed air conditioner. there are people who die in this country because their electricity gets turned off. several, i think three or four in arizona within the last year. and that's just to start. before, you look at theex person externalties associated with lack of energy. that's where we have to think of this as an opportunity. paris does consider that the needs of the world are great. that we do need to deliver power for quality of lives to save
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lives and if we, as the united states, can step up and take a leadership role in fossil, because these coal plants, hundreds and hundreds of them are going to be built. if we can see an opportunity to accelerate or research and development in clean fossil tech, net power, i believe, is very close to locating a zero-emissions coal-fired demonstration facility for electricity generation. we can dream big. are there other externalties associated with colt mial minint are concerning? yeah. but if we sit here and say, okay, our goal is to get to net zero as quickly as possible as a globe, we've got to be looking at fossil clean tech and as a country, there's a huge economic opportunity if we prioritize research and development in those areas. you know, that we can take to the rest of the world. >> so you mentioned exetternaexs and research. let me just jump on to nuclear power real quick because there's
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actually some interesting divisions on the democratic side of the aisle here in the 2020 race. you have biden and booker backing more renewable power. you have sanders and warren opposing it. you know, it's the largest -- >> more nuclear. >> more nuclear. yeah. it's the largest source of carbon-free energy in the u.s. what are -- are there actually any good ideas that 2020 candidates have surfaced for expanding renewable -- nuclear power, or, you know, what do you say? >> the openness to keeping nuclear as the nuclear option, the keeping nuclear as an option, is of vital importance and can't be understated. we're really going to solve the climate change problem, it's going to be because we increased all of the possible ongss to implement and develop low-emission ors z zero-emissio technology and did everything we could to reduce the costs. not just in the united states but globally so we can export and sell some of these technologies internationally and to stay on nuclear for just a second, the transaction cost
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associated with a new nuclear facility in the united states is triumphant. it was a bill that passed last year that will hopefully make it more readily available or easy to do an experimental test pilot with a small modular reactor on department of energy land. that's a good step forward. but it's still far from being able to implement small modular reactors that would be the size of this room and something that you could easily put on a cargo ship and deploy to another country to help respond to the natural disaster scenario. these are the types of technologies we need at a minimum to be open to. one thing we've seen over the past couple years is the department of energy budget increase by 25% on a bipartisan basis. and that's something that is -- that really does matter in terms of planting the seeds for innovation to see this launch in the long run. we need the regulatory framework to be revised so that we can actually develop some of these
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projects in our own country, otherwise we have to travel to other countries, united arab emira emirates, places, you know, other places in the middle east, to see this or the alternative if is if we walk away from the nuclear industry, we run the risk of foreclosing on another important option and run the risk of ceding valuable territory to the russians who are running around and signing contracts in africa to develop nuclear power plants. because they need lots of power. >> is there a democrat, anyone here, who has actually proposed ideas that would help bring down those costs and make this more of a reality, more nuclear pow sf power? >> senator booker has talked about it. i'll be frank, i haven't seen anything robust, i may have missed something, come out of his campaign. he is a co-sponsor of the nuclear energy leadership act in the senate with the senator murkowski which is, you know, about, you know, looks at things like nrc realignment, to streamline permitting, for
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example, and, you know, other things we need to do to invest in nuclear power in this country. as the big sister of a nuclear engineer, and someone being from new mexico, the birthplace of the atomic era, i'm all about it. i think on smrs, too, in terms of nonproliferation, we've done some research looking at, you know, whether or not -- you can move them around, so can we put them on u.s. military bases abroad and use them to help provide power to folks there so that plploy zero carbon power with fewer nonproliferation concerns and i'd much rather us be doing that in nigeria, for example -- >> sure. >> -- than putin, frankly. >> yeah. >> i think the importance now is that question of whether or not the candidates are looking at a full portfolio approach of how we address climate change and whether or not nuclear is part of that. the center for american progress, john podesta and myself and several other members
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of the climate team, put out a report that charts how do we get to 100% clean future by mid-century, and it's not possible if we lose the existing nuclear fleet because it will be replaced with natural gas then, of course, we'll end up increasing emissions even greater, so i understand that there are deep fears, deep concerns, and a legacy that has really led to not a lot of popular support for nuclear energy. so, if a candidate is going to be supportive of these options, they're going to have to make the case to the american public and show that it's safe and that we can do something about the list. >> speaking of things that might or might not be popular, so several candidates like pete buttigieg and joe biden have offered there's a role for a carbon tax. but some of the political left seem to have moved beyond it thinking it's too small to actually address climate change and economists would say the same, a lot of where these proposals are starting out. the political right has obviously been skittish about it. i mean, is there a world in which you can see a carbon price
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becoming politically feasible in time? >> not at the level you'd need to get to the scientific targets. i minean, the imf report that ce out recently was looking at still a 2 degree target. they were talking about $75 to $100 per ton tax which i don't think anyone on the hill thinks is a viable path even with republicans open to a carbon tax. we've seen political challenges in australia, even washington state tried to pass it via ballot initiative twice and get it through the legislature. was unsuccessful then governor inslee moved forward on his 100% clean power bill and got it through in one legislative session. so, i think the carbon tax is still incredibly important because there's no way the american public is not going to recognize that polluters are going to have to pay some more for the pollution that they put out and that that money will be important for rebuilding infrastructure and rebuilding and investing in communities. it's just the size of it is going to be a big question in
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what comes along. it's no longer seen as the silver bullet that's going to solve everything. >> the difference between saying it's not a silver bullet and not saying that it's part of the -- >> right. >> -- story, i think there's no question that it's not -- i think there is openness in the political spectrum. >> definitely. >> and because republicans have come a long way on the hill to being willing to vote on a carbon tax, it could be something that grows and the rate of the tax could also rise as we, you know, as time goes by and becomes an important piece of just changing the psyche in america for polluters to pay for the pollution they put out. i mean, we have some real, i think, things that we can do right away that we're not talking about because you can't -- on the left you can't talk about the fossil fuel industry as surviving at all and, therefore, you can't put any priorities or methods that
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will make it cleaner on the shorter run. on the right, you can't go after the fossil fuel industry for a different reason. what we're left with is the fact that we are -- our flaring in the united states is growing so much. while we're having this debate we went from number eight to number six to number five to number four according to the u.n. and now probably number two or three if you look at real data versus just what reported. if you just look at what companies are reporting, we have now -- we're behind, i think it's russia, iran, iraq, then the united states. but with the sanctions on iran's oil production, we're probably already number three and i forget where it was. one university did a study on believing that only 50% of flaring is being reported. so we have taken all the advancement that we had on reducing emissions and we're reversing it because of flaring but nobody can actually talk about charging any money for it or making it or banning it
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because if you ban the flaring or address the flaring from the left, that says, no, you can't do that because all production has to go away. so, and on the right, you can't do it for because you can't touch production because it could have an effect on production. but in the meantime, the permit growing at a million dollars per day increase in production while we're having this conversation. so, oil's not going away any time soon. and the amount of flaring that's happening there is beyond bel f belief. if you look at the google earth at night, it is -- it looks like a city. and nobody lives there. it's just all lit up. so we have these weird gaps, we ta talk about, should we do a carbon tax, we have low-hanging fruit nobody wants to talk about or touch even though it will have a getter impact on anything else we're doing and by the time the next president comes in, this problem is going to be far worse than where we are today. >> that's where, there my mind,
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the juice isn't worth the geez when it comes to a carbon tax and political maneuvering that would have to be done for that. there's no consensus, number one, on what the federal tax or price for carbon should be and there's even greater disagreement within the left and within the right on what to do with the revenue. do we decrease taxes, do we do just transition, do we do something else, invest in infrastructure or all that stuff? >> or give it back? >> or do we give it back in dividends? that's where it's like both parties agreeing we need to fix the health care problem and we've seen how easy that is. it's a similar process and problem with a carbon tax but i think that we can be smarter about it because what we're talking about with a carbon tax is not -- we're talking about sending a signal to the marketplace. and the federal government can do that in one way and states can do that in a different way. carbon pricing already does exist. sarah talked about the 45q tax
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credit which is a federal price that values and monetizes the sequestration of cait if you pu it under ground and keep it there. that's worth something for long-term planners and folks who want to continue to develop oil and gas but make it, someday, an option, and this is for occidental petroleum, where they're interested in the option where a customer who needs to fuel their gas-powered car can pick between the gas station on the left and the gas station on the right, and if the gas station on the left offers you net zero emissions gasoline because they sequestered enough carbon dioxide on the front end so what you burn at the end of your tailpipe doesn't count in the positive, what are you going to pick? the gas station on the left or the gas station on the right? we have increasing opportunities to implement and make that technology real. also, the carbon price doesn't exist in the united states just isn't true. one-third of the united states economy is governed under a
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carbon tax or a carbon price under cap and trade system offered at the state level. california, regional greenhouse gas initiative, which is looking to expand and get pennsylvania in for the first time and have new jersey come back in. so those are big states. and those are meaningful policy plays in terms of what's happening at the state level. and i would offer that that's a better way to work the system. have the federal government focus on reducing costs, have states increase the cost at the pump because that's politically challenging. >> let me just transition -- yeah, sure. >> yeah, i think direct carbon pricing is kind of nice, like unicorns and my purple hair is 100% natural. i was born this way. >> there are economists crying everywhere as you're saying that. >> i mean, it's beautiful, but, you know, since when is politics beautiful? i will say this, as charles alluded, there's more than one way to skin a cat. something that we've been working on at the rainey center
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is putting together a framework for a program similar to the offshore oil spill liability trust fund where voluntarily, companies or actors that believe they could have liability related to their greenhouse gas emissions could pay in at a level set by actuaries, have a panel decide, you know, when damages related to climate change have occurred. you know, are we moving the indian tribe because of climate change? what percentage of the pg&e fires can we contribute to being exacerbated by climate change? the idea being that fund would then pay out and the actors who might be lrkiable would then ha their tort liability capped. that's a different kind of a price on carbon, different kind of market signal that acknowledges the potential liability for harm and, but also acknowledge acknowledges the fact that we're all carbon emitters, these
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companies frankly responded to consumer demand for their product, fossil energy, and allows us to move forward and address the cost of dealing with climate change without bailing out these big, you know, major greenhouse gas emitters. i think that, for me, is a big thing missing from the green new deal and some of the conversations that democrats are having. i'm a conservative, i believe in personal responsibility. i believe in accountability. i've certainly been held to it no my own life, and i don't really want to see a carbon bailout. some of these major emitters have been, you know, polluting the atmosphere. putting trash in all our yards, essentially. for a long time when they knew better. we need to find a pathway that allows them to decrease their liability, to help pay for the seawall, for example, and make the rest of us whole. >> now, let me -- since health care was mentioned, you know, we
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know that was a very big, big lift, and, you know, you get to a point where if you have a new president come in, you only have so much time to push ga game-changing legislation. a lot of proposals democrats have pushed are huge on climate, environment, but the question is, will that be the first thing out of the gate? let me get a sense of the panel here. does anyone think that any of the 2020 democrats running, that this is going to be their top priority, their obamacare-type push? if you only got one shot kind of thing, are they going to use it on climate change? >> the question is, are you phrasing this in the positive or the negative? you think they're not going to. >> do you think they are going to? >> do i think they are going to. i think based on what amos was talking about just a little bit ago, we've been doing a lot of polling in early states and in those battleground states and for the first time in all the polling that we've ever done, we see climate change right there
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with health care and then in some cases even being more important to democrats. so i think it's impossible to imagine, especially given the plans that they put forward, that any of them would not make this part of their original 100 day out of the gate plan. now, there's a wide range of what that looks like and for those of us who have been in the administration, how does that translate into every bilateral conversation? do you set up a commission or a new part of the white house? what does it mean to use every single lever of your power from the very beginning when your political capital is highest? and i think that's where folks are trying to push for, "a," commitments around will this be a top priority for you? yes. "b," how does it fit with the overall narrative that we're hearing from these candidates and the social change that they're really trying to push? >> i agree with every word. it will depend on what the congress looks like in this election. if you have the congress that we have today, democrats
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controlling the house, republicans controlling the senate, that will change what the agenda is. it is a legislative agenda which i think will be diminished if we are in the reality that we're in today. or is it more of putting together, okay, what can i do as president in the first 100 days that doesn't actually get me bogged down in a -- in a sort of quaug mi quagmire on the hill between the house and senate? i'll try still to get something done there, but i think it will be a bigger effort on what do i do with the executive powers that i have to make as big an impact as i can in those first 100 days? >> i think the next president, whether it is a democrat or a republican who succeeds trump, is going to be facing a very big foreign affairs and national security problem. we've got in the energy context, for example, this blows my mind. i haven't fully processed it
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yet, but apparently the united states of america, the beacon of the world on human rights, is now willing to send u.s. troops to protect oil fields in saudi arabia and syria but not to prevent genocidal aggression against the kurds. it's -- or simply look, if we want to talk about moving ahead in the international space, our credibility after kyoto, after paris -- >> copenhagen. >> -- copenhagen. those -- those are -- goodsness gracious, even burizma is a national gas company so i think the next president, whomever they, whomever succeeds trump from either party, is going to zr spend a lot of their time, energy and capital on addressing that situation. as a conservative, as someone who's worked for many republicans, that's what i'm most concerned about and very concerned about the fact that the democratic party, nor trump, are talking about how climate and energy really are playing into all of these headlines on
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energy. that we are seeing right now. >> we're going to open it up to q&a now. we got one right here. >> i'm with the atlantic council. just mentioned -- oops. i'm bronco jersey with the atlantic council. christy, you mentioned the poll. back in february of this year, the pew trust issued their public policy priorities poll and climate change was number 17 out of 18. economy, health, education, terrorism, and social security, the top five. has anything changed since february? you know, is it the california fires or -- or is it possible that climate change will not be a major issue between the republican and democrat candidate in the major election? >> so, a couple of things. our poll was also earlier this year, so i think it was either february or march, and it was
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democratic primary voters, which are very different than, obviously, the overall general electorate which pew looks at. and then the second part, i just lost. what was the second part of your -- oh, has anything changed? i think we're seeing the intensity around climate change and the need to act because of -- you think about where we were a year ago, we had california fires, again. we had an election. we had the ipcc report that came out and the national climate assessment report that came out on the friday after thanksgiving when the administration tried to bury it then we had sit-ins in soon to be speaker pelosi's office that launched the green new deal. that was just a year ago. so the speed at which we are seeing this change happen in the public's mind, i think, is quite swift, but it is still a challenge. when we get into the general election, this will be an issue
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because politics is about friction. and the fact that president trump has already stated, hey, folks, we're not going to talk about the green new deal right now because we're going to wait until the general election so we can scare the hell out of everybody with this. he's already articulated and said the quiet parts of his strategy out loud for the general election on climate. we know what's coming. we saw what happened in australia where language there in that election was about scaring people and scaring them about their pocketbook. on the other side, we have this newfound intensity on the democratic voter side that really feels like we have to address this issue. and if you think suburban women of different stripes are what are really going to be in play here, climate change is an issue that moves them. so, this is going to be a fight because the differences between the likely candidates, whoever they end up being, on the left, are so big. versus in 2008, barack obama and mccain, they had plans that were not entirely different.
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so, i do expect this to be a big part of the fight. >> you want an example of why democrats want this fight, look at this stage. i mean, what you hear from sarah, just now, is why democrats want this debate because they believe that the independents and traditionally republican voting who are open minded about voting something else for the first time, on this issue, agree more with democrats than with republicans depending on who ultimately the nominee is and, you know, all those things. >> let's go over here. murderer's row over here. >> hi, my name is joel. high road strategies. also the u.s. association for energy economics initiative. the -- i'm not finding this particularly illuminating yet. snun of thnone of this is
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crystalized. i'm "d" leaning and come out of labor. i worked a lot in the space relating especially to how this might affect the hardline kind of communities and so on. i think -- i'm glad that my republican friends there seem to be at least open-minded about climate. i wish the republican party might actually take seriously that climate change is an exponential issue that, therefore, needs a across the board government, private sector, civil sector, states, you know, commitment to this thing and not worry about whether the federal government is going to come in and, you know, land black helicopters and take over everything. because i think that's absurd. anyway, i wanted to point this to christy. to what extent do the democrats -- candidates, they talk about just transition. i worked on the issue of just transition, myself. i think the dems are a mile wide and inch deep on this stuff. to what ex-pent do you think
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they're ready to be more realistic about what this implies especially if they do want to win the hardlines? because i don't think unless they face this, they will win the hardliners. >> a great question. >> i want to get more, a sense -- i know you're looking a lot at this. >> ipcc report talked about, oh, we can do this transition, if we do it, it will be at the scale that's never been seen in human history, so i think the discussion around just transition, i know there's lots of folks who don't even like that term, so worker-centered transition, however we talk about it, i think we have to look to the north. canada has put together an actual proposal where they will be going to communities to talk about what does it mean to help you as you transition away from fossil fuel? we're not going to be able to, i think i agree with amos, put all the details in without working with the communities that are going to be most impacted by this transition.
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so i think there is a serious attention on it but as you said, the details are not there. and it is going to require whatever big government-wide effort to work with those communities to figure out how we address this appropriately because i don't think there are a ton of places that we can point to. we can look at brack realignment, we can look at other places where we have successfully closed down large nuclear plants and been able to put people into jobs, but that's -- we have to start picking up those full government-wide approaches that were done right and what worked then go to the people who are going to be impacted and find out how to learn from them. >> alliance -- >> yes. we work very closely with them on -- they have a whole platform on the solidarity for climate action. >> just to build off that a little bit, though, when it comes to just transition, we
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have very few successful federal models and i think, in fact, the evidence indicates that the federal government is pretty lousy at just transition and that's why donald trump is president because he hammered hard on nafta being one where, you know, the economists agreed, this was going to lead to overall improvement in quality of life for most americans, and that was true, but there wasn't -- there weren't adequate mechanisms for the winners to compensate the losers so we ended up in a situation where i as a free trader hated that part of the president's platform that we needed to renegotiate nafta, but at the end of the day those modest improvements to focus more on labor, focus more on environment and bring those into the fold have been improvements that i have to accept. and i think that that's one where the question and efficacy of the federal government in that position raises a lot of questions in my mind. >> success race on that more than you think it's partly
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because congress proposed these things -- >> we're going to move on to another question here. we have over here. >> yeah, you mentioned carbon taxes, and you're saying it's going after the polluters, but just like any business that suffers under the overreach of the government, whether it's overregulation or taxes, passes on to the consumer, isn't this going to affect basically the middle class, even poor people -- >> yeah. >> -- who have to pay for their energy, and also the call for having these electric cars, i mean, what generates electricity? isn't that fossil fuel? and why is it always developed nations? like the u.s., we do a lot of stuff to make our energy production cleaner but nobody talks about china or india which pollutes the hell out of the atmosphere. >> there's a lot in there. >> there's a lot in there. >> who wants to start? >> there's a lot in there. >> question -- >> to just expand a little bit on the carbon tax component, so let's say that i'm wrong and let's say that a carbon tax
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passes with flying colors, you know, right away in the next session. what happens when the economy slows down? those subsidies, those tax cuts, that money that was sprinkled in terms of dividends or however it comes back to the american tax payer, that will be popular. that carbon tax increase that affects everyone at the pump will not and there's no -- talk bing about historical precedents, there's no evidence that folks support an increase in their transportation costs. look at chile where they just had to move the united nations conference of parties because of a boost in transportation costs. americans are historically nonresponsive to increases in gasoline costs and that's why the gas tax hasn't increased in well over a decade. so, i think that that's something where there's no substitution when it comes to gasoline and people are very sensitive to gasoline price changes and so that's why even
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if i'm dead wrong, i'm concerned that that as a climate policy won't be recession-proof. >> is there anyone in the center -- let's go back here in the red. in the red. >> hi. i'm wondering what you all think about the national standard that's technology inclusive and also sector-specific standards? >> i think this is one of the places that we're seeing more emerging consensus around the clean energy standard or some way to focus on where we need to go with the good types of technology which is why we've seen so much success at the state level. there's a lot of back and forth about it in d.c. because it has to be 60 votes versus a carbon tax which you could easily see getting through any budget reconciliation package. from our perspective at cap, a clean energy standard is one of the ways that we think we can
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get a lot more buy-in and we've original cleaner act was very much technology based versus standard and performance based and then you have to change the law or change the race just to bring the new energy innovation to market. so i think it's very important in terms of incentivizing energy
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technology, clean tech and rnd that if we do something and we want to get to 100% netzero that it allows for innovators to say all right. i might have a market and i might not have to change the wall after millions of dollars in investments or permitting to be able to bring this product, and this new, innovative energy technology to market. i think the solutions that we're looking for, they might not have been invented yet. there might be a 7-year-old out there right now in colorado or minnesota who is going to -- who will save the world with whatever they come up with and we need to have policies in place that don't arbitrarily favor technologies versus outcomes. >> another question right up here. fourth row. >> hi. i have two questions that are slightly related. >> have any of the democratic
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candidates expressed their vision for renewable infrastructure being ahead of the meter and behind the meter and the second is as the u.s. continues to enhance and roll out its transmission grids, allowing for the electrification of both refinement and extraction of natural gas to developing nations where it's not really viable to build out large-scale electric infrastructure to tackle this as a global issue and not just a domestic issue. >> on the natural gashgs i think that we are -- i don't see a move to change the environment as far as the export licenses that have been given. what you could have theoretically speaking is someone that comes in and tries to slow down or not permit new
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export facilities. once we get out of the campaign mode and we get into a governing mode and you look at the role that lng plays in the rest of the world. think about the united states for a second and the role the gas plays in the transition, i don't see the u.s. moving away from that both for national security implications and foreign policy reasons because that's where you get to this mix of some of its climate policy and some of its foreign policy and we're not going to take that off the table. if we did, the price of natural gas in the united states will be somewhere in the 25%, 28% of the lng market at that point and you'll have a huge spike in natural gas prices and all that that will translate to is moving peak coal much further away into the future. so from both the foreign policy perspective and the climate perspective, i don't see that changing. it could mean that you're not going to see additional permits.
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>> on the specific question around metering and candidates, i think it shows up more in terms of community choice and individual choice on how to access your energy and specifics, i can't think of the specific element of the planned right this second, but i think that will continue to be what's driving in a new mexico -- or salt lake city, utah. they are allowing customers to choose -- you have to opt in to getting coal. you're going to get 100% renewables and if you want coal you'll need on the actual utility bills say you want coal. i think you'll see unique ways to address this and give communities a voice in the type of electricity they get. [ inaudible question ] >> that's the entire natural gas conversation, yes. >> and that's all we have time
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for today. so i want to thanks, one, the atlanta council for hosting this and the panelists for being able to be here and giving their thoughts. so thank you. [ applause ] on wednesday, president trump holds a campaign rally in monroe, louisiana. watch live at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. online at or listen live with the free c-span radio app. this week on c-span3 at 8:00 p.m. eastern, watch samples of the history coverage featured every weekend on american history tv. tonight, supreme court justices
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ruth bader ginsburg and sotomayor reflect on sandra day o'connor, thursday, a look at past impeachment proceedings for presidents andrew johnson, richard nixon and bill clinton. american history tv features all week at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. ♪ >> c-span's washington journal live every day with policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, we'll talk about the impeachment process with molly reynolds, brookings' government study senior fellow and the federal judiciary with the ethics and public policy's aed whalen. >> join the discussion. ♪ ♪
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>> our c-span campaign 2020 bus team is traveling across the country in the 2020 presidential race, asking voters what issues they want presidential candidates to address during the campaign. >> smith want the 2020 presidential candidates to address is gun violence. i don't think there's one clear-cut answer. we need to initiate that discussion in discovering what option are available to prevent these disasters from happening. >> my question i have for the candidates is how are you going to combat the rising prices and drugs and also in health care. >> an issue that's really important to me is focusing on fixing our criminal justice system. how can we rehabilitate our offenders and how can we support a positive relationship between the law enforcement and how can we fix the massen ca incarcerat
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rates and how can we help those in poverty, and the school to prison pipeline is also really important to focus on. how can we help our juveniles who are involving themselves in delinquency? >> an issue really important to me is a woman's right to autonomy. i feel like this right is not currently being protected by the u.s. government though it should be. >> voices from the campaign trail, part of c-span's battleground state's tour. dennis mullenberg is the ceo of boeing. he was on cap hitol hill on the safety of the 737 max airplane. he appeared before the house transportation committee. the committee on


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