Set America Free Coalition presents "Primary Energy: '08" with 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Governor Bill Richardson
Gov. Richardson shares his ideas on clean energy, global warming and energy independence.
The goal of Primary Energy '08 series is to elevate and invigorate the energy policy debate in the 2008 presidential elections by providing leading presidential candidates an exclusive stage to publicly present their energy program and interact with a select group of energy experts, media and public opinion shapers.
Gal Luft is executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS) and co-founder of the Set America Free Coalition, an alliance of national security, environmental, labor and religious groups promoting ways to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
He specializes in strategy, geopolitics, terrorism, Middle East and energy security. Newsweek Magazine called him a "tireless and independent advocate of energy security," and the business magazine Poder called him "one of the most recognizable figures in modern energy and security issues."
Dr. Luft has published numerous studies and articles on security and energy issues in various newspapers and publications such as Foreign Affairs, The American Interest, Commentary Magazine, Middle East Quarterly, LA Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. He appears frequently in the media and consults to various think tanks and news organizations worldwide. Dr. Luft testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including Senate Foreign Relations, House International Relations, House Science and the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is a board member of the Center for Energy Defence and a member of the Society of Industry Leaders, the Committee on the Present Danger and other non-profit groups. He holds degrees in international relations, international economics, Middle East studies and strategic studies and a doctorate in strategic studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS,) Johns Hopkins University.
Governor Bill Richardson
Governor Bill Richardson was elected governor of New Mexico in 2002 by the largest margin of any candidate since 1964.
Governor Richardson just completed his third legislative session, cutting taxes for more than 500,000 working New Mexicans, creating a statewide pre-kindergarten program, revamping the state's higher education system, and increasing access to quality health care. He was a candidate for the 2008 presidential election.
Ladies and Gentleman, good evening and thank you all for coming here to our event "Primary Energy'08" my name is Gal Luft, I am executive director of the Washington based institute for the analysis ofGlobal security which is an energy security think tank. I am also a founding member of the SetAmerica Free Coalition which is a coalition of National Security, environmentalist labor unions,religious groups, evangelicals etc etc or as one of our members Jim Woolsey called it "a coalitionof tree huggers, do-gooders, sod-busters, and cheap hawks and evangelicals and all of us areconcerned about the Nations dependence on oil, what does it mean for a National Security, what does it mean foreconomy? What does it mean for the dollar? What does it mean for the environment?And we have think that there can't be policies that we can all agree on as opposed to banging our headagainst a wall trying to fight battles that don't get us anywhere. So we decided as part of thePresidential campaign to allow Presidential candidates to give televised remarks, we will post this onthe web at setamericafree.org and I am glad that Governor Richardson agreed to come here tonight andgive us his vision about what should we what should we do about our energy dependence - oildependence that is let me just thank our partners and collaborators first of all the Keene State Collegethat is hosting the event with us - I would like to thank our sponsors that primarily the Rockefellers,brother's fund, the energy foundation and the Hewlett foundation and a special thank you to ourAmbassadors, Set America Free's Ambassadors in the State of New Hampshire, Lorrie and BruceHenry where's Lorrie?. There she is, they have been doing terrific job here in the State of NewHampshire trying to promote the vision of reducing Americas energy dependence and another thing Iwould like to mention here is that the coalition does not endure support or opposes any candidate.We want to give everybody the the privilege to tell us how they are going to fix our energy problem.With that let me introduce tonight's speaker Governor Richardson, several months ago the Governorproclaimed himself to be the energy President, and he called for a 90 percent cut in Green house gasemissions by 2050, and a cut in US oil dependence by 50 percent by 2020 and these are very veryambitious goals and under normal circumstances you know we would say "well yeah we have heardthat before but in the case of Governor Richardson I think that such proclamations need to be takenseriously not only because he is known as somebody that walks the walk but also because he knows theenergy terrain very well as you know Governor Richardson's accomplishments as an internationalnegotiator, secretary of Energy under President Clinton and most recently and still is the Governor ofNew Mexico were he implemented tough emission standards that I believe exceed those of even theKyoto protocol.So he is a very interesting candidate to those of us who were interested in energy and the environmentand we look forward and eager to learn how we are going to accomplish these goals. Just to show a fewthings that I learnt about the Governor, I was browsing on the Internet in various campaigns andcandidates trying to learn more about the others and I noticed that all of that candidates when you lookat the the website and the issues, energy comes may be number five or six, when you go to theRichardson website its right at the top second only to the war in Iraq and I think it's very telling. Theother thing that literally blew me away was that I heard that in addition to running for president andrunning a state like New Mexico, he found time to write a book that will be out the next month andit's called "Leading By Example: How We Can Inspire in Energy and Security Revolution" which isup on this topic.Now being a writer myself, I can assure you that selling books is not the best way to finance thecampaign which tells me that probably he wrote this book because he really believes that this is theissue of our time and I look forward to reading this book and I look forward to hearing your remarkswithout further ado lets give run an applause to governor Richardson.Thank you very much. Thank you so much Gal, thank you I appreciate that very nice introduction, thefirst thing I want to say New Hampshire is a big state. You know I have been all over the last threedays and I was asking - I was asking I have a great state police - a New Hampshire state police friendwho helps with driving us around the security and I said well I got to fly to New Mexico tonight youknow I am still governor and how long is it going to take, this is an hour and forty five minutes fromKeene, the Manchester is he is he telling the truth because it seems that we were - an hour and a half - wellhe is a great driver and a great friend but this is a wonderful state and I am going to talk about energy ina moment but I want to I want to thank Keene State College I have been here several times I havebeen in the town - beautiful town square, this is a great school, this is a great idea Gal that you have put together.Get all the candidates talk about energy especially today you know why? $90 per barrel today thehighest ever they wanted they wanted - when I was secretary of energy they wanted to tear my scalpoff when it was 22 - 22 so it's a historic high which is a huge signal policy wise to this country. LorrieHenry from Set America Free, thank you so much for putting this event together, besides as I thankGal, this guy knows his energy and I hope he doesn't ask me too many questions but I wanted to thankagain the students and and all of you for hosting this event and I understand after I speak I haveamended my speech my speech to about an hour and a half what time does the Red Sox start? I willbe finished up with plenty of time but I mainly want to engage in ideas from you.This is this is I think with citizens the first point I want to make, it's for citizens bring the best ideasin my state when It came to becoming the clean energy state and we compete with California you knowwho is the clean energy state, who has done the most on global climate change and who has done themost on renewable portfolio and you know we are we are got to be up to 20 percent in my state wehave got tax free hybrids, we have got solar, wind, biomass incentives, we have got a renewableportfolio with authority which enables us to export wind energy to utilities to other states well youknow the governor of California will also professes to be the clean energy state and I want to declarethat when we were together because he is a larger size than I am, I say California is the clean energystate but what I am not like here, New Mexico is.So what I wanted to say, first of all when it comes to energy policy point number one, the best ideas arenot coming out of Washington, they are coming out of city halls, they are coming out of states, they arecoming out of national movements, they are coming out of New Hampshire where you have a aglobal climate change initiative. For the last several years since 1985 there has not been an affectiveenergy policy in this country and I can also say to although I was the energy secretary, we made somestrides and I will talk about it. Both the both democrats and republicans have not come up with acoherent and comprehensive energy strategy mainly because they are too many special interestsinvolved ,mainly because there has been presidential leadership and mainly because when a presidenttakes a position like this last one it's strictly a policy that is for oil - for oil for oiloccasionally for coal for nuclear and that's it and so we have to shift.This is why I am proud to be a governor because I believe that its movements like this Set AmericaFree that we are talking about how we here going to change energy policy and the way we live in aplanet that is getting dirtier, in an economic situation where one third of our trade deficit is caused bywhat we paid for a barrel of oil $80 for barrel, one third of that trade deficit goes through that hugehuge increase in what we pay per barrel for oil mainly to sources that are not necessarily friendly to theUnited states and so what is the solution? You know a politician will comment, everyone has theireight point plan or six point plan, I want to talk extensively what I believe we need to do because Ithink it's going to take an energy revolution. It's going to take citizens, it's going to take an Apolloprogram, not dinky little bills coming out of the congress every few years that are that are not onlyinsufficient but they are not bold enough and it's going to involve citizens and this is where I believethat you need to play a role because it can't be done by national leadership and legislation, it's also gotto be national movement.So what I am calling for is what is called a new energy revolution to set America in the world free andyou can read about it in my book "Leading By Example". It's going to be published in November,Putnam Books, 17.99- nevermind, nevermind, you will see it you well see it. Here is here isthis energy revolution we are buying up to $300 billion worth of foreign oil every year and we are spendingbillions more transporting and defending oil around the world. Now, of our oil how much is imported?65 percent 65 percent and it's countries that are not necessarily our friends that compose a good partof that percentage and what happens if they decide to conduct an oil disruption on us or they getmad at us. the Venezuelas, Irans, the OPEC countries that generally have been sort of our friendsbut I can tell you as energy secretary, I used to travel around the OPEC countries and tried to get them toincrease production so that the price would go down and and countries that that are consumercountries - and the united States both are consumer and producer country, could could deal with theoil price as an inflation the European union or Japan enormously vulnerable because have no oil resources.Now a- a successful terrorist attack on critical oil infrastructure could drive prices up to $100 or 120 oreven a $150 per barrel. Some kind of disruption may be not necessarily self motivated, but a terroristattack, an accident that that's what what happened. With $80 per barrel some are saying the theprice will go up, gasoline may be 11 cents on the average in this country you got to see that happening.Now what do we need to do about it? We need a national plan to fight global warming and provideenergy security. You look at every scientific study and this is what it says, global warming is there, it isdestroying crops, it's effecting oceans, wildlife, the icecaps, it is there and it is determined by sciencethat it is real and what we need to do is recognize that the science has proven that it's caused by twofactors one, man made pollution and the second, fossil fuels that's what causes. Manmade pollutionand fossil fuels so we need a national plan to become energy independent, to provide energy securityand to fight global warming. Now you know Al Gore - Nobel peace prize - now he had been talkingabout this for years, I remember in the cabinet meetings and people look at him. He was right, the guywas right I mean he was a visionary now all he has to do is stay out of the race and I am totally happy.Now what do we do to develop this national strategy, we have to take advantage of our regionalstrengths in this country. From the wind and Solar or the mountain west to the biomass and coal of themid west, the potential for wave power on both coast and I believe that those regional strength willallow our country to meet the two great challenges of our era, one is energy security, the second isglobal warming.First before I outline what I would do, here are the principles that guide my thinking, Our new energypolicy which by the way has to be bipartisan and everyone that tells you we can do it as democrats, yougot to make it bipartisan, you got to involve citizens, you got to involve independents, you got involverepublicans, young people, the bit - you can't just do it, you know this the party will do it no, partybefore hasn't done it, so let's face that.So here are the principles that guide my thinking first, our new energy policy has to fight globalwarming and the human and the ecological and economic catastrophe that it will cause, we have to setforth that this is a real National security challenge and if you look at the National Security challengecombined with the moral challenge of cleaning up the planet and if you consider also the economicconsequences of not reducing our dependence on foreign oil or our trade deficit, you have a trio ofchallenges that make probably energy policy one of the top issues in in the country and I consider itnumber two, Iraq has won because it's divided us so much in and the cost is human and and theurgency is huge.Next number two, our energy policy must wean us away from fossil fuels, it has to do that we have toshift, it doesn't mean you replace oil or you terminate oil, our natural gas, it means there is got to be acomprehensive and incredibly fast strategy to wean us away from oil.Number three, we must help the people, the communities and industries who today are being hurt bysoaring prices and tomorrow could be hurt by careless transition. Now what we also need to do as amatter of National principle is keep the United States at the forefront of Science and technologydevelopment which we are not we are not a Nation of research any more. Into into cancer, in thespace, into research, into fuels, bio diesel, into solar wind technology, these technologies need to bedeveloped they need R&D, they need our best scientists on them, and our commitment to science,biomedical, those budgets are flat and involves having a new innovation policy in this country that isgot to study how to make these technologies accessible, you know solar just to be a solarmanufacturing panel, an average price 40,000 bucks that only the rich can use, it's got to be used in inminority neighborhoods, that's got to be used in cities, that's got to be used with affordable housing,we can't just make the province of of the business community in the very rich, these are my bedrockprinciples and we have to keep the United States at the fore front of science and technologydevelopment, exploring frontiers, finding solutions to energy and climate challenges they got to takeR&D and innovation.And they got to take citizens that some times have the best ideas, as a governor we got a water problemin my state you know what the problem is? We don't have any and so you need policies that involvea reuse technology and conservation but it's individuals that come up with the best ideas on how toconserve water. We did a contest in the State it wasn't the bureaucrats or the state water engineer thatwin those contest, individuals that on their own with some kind of a capital are are bridging some ofthese frontiers and this is what we need to do with energy. The innovation of individual citizens but weneed more than any thing what is called an Apollo program, a man on the moon program to end ouraddiction, the foreign oil, now you know these are this is some times cheap talk - for every politicianthat has a marshal plan or an Apollo program, there are lot of them but this one this one is real andthis is got involve the congress, the industry, the energy industry, the Public and and it's important torecognize that it has to happen and it has to be fairly immediate. It has to be fairly immediate because ifwe don't if we just put it off if we don't act if we don't if we just leave it to local communitiesand states yeah there will be good constructive change but there has to be Presidential and National leadership.As I mentioned to you, in our state we have renewable energy requirements in the into place, solartax initiatives, we are eliminating sales taxes on hybrid vehicles, we comply it to the Kyoto treaty, wehave renewable portfolio standards I try on my own I drive or my security drives a Ford Hybrid, anethanol vehicle we have at the Governor's residence. Lighting and and air conditioning and waterdrip systems that are energy efficient, so you got to lead by example although I could do a lot more inperson that needs to happen.When I was energy secretary, we did try to have a renewable portfolio standard, we tried to make it 10percent, it didn't happen, we couldn't get the congress convinced to do it. I remember trying to push afuel efficiency standards by a cooperative invention with the big three that involved saying let's havemore fuel efficient gasoline, let's work together to achieve it and and some of the big threecompanies - the first year I found that we were fighting you know why they didn't include Toyotayou know you can't do that, a lot of people drive Toyotas and it's got to be everybody, it can't just bethe big American manufacturers, but we persuaded them to to at least start the program we did getenergy efficiency standards, I did by an executive order, make air conditioning 30 percent moreefficient, a week before we left office the Bush people sued us the air-conditioning people sued us, ittook four years to beat them but we finally got that 30 percent but we lost we lost four years.I push for conservation, if you remember the California electricity crisis I said we are not going toprotect you from big black outs unless you have conservation, as I mentioned the renewable portfoliostandard, the new vehicle technology. Gal mentioned, I have been a negotiator a lot of this thatinvolves American National security policy involves negotiation, some of that we have not practiced inour foreign policy, it's called diplomacy it's called talking to people instead of shooting at them first,it's called for negotiation it's called you know negotiating - you remember what Yitzhak Rabin said,when he won the Nobel Prize, he said "you don't make peace with your friends, you make peace withyour enemies" and some times it means having tough discussions with those that you don't agree with.You know I have President Clinton used to say Richardson negotiated with with North Korea, withSudan, with Cuba, with Iraq, and he used to say bad people like Richardson, so well sent them out there.So it's got to take not just domestic policies, it's got to take National security negotiations to deal withweaning us from this energy insecurity. So here are the five steps that I would take, first by the year2020 we must dramatically reduce oil consumption by as much as 10 million barrels through severalmeasures. Now what does that mean that means a 50 percent reduction in oil consumption by the year2020 - 50 percent, we must do it and I believe it is doable.How do you do this? You do it by several ways, one you get low and zero petroleum plug-in cars intothe market place 100 mile per gallon, they're out there, you plug them in I believe that the Americanpeople would buy them and their technology is increasing every day, secondly you got to reduce ourcarbon emissions from our electricity sector that has to happen, third we got to move to fuelefficiency standards fuel economy standards to 50 percent per gallon by 2020. Here is the congress,you know they - they have this energy bill, they are very proud of it.The first thing they do is they give Nuclear power plants you know the ability to start a bunch of newones, we haven't figured out what we are going to do with waste but you know let's start a bunch ofnew ones, let's have a bunch of new dirty coal plants. Wind energy tries to get additional credits andtax extensions oh no we can't do that they put in a very modest one, we push a renewable portfoliostandard, how about a modest one?10 percent of all electricity or 15 percent by the year 2020 oh no no that's too rigorous, it didn'tpass you know I think we need to go and I will explain. So 50 miles per gallon by 2020, not the 35 thecongress wants. We need to reduce all oil consumption for transportation, for ships, trains, trucks,Planes there are new technologies in renewable fuels. So that's how you reduce oil consumption, firstby mileage standards, by using fuel efficient vehicles, plug in hybrids, by reducing the carbonemissions from the electricity sector.Number two, create new efficiencies and energy sources in the electric sector - in electricity. Whatdoes that mean? That means that you know the electricity we get, whether it's coal, natural gas,whatever is generated, it needs to go to 30 percent renewable by 2020 and 50 percent by 2040. Youknow my state is already at 15 and we pledge to go to 20 by 2010, other states have these renewableportfolio standards, it has to be a national standard and a president has to push it.Number two, we have got to have a law too that says 20 percent energy efficiency. Every building, everysector has to have a 20 cent improvement in energy efficiency by the year 2020. Now goal numberthree, you go to the Kyoto Treaty, green house gas emissions green house gas emissions thatare emitted from energy plants, coal plants, polluters etc. You need to reduce green house gasemissions by at least 20 percent by the year 2020 and 90 percent by 2040, now that's going to takedrastic measures, that's got to take mandates, not you know as the president wants goals that we gotto have goals, we are got to get business together to do goals, yeah right that's going to happen. It's gotto take legislation that mandates what is called a cap and trade system that has very specific goals andthe specific goals are 20 percent by 2020 and 90 by 2040 and we start with what I said is a marketbased cap and trade system.In other words by the year 2020, utilities in industry would be allowed to emit 80 percent as muchglobal warming pollution as they do today - 80 percent combined with transportation sector saving,these changes well reduce green house gas emissions by 30 percent by the year 2020. Some have said,why don't you like a carbon tax? I don't believe it's the answer. Large Corporation shouldn't be ablepay their way out of pollution, with the carbon tax they will they won't be forced either to reduceemissions. Cap and trade is better because it's a mandate. Cap and trade is better because under atax, guess who is going to be assessed the effects of those corporations paying a carbon tax -consumers you know people driving. We need to move those carbon clean coal using safe long termcarbon disposal or sequestration and deploy these carbon clean coal technologies, what does thismean? This means that all these new coal companies that want to start up you know what I say to them?Yes, you can however only if you have clean carbon coal and only if you have 60 percent cleansequestration otherwise you can't do it and this happened to me in my state when I had a companycalled Desert Rock and they said "hey governor we have got a great idea to to end unemployment onthe Navajo Reservation, we have got 2000 jobs but we want a coal plant" and I said okay great, is itgoing to be clean? You got to go 60 percent carbon sequestration "oh no we cant afford that, youknow we will - we well have like a ten year plan" I said "well you got to have" - so my answer is "yougot to have a ten - I am going to give you a ten year plan to meet 60 percent carbon sequestration" sowe didn't have it. Sometimes it's important to say no and we have that technologies for carbon cleancoal, you just have to use it it's got to cost more but it's there and it's important that we recognizethat we are got to have to take these steps.Number four you know capital capitalize and invest that America's strengths in science andtechnology. We need to establish what I mention energy innovation fund that that funds people andand institutions to develop clean energy, research and technology support and then lastly America hasto lead and that basically means that we go back to Kyoto and we say "we are sorry internationalcommunity that we didn't sign the Kyoto Treaty and now we are going to sign a new Kyoto Treaty butit's going to be tougher and we are going to make up for the eight years that we left behind.Why is it that America that produces 25 percent of the world's pollution then only has four percent ofthe world's population says that the science isn't there there were not go to its going to hurt ourindustry and jobs, that is fallacious, that is the argument that the administration has been using and youhave got energy and and other ministers from around the world wanting America to lead and Europeis leading, the the the new prime minister of Germany Angela Merkel four months ago wanted toget the European union on a more modest green house gas emissions reduction, the president said "Ihave got a plan and the plan is that a year from now, we will meet again to set goals and we will studyit for another year" guess when - October of '08, he is a month out of office.That is not American leadership and what we need to do is support mandatory limits on pollution, keepatmospheric carbon below 450 parts per million and it means saying to - it mean saying to India andChina who have refused to sign the Kyoto Treaty, who are with us or the worlds big polluters, that theyhave to join too, but they are not going to join unless we join. So it's called the international leadership,it's called making this national security priority and and my point here is that this war in Iraq and Imean I know this is on energy, this has diverted us from focusing on the real challenges effecting ournational security. One, international terrorism, second, nuclear terrorism, nuclear proliferation, thirdbecoming in to energy independent and reducing green house gas emissions.Now here is an invitation I have to the oil companies. I want them to become energy companies, not oilcompanies, invest and thriving in our energy future. You know to the oil companies, in the last energybill they had huge subsidies with coal and nuclear I think that those subsidies need to be spread aroundin fact if I am bold enough, I would shift them to renew renewable and I am going to say that theenergy industry, it's important that you invest in new technologies and renewable fuels in in sensibleefforts to drill in America not in ecosystems, there are plenty of places to drill. You don't have todrill overseas, drill in this country but do it in an ecological sensitive way that have refining capacity,that is sensible and environmentally clean.So that's my plan, we need bold action and here is where you come in. I well close with this. Youknow politicians have told our public in in America that we are going to give you a war that is notauthorized, we are going to give you tax cuts that even if you don't want them, we are going to give itto you especially to the very wealthy, we are going to pile up a debt of nine trillion dollars, we are notgoing to worry about balancing the budget and and the priorities at this country needs - we are notgoing to ask any American to sacrifice a little bit, we are not going to ask any American to cometogether. We had an opportunity after 9/11 and we squandered that opportunity to unify the country inan effort to become energy independent and and to deal with - reaching out with diplomacy to resolvethe huge problems that we have, instead we went to Iraq and where are we today?So this is what I would ask you, I would level with you, I would say you know what? If we are going toachieve all these goals, it's not just the president, the congress and the government, it's you too and Iam going to ask you to sacrifice a little bit I will and that's not a popular word in - you know withpollsters, my pollsters say don't use that word but here is what I am using it, I am not saying "wear asweater" or you know turn off the lights in you house, I am saying just if everybody pitches in, everysingle human being in this country and we are more sensitive through appliances, we are more sensitiveto the way we drive and the vehicles we drive and mass transit instead of having in these big porkbills of highways it it invest more in land use planning and commuter rail and light rail and - andmore efficient energy efficient transportation you - compared to other states, New Hampshire you arepretty good at it although you are getting a traffic problem here. You guys I am not running forgovernor or mayor here but I think this needs to happen and so I will say you know when it comes toappliances, when it comes to how you live, you get back and forth and set a driving 30 days to work,you don't do 29 and go mass transit one day. Be more - buy energy efficient appliances, look atvehicles that are more energy efficient consistent with the needs of you family. You know find ways togive incentives to building so that they become green and retrofit homes that are green and we findways to make them affordable for every American anyway I have gone too long but what I want todo is Gal I take questions now? Thank you.