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Joining me now former energy secretary Spencer Abraham and mr.
What do you make of this whole business about no energy policy does it make a difference that we don't have one.
Well it clearly would be helpful if we were all on the same page and I think it would especially be helpful if we could sort of shell off the table.
All of the various myths that have grown up about energy and all of the sort of shrill exaggerations.
That we hear from people -- different.
Stakes in the in the in the system.
But instead the debate about energy in Washington is always.
Basically involved with these these kinds of myths -- these kinds of you know false attacks in these.
Exaggerated claims and so as a result nobody can come together.
It be great if we you know if we were a little bit more you know focused if we understood it better and -- policy makers understood better what the real -- -- of not having a coherent policy.
But instead that's all gotten lost in the -- political.
And partisan kind of debate that typically has been going on recent years well one of bid correct me if I'm wrong but I I was looking a bit your background and not only serving this is senators serving as energy secretary.
But at some point in your career I think it was when you were senator from Michigan.
You propose legislation to do away with the Department of Energy -- it right right.
Yeah it was private my strategist credential and getting selected for the position I think President Bush felt that it would be useful to have somebody.
In the department who was in that captured by the policies of the past the -- that in -- really kind of push the envelope a little bit but -- it was it was an interest think affirmation we're yes all of that it was but I mean it was something that was an agency that was started during the Carter administration during OPEC oil embargoes and all of that.
How do you feel about -- -- you you still well liked the idea of getting rid of it.
I think they act and act act under a different view but here here's the point to Begin with -- my position and the legislation which we tried to have to move forward back in the 1990s.
Would not have done away with the programs the Department of Energy overseas but rather reassign them to other parts of government for instance the department is in charge of maintaining our nuclear stockpile.
We felt that was a function the national the security agencies could handle.
The departments in charge of a major environmental cleanup programs around the country without that would be something perhaps.
-- -- protection agency could handle so there's the idealist to reassign them but as.
Veteran of the department of having served as secretary I actually in the two leaders in the -- -- the other agencies would that be very good it.
That work -- that it it had come.
Around a point where the Department of Energy -- a pretty important role and I think.
That roles expanded now as we realize the extent to which we face some serious energy challenges.
In the years ahead and just.
I'm just looking for replaced you know -- her place to cut government and good trip because so I see your background I think -- maybe we could get rid of that but.
-- was that you mentioned the EPA.
EPA has these new rules say they couldn't get.
Cap and trade this through congress so that can get it through the senate.
So another out there were doing this these new rules regarding -- fire electrification plants and so forth.
Target it's gonna drive up the cost.
The coal industry is same look at this is going to.
-- new new coal.
Electrification -- are just not gonna come on why they're not gonna be there.
Are they making.
Of horrible decision that will cost as a lot of money or is this the right decision that needs to be made for the future well.
Luck there the the the assault on coal fired power generation has -- -- on for several decades and I think would you're seeing now in the wake of the latest rulings.
You know our decisions by companies to just shut down older plants instead of trying to.
Bring them up of these standards that are being set because it's just too expensive to do that.
Now that would be okay if at the same time you were facilitating the development of other forms of power generation.
Such as new new nuclear power plants.
Or if you were.
If you were encouraging the development of the vast amount of natural gas we've now discovered here in the United States.
But it the same time that we have coal plants being shattered we also have.
A lot of roadblocks.
With regard to new nuclear energy facilities.
And a lot of speculation about the dangers of drilling for natural gas in shale and so if you shut them all down you're gonna have a real.
Catastrophe on our hand because at some point.
There isn't gonna be the kind of supply to meet the growing demand we have as a nation.
-- -- what do you see on the what's what's the story to a new unfolded we talked about -- -- all environmentalists we all -- clean air clean water.
The alternative energies are out there -- variety different kind but the wind in -- -- Forget all the political scandals everything else -- lender and all that is it just seems like we spent so much money and it just seems to be just a small fraction.
Is the future solar wind or -- they have a part to play in this or will -- isn't -- technology there hasn't been invented yet well first of all I think.
That does the myth that there is -- knows that if we just had a Manhattan Project approach to energy we would invent a new energy source.
Is only that it's a -- and a lot of people fall back then that as an alternative to supporting.
More of what we have today and and allowing these industries to go forward.
Asked -- to wind and solar sure there's a role for it but I think too many of that again we're back to the myths to many of the -- -- build up that somehow we can.
The base load energy we get from.
Nuclear power from natural gas are specially from coal we -- dramatically replace these with.
Growth in -- and wind and solar there's been a lot of encouragement and a lot of subsidies of wind and solar and yet they still only.
As you note produce a small fraction.
Three or so percent of our power generation it's gonna.
It's -- system the fact is that those are very expensive.
Forms of energy production and that there intermittent.
And even though even if we -- larger percentages you still have to deal with what happens when the sun isn't shining -- the -- -- blowing.
And and also have to figure out how to get.
Love the power from those sources.
To -- -- -- senators because most of the best places to get wind and solar are in remote parts of America you know.
Well it's a great discussion they have I appreciate your viewpoint is always mr.
secretary Spencer Abraham thank you very much banks have -- be with you.
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