Posted by WLS:
That’s about all Tom Brokaw could get out of Al Gore yesterday on the question of how the country would pay for his 10 year plan to a carbon-free production of electricity nationwide.
Lets just contemplate for a moment the enormity of that suggestion — no more coal fired plants, no more natural gas fired plants, and no more nuke plants (though they are carbon free). Coal and natural gas alone are about 70% of all electricity production.
When asked by Brokaw at various points how the economy could afford such an enormous expense over just ten years — or the same amount of time Obama plans to be President — Gore said the following:
MR. BROKAW: I don’t think anyone doubts that we have to make some profound changes in this country and make some tough decisions and maybe even suffer some pain, but let’s talk about the cost. This is your own group in terms of describing what this may cost. The numbers are from $1 1/2 trillion to $3 trillion as an estimate. Where does that money come from for a new president who is facing a $400 billion deficit, has two wars going on, needs an economic stimulus if it’s a Democrat, as Obama has outlined–we have a housing crisis in this country–and probably diminished tax revenues?
VICE PRES. GORE: Well, those, those are not all public funds. That’s the total private and public investment, which is comparable to what we would spend over that same period of time if we continued to rely on coal and oil, which is rising so rapidly in price. It’s less than the cost of the Iraq war, according to Joe Stiglitz and some other economists, and it is an investment.
Well Al — since we would have to continue spending money on coal and oil during the transition period, its not like we can simply substitute one set of costs for the other. So, the question remains, where do we get the $1.5 to $3 trillion to cover the entire states of Arizona and New Mexico in photovoltaic cells, and build the non-stop stretch of wind mills from Montana to Houston?
MR. BROKAW: What would electricity cost in terms of the transition while it’s under way? Most estimates are that it would cost a lot more money, and that would have a devastating effect on Main Street and especially on rural America.
VICE PRES. GORE: Well, I, I don’t agree with that, and I think that the devastating effect on Main Street and the rest of the country is coming from the present rising costs for electricity. And the reason why is China and the other emerging economies again are bidding up the price of every lump of coal and every drop of oil, and the new discoveries have been declining, so the estimates are now that these price increases are likely to continue until we stop just taking baby steps and offering gimmicks and, instead, have a strategic initiative.
Yeah Al, we get it — electricity and gas are expensive now, and getting more expensive. Now answer the fooking question since its your fooking proposal — what source of money is going to be used to pay the $1.5 to $3 trillion transition costs? Its not like we can simply stop paying for electricity generation while you’re out there in the desert wiring your solar panels together with a glue gun. People are going to keep sending their checks each month to the power company for the AC and lights. Do you intend to tax them on top of their household expenses to bring your grand vision into creation?
MR. BROKAW: But what do we have to give up to reach the cost of a trillion and a half to three trillion dollars? There’s going to have to be some pain, some sacrifice on the part of the American taxpayer, isn’t there?
VICE PRES. GORE: Well, I, I think we should have a shift in our tax system, and I think we should tax what we burn and not what we earn, and I think we should take account of the incredibly expensive environmental costs that go into burning coal and oil. I also think that the coal and oil industries can play a big role in this if they will make good on the promise that carbon capture and sequestration will be real. Right now, there’s no demonstration project, there’s nothing real about it. The, the phrase clean coal is a contradiction in terms. There’s no such thing as clean coal now. But the industry knows that with an all-out push toward capturing the CO2 and burying it safely, that can be done.
Here’s the headline I expected to see today in the NYT — don’t know how they missed it:
AL GORE PROPOSES ENDING THE INCOME TAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for being here Al, but your inability to answer the FREAKING QUESTION only demonstrates the wisdom of the electoral college in keeping your fat ass out of the WH.