Schwarzenegger Slams Bush Administration For Global Warming; Praises Carter For His Environmental Plan

[media id=5765] [media id=5766] (h/t Heather) We haven't mentioned it on the site, but air quality throughout the state of California is really bad

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We haven't mentioned it on the site, but air quality throughout the state of California is really bad right now. There is a thick brown haze due to the enormous number of fires up and down the state, making it difficult for asthmatics like me to breathe easily, and it's been this way for weeks. Naturally, the wildfires came up during the Governator's interview with George Stephanopoulos on This Week and Ahnold took the opportunity to criticize two Republican administrations and praise Jimmy Carter for his foresight on developing an energy independence program and efficiently negated McCain's offshore drilling advocacy as a lot of hooey.

SCHWARZENEGGER: (I)t just really means basically this administration did not believe in global warming, or they did not believe that they should do anything about it since China is not doing anything about it and since India is not willing to do the same thing, so why should we do the same thing?

But that's not how we put a man on the moon. We did not say let everyone else do the same thing, then we will do it. We said we want to be the pioneers, we want to be out there in front. [snip]

Anyone that tells you that drilling, nuclear power, alternative fuels, fuel cells, solar, all of those things will bring down the price right now, I think is pulling wool over your eyes, because we know that all of those would take at least 10 years.

But that should not mean that we should not do those things, because here is the important thing. What's the biggest problem in America? It's not that we don't have any ideas. It's just that we are not consistent, that we have Jimmy Carter in the late '70s that came in with a great energy policy, talked about shale oil exploration, giving tax credits for people that were investing in windmills and in solar and all of those things.

Then President Reagan came in and scrapped the whole thing, because the oil price came down and says, "Well, this doesn't make any sense financially."


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There were many countries all over the world that stayed with the program, that said, "We are going to continue," even thought the oil price comes down. In Germany with solar, for 30 years they've been working on that, and they're now number one in solar, number one.

I think that's what we need to do. We need to stay the course.

Full transcript below the fold

SCHWARZENEGGER: This is an extraordinary kind of a situation. We have never had 1,728 fires in one given time, because of the lightning and because of the -- you know, that struck down on various different areas in California, and because of very dry weather, a lot of wind and tremendous heat. All of this is kind of the perfect storm for those kinds of fires.

So we had fires up and down the state, and, of course, we're prepared to fight maybe 30-40 fires at any given time, which we have done in the past successfully, but not 1,700 fires.

That's why we have asked the federal government right away for help. We have gotten great cooperation from the federal government, but we have told them that this is not a temporary thing, that if you're not anymore for the sprint, we are now there for the marathon,because we see that fire season that used to be from the end of summer through fall now is an all year round fire season.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How much of that is due, do you think, to global warming, to climate change?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, it's very hard to say. I mean, one thing we know for sure, and that is we have had a drought for two years in a row now. We have a lack of water here in California, which is very important, why we need to redo our infrastructure and rebuild our water system again in California.

And I think that we just have to be aware of those changes. I'm sure, partially, that it has something to do with global warming, also, because we have just now broken a record.

I think that in modern history in California, we have never had this kind of size of fire and up and down, 725,000 acres of land has burned so far. This is the most ever.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And yet we read front page of the Washington Post this morning, President Bush's EPA is going to take no more actions this year during his presidency to stop global warming emissions.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, to be honest with you, if they would have done something this year, I would have thought it was bogus anyway.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why?

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, because you don't change global warming and you don't really have an effect by doing something six months before you leave office. I mean, that is...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Doesn't every bit help?

SCHWARZENEGGER: No, it doesn't sound to me believable at all. The sincerity is not there. I think that the way they have done it is much better, because it just really means basically this administration did not believe in global warming, or they did not believe that they should do anything about it since China is not doing anything about it and since India is not willing to do the same thing, so why should we do the same thing?

But that's not how we put a man on the moon. We did not say let everyone else do the same thing, then we will do it. We said we want to be the pioneers, we want to be out there in front.

And we are out there in front when it comes to stem cell research. We're out there in front when it comes to high technology and biotechnology, with our university systems. I think we have a good opportunity to do the same thing, also, with fighting global warming.

And that's why I'm very happy that California is in the forefront on that. We are very aggressive. We have made a commitment to roll back our greenhouse gas emissions to the 1990 level. And because of it being the most important state in the union, we were able to reach out and to get a lot of partners to join us, and we have had many other states join us, even provinces of other countries like Canada and so on join us, and now we've made agreements with European countries.

We didn't wait for Washington. I just felt that the administration and the federal government have been terrific partners in a lot of things for us and we have worked together very well. But environmental issues was not one of them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: President Bush is out today. He's at the Department of Energy today, saying we have to be out in front on finding more energy resources here in the United States.

BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: One of the things we just went through is a briefing from Secretary Bodman and Secretary Kempthorne about the vast potential of crude oil reserves on offshore lands, as well as in Alaska, as well as in oil shale in the western part of our country.

END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHWARZENEGGER: I have no interest in offshore drilling off the state of California. People can do it wherever they want, and I think that that's what McCain made clear when he talked about it, that he would give the rights to the state. And he can give the rights to the states, but we in California say, "Thank you for giving us the rights, but, no, we have no interest in doing offshore drilling," because we want to protect our coasts.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that's more important than bringing down the price of gas, bringing down the price of oil.

SCHWARZENEGGER: First of all, let me just make it clear. Anyone that tells you that drilling, nuclear power, alternative fuels, fuel cells, solar, all of those things will bring down the price right now, I think is pulling wool over your eyes, because we know that all of those would take at least 10 years.

But that should not mean that we should not do those things, because here is the important thing. What's the biggest problem in America? It's not that we don't have any ideas. It's just that we are not consistent, that we have Jimmy Carter in the late '70s that came in with a great energy policy, talked about shale oil exploration, giving tax credits for people that were investing in windmills and in solar and all of those things.

Then President Reagan came in and scrapped the whole thing, because the oil price came down and says, "Well, this doesn't make any sense financially."

There were many countries all over the world that stayed with the program, that said, "We are going to continue," even thought the oil price comes down. In Germany with solar, for 30 years they've been working on that, and they're now number one in solar, number one.

I think that's what we need to do. We need to stay the course. We've got to go and say, "Here's the plan. This is how we get energy independent."

We need to have renewables. We need to have nuclear power, we need to do the drilling, we need to do the alternative fuels. All of those kind of things, let's do research and all this, but let's never go off course, no matter who the administration is and what the oil price is.

Let's stay on course. That is the big problem in America.

About Nicole Belle

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Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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