When questioned by Anderson Cooper about the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney agree: Let the free markets dictate where to dispose of it. Ron Paul goes one step further by saying that property rights and states' rights should dictate where it goes.
Because I'm certain all 50 states will be lining up to buy their right to a little nuclear waste, right?
There are some things that just shouldn't be market-based. Nuclear waste disposal is one of them.
COOPER: Congressman Paul, you oppose this?
PAUL: Yes. Yes, I've -- I've opposed this. We've had votes in the Congress. There was a time when I voted with two other individuals, the two congressmen from Nevada. And I approach it from a state's rights position. What right does 49 states have to punish one state and say, "We're going to put our garbage in your state"? I think that's wrong.
But I think it's very serious. I think it's very serious. But quite frankly, the government shouldn't be in the business of subsidizing any form of energy. And nuclear energy, I think, is a good source of energy, but they still get subsidies. Then they assume this responsibility. Then we as politicians and the bureaucrats get involved in this. And then we get involved with which state's going to get stuck with the garbage.
So I would say, the more the free market handles this and the more you deal with property rights and no subsidies to any form of energy, the easier this problem would be solved.
COOPER: Governor Romney, where do you stand on this?
FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Congressman Paul was right on that.
I don't always agree with him, but I do on that. The -- the idea that 49 states can tell Nevada, "We want to give you our nuclear waste," doesn't make a lot of sense. I think the people of Nevada ought to have the final say as to whether they want that, and my guess is that for them to say yes to something like that, someone's going to have to offer them a pretty good deal, as opposed to having the federal government jam it down their throat.
And by the way, if -- if Nevada says, "Look, we don't want it," then let other states make bids and say, hey, look, we'll take it. Here's a geological site that we've evaluated. Here's the compensation we want for taking it. We want you electric companies around the country that are using nuclear fuel to compensate us a certain amount per kilowatt hour, a certain amount per ton of this stuff that comes.
Let -- let the free market work. And on that basis, the places that are geologically safe, according to science, and where the people say the deal's a good one will decide where we put this stuff. That's the right course for America. (APPLAUSE)