Monday, May 23, 2011

Jon Huntsman on gas prices, natural gas, energy independence (video)

2012 Republican presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman campaigned in Windham, New Hampshire over the weekend. The former Governor of Utah and U.S. Ambassador to China called for a new industrial revolution powered by natural gas. He also shared his concerns about skyrocketing oil prices and America’s reliance on foreign oil:

Jon Huntsman: Industrial revolution powered by natural gas 

(Video of comments starts at 14:32)

This will be, I think, the discussion for the next election cycle. Here’s the choice:

You want the last decade, which is a reality, just kind of moving along, incrementally, ambling along at a slow growth rate and a high level of unemployment or do we want to launch an industrial revolution?

Reform our taxes, look at regulatory reform, take seriously the lowest of low hanging fruit, which is energy. I mean for every reason in this country, we’ve got to be taking seriously an energy policy that moves us towards a transitional product like natural gas. We have it in such abundance. We can use it in manufacturing. We can use it in transportation. We can use it in our electrical and power needs as well.

Jon Huntsman: $13-$14 gallon gas prices 

Video starts of comments at 19:10

Can I just say something about gas prices real fast? We talked about the price of gasoline, and you know I think all ought to be aware of the realities of gas prices, oil prices and when we’re 60% reliant on the importation of oil it is not only an economic issue, it is a national security issue. When people yell and scream about $4, $4.50, $5 gas prices at the pump let us remember that fully loaded for all taxpayers it’s a lot higher than that. Based on some estimates, it’s $13 or $14 a gallon if you want to take into account what we’re paying for foreign deployments, you want to keep into account the costs of the keeping the sea lanes open for the free flow of product, and the cost of transportation importing the product all gets passed on and on and on…

When I made that comment earlier about an energy policy that draws from some of our domestic needs, we’ve talked about this for 8 presidents now, and it’s a low hanging fruit and increasingly we’re finding more and more in way of raw materials available here on the natural gas side.

With each passing year, we have the ability, thanks to innovations within businesses, to get it in a less invasive way and to clean it up ways that protect the environment as well.

So let’s be realistic when we talk about gas prices. We might think they are high, but think about how really high they are.

Jon Hunstman: Dependence on foreign oil 

Video of comments starts at 20:40

What is the biggest single problem we have from a foreign relations standpoint?

I would say that leading that list would have to be our dependence on foreign oil. I think that is crippling us. I think it’s an issue that also we can resolve. 

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