State of the Union

Full interview with Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.)

Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, says energy technology development will lead to environmental stewardship.


Monica Trauzzi: Senator, tonight the president called on Congress to move forward with a market-based, bipartisan approach to climate change, something like the McCain-Lieberman bill that we saw a few years ago. Does something like that have legs, and is that something that you would support?

Sen. John Hoeven: No. The thing is, the presidency is the way to get the energy economy going as more government and more regulation, in fact, that's the problem. We have got to streamline our regulations and empower our regulators to encourage investment by the private sector. That investment will develop new technologies, and those new technologies will produce energy of all kinds, both traditional and renewable, with better environmental stewardship. That way, we not only lead the world in terms of energy production and job creation, they'll adopt our technologies and that better technology will create a better environmental stewardship, not just here but across the world. That's the way to accomplish that very important goal.

Monica Trauzzi: But is that approach effective enough at addressing climate change, or do we need something more specific, like a cap and trade program in place?

Sen. John Hoeven: The reality is, the approach I outlined is the way to do a better job with the environment, is to drive that new technology through private investment. That's how we're going to accomplish it. Even if we tried to regulate our own economy, and of course, that's what the president's doing, and he's shutting it down, we still can't regulate other economies. So the way to accomplish better environmental stewardship is to lead with these new technologies. That requires that we empower the private investment to do it. That's the right approach.

Monica Trauzzi: So when he talked about diverting some oil and gas revenues to research and development and technology development, what did you think?

Sen. John Hoeven: That we have a huge debt and deficit, that we have 12 million people out of work, and we have a government that continues to grow that is a burden on our economy. Instead of spending more money we don't have, increasing the size of government, more taxing, more regulation, we need to empower the private sector. That means finding ways to reduce spending, to streamline the regulation, to empower the incredible entrepreneurship of our dynamic private economy, the envy of the world. That's what's not happening. We're choking off that private investment, hundreds of billions of dollars, so we don't get the kind of economic growth and we don't get the investment in energy that I just described to produce more energy, more jobs, and better environmental stewardship through the new technologies.

Monica Trauzzi: The president highlighted the overwhelming judgments of science on climate change. Is it time to put the science debate on climate change to bed and really work towards some kind of comprehensive solution?

Sen. John Hoeven: We need a comprehensive energy policy. The climate is changing, but we need a comprehensive energy policy that as I just described, stimulates that investment in the technologies that will help reduce emissions and do all those things. What the president is doing by creating more hurdles, more regulatory burden, he's preventing us from moving forward in energy.

Monica Trauzzi: All right, senator, thank you for your time.

Sen. John Hoeven: You bet.

[End of Audio]



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