Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
Glenn: From Radio City in Midtown Manhattan, third most listened to show in all of America. Hello, you sick, twisted freak. Welcome to the program. I'm glad you're here. I told you last week that Montana, somebody was drawing up a bill or -- I don't know if it has been introduced into the Capitol yet, but this is not a movement of secession. This is a movement that says if the Supreme Court says that gun ownership is a collective right, it would violate the State's compact with the United States government and Montana wouldn't have to be a state anymore. It would declare their status as a state as null and void because it would be a violation of the contract that they made when they came into the union.
Now, I talked about this and I got more mail on this than anything I've talked about in I don't know how long and I'm telling you, if this would be true -- and I don't if it -- we'll find out in a second -- if this would be true, profit values in Montana will sky rocket because it will be known as a state that takes the Constitution seriously. This is also the state where we've talked to the governor of couple of times and they want to move coal to oil but he says the United States government is blocking their way. The governor is on with us now. Governor Schweitzer, how are you?
Governor Schweitzer: I'm all right. Listen, gun control in Montana means hitting what you've been shooting at. I'm endorsed by the ERA and I own more guns than I need and fewer than I want.
Glenn: You're a governor at my own heart when it comes to guns. So, have you heard about this?
Governor Schweitzer: Oh, yeah. You people get to lawyering -- as soon as some words come up, you've got lawyers coming out of the woodwork. We're not interested in secession here in Montana. The bottom line is --
Glenn: Wait a minute. You're lowering the property values.
Governor Schweitzer: You know, we've got too many big shots coming here, like you, from the East Coast and West Coast. All right. We're just trying to take care of the beautiful state on the planet.
Glenn: So, in other words, you don't want people like me living in your state?
Governor Schweitzer: Well, if you cozy up to me, I might get you a ranch and fix it up with a few goats and chickens.
Glenn: Because I have to tell you, my family, we are looking at Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, and Utah. We're looking at possibly find, someplace in that part of the country and when I heard about the gun -- when I heard that Montana would actually take the government taking away gun rights as a serious offense and say, do you know what? We're not playing that game, you know, it was No. 1 on my list and a lot of people's list of saying, wait a minute. There's a state after my own heart.
Governor Schweitzer: Well, we're not going to lose our gun rights in Montana. You can bet on that, but I can assure you of this: Montana will continue to take the lead to make America energy independent. We're not going to allow dictators to push us around anymore. We have an infinite supply of energy in this country. We just have a finite supply of resolve to get it right.
Glenn: So, Governor, they are today debating cap and trade and all three of the presidential candidates want cap and trade. You know and I know EPA estimate says it will increase gas by $1.50 a gallon. Two weeks ago Congress decided they were going to put the polar bear or the administration decided to put the polar bear and threatened species list. They're not doing anything. They're not doing anything to help on this energy front.
Governor Schweitzer: We're already giving $2 a gallon to dictators who are trying to destroy our way of life. Look, I support the concerns that people world have with carbon dioxide but we have the technology right now to produce all of our energy domestically, to drive all of your cars, run of all trains and plains, light all of your light bulbs without importing oil from them and we can sequester our CO2.
Glenn: Governor, we're not doing it. What are you -- what are we to do? The people are looking for someone to lead. So, what is it that we can do because we're with you?
Governor Schweitzer: Here's what I'd say to you. We don't ask much from Congress and they don't deliver much. Most of us as governors are building our own energy proposals. We're putting together our own energy independence because God help us if Congress was the only ones responsible to save this country. Here's a couple of things that we would need from Congress. There are some certain things that have to be passed at a Federal level. Otherwise, you create problems with competition between states in a bad way. In other words, people will just run over the border to do something because you can't do it in another state.
Governor Schweitzer: So, a couple of things. Now, just give me two minutes and I'll explain how we'll do it. No. 1, Congress passes two pieces of legislation. The first one would be a 15 percent tax credit for any consumer that buys a plug in hybrid car SUV or pickup that gets a minimum of 40 miles on a charge and runs on electricity for the first 40 miles. Let me tell you what that would do. Pacific Northwest Labs, a primary contractor of the Department of Energy, has already studied this. They found that we could decrease the consumption of oil in all of our transportation fleet by 83 percent if we had plug-in hybrids the first 40 miles. 93 percent of all the cars in America drive less than 40 miles a day. That means we could run the whole fleet on electricity 93 percent of the time.
Second, every utility in America, they must buy electricity from anybody on the system that they sell electricity to, so that when you drive home from work, you plug your car in, you walk in, you turn on your light and the electricity comes from the charge power in your car. You make your meal with your battery in your car and in the middle of the night when we have excess electricity three times as much electricity grid capacity as we actually need because we build this grid for today, your car recharges. The next day, if you don't need a full 40 miles, you start selling electricity right back into the grid for three or four times what you paid for it. We make every consumer a better consumer, a bar capitalist. We couldn't have to put up one copper wire. Northwest, this same lab, they found that we have the grid capacity to level the electrons and then, with coal gasification, places like Montana, with wind power, solar power, we can tell the dictators to boil in their own oil.
Glenn: Okay. Here's the thing. You are sitting there on a butt load of coal. Cap and trade, if it doesn't pass this time, which it won't, it's going to pass the next time because there is $3 trillion -- I'm sorry -- $7 trillion in spending that the Congress wants to do according to the "New York Times" and $3 trillion in gravy on cap and trade that the Congress can't wait to get their hands on. So, they're going to do it. What's happening on this is states like yours, which will be producing energy through coal, estates like West Virginia, Utah, and -- will be paying butt loads of money in cap and trade costs. Meanwhile, states that don't produce their own energy, like California, will be living off the fat of the land. They will -- you guys will be taking your money and transferring it to California. How are you going to produce electricity when the government won't allow you to use the coal that we have?
Governor Schweitzer: Here's the deal. I don't agree with cap and trade. I have a better idea, one that's better for this country, better for the world, and it's simply this: I wouldn't give another nickel to the Federal government because they'll find some play to pee it away. What I would do is I would say instead of a cap and trade system, folks, I want you to understand what cap and trade means. If you're a big utility that's been using coal over the last 100 years, Congress is going to franchise you to produce that quantity of CO2. You could turn around and sell out of the business and put a trillion dollars in your pocket. What we're doing is we're shifting wealth from the population as a whole to a few utilities and it's not going to do a dang thing about developing new technology. Here's what I would do: Those of us who produce carbon dioxide, I would put a technology fee of $12.50 per ton. I would use 100 percent of that money as a technology fee. I wouldn't give it to the Federal government. We would create a quasi-private corporation that would do all the research and development. Those of us who pay in will own the intellectual property and we'll be able to sell this technology all over the world in China, in India, and other places that are producing great quantities of CO2 and the consumer, the consumer will not see their energy prices go up because that $12.50 a ton, we can start decreasing the carbon dioxide emissions by at least 5 percent per year. It won't increase the cost of your energy, and we'll develop the technologies that the be giving the greatest boom to America's industry since the industrial revolution. What's wrong with that?
Glenn: By the way, in case you don't know, Governor Schweitzer is a Democrat. Governor, that sounds great, but nobody will do that because nobody in Washington will be able to get fat off of it. It doesn't give them a dividend.
Governor Schweitzer: There's 60 politicians in Washington DC and their job is to keep their front feet and nose in the feed trough. What we need is people to rise up and say we've had enough. We're in an oil war. I don't want my kids to go to another one. There is no reason we ought to be dependent on a fuel that we can't produce in this country. Enough is enough and we need a change.
Glenn: Here's the thing. Germany now plans to build 27 coal fired stations by 2020. Did you catch that? 27 coal fire electrical plants by 2020. They are building them again in Europe because they know that they're in trouble with oil. The people who invented coal to oil are doing it again and they're going to start burning coal.
Governor Schweitzer: You've got it wrong. We don't burn coil when we use that technology.
Glenn: No, but they are. They are.
Governor Schweitzer: You put the coal in a pressurized chamber. You remove the gas, the CH4. The CO2 can be pumped right back into the earth. It's zero pollution. The methane case will be used to make recollect, even fertilizer out of it and we have enough coal in this country to fuel all of America for 200 years.
Glenn: All right. Governor, be straight. Why hasn't this happened?
Governor Schweitzer: Insecurity in the energy business. Here's what -- if you're in the business of building these plants or you own the coal and you've got Congress back there in Washington DC deciding who's going to pay and who's going to get and it hasn't been determined who's the getters and the who's the givers, if it hasn't been decided whether you're going to get screwed by this technology or you're going to be the one who profits, I can't move forward. Everybody wants certainty. Do you know what? Even if they pass a bad CO2 law, we're going to start building these plants all across the Rocky Mountain west but we need some kind of certainty. You know, when they pass laws in Washington DC something that started out as an easy proposition one paragraph long, suddenly it's 7,000 pages long. What we need in the energy business is certainly. I want a level playing field. We can beat the rest of the world here in Montana with wind four, can cowl gas fix. With solar power. We've just got to know what the rules are.
Glenn: Do you think you're going to get any rules?
Governor Schweitzer: Not this year. Hell, nothing is going to happen between now and the political election but a lot of talk.
Glenn: You're closer to the people than most politicians. Those in Washington don't get it. What are you paying in your state for gasoline?
Governor Schweitzer: $3.87 for regular. Worse yet, keys sell is $4.58 a gallon.
Glenn: How much longer do you think the people of F your state are going to set around with these politicians doing?
Governor Schweitzer: We're not going to take it any longer. That's why we're developing wind power. We just discovered the biggest onshore oil government in the last 20 years in Montana and western North Dakota. We could produce the energy in this country. Infinite possibilities, finite ideas.
Glenn: This is exactly why I called you about the gun thing, because people are tired of it and they just want to go -- did you read Atlas Shrug by any chance?
Governor Schweitzer: No.
Glenn: You should read at lag shrug. People are at the point of atlas shrug. They want to find a place where they can be unleashed. I talked to a guy about an hour ago in Seattle. He said, Glenn, I love my country. I can't take it anymore. I've been offered a job to go build house over in Russia and I'm going to take it because I'm a contractor and I can't do my work here gym.
Governor Schweitzer: Glenn, let me tell you something. The Federal government told us, all 50 states, that you have to have an identification program so that it's a Federal ID that's issued by every state. It will have a data street on the back of it so when you get on the plane, they swipe that, they know where weather when you got on the plane, where you went and how you got home. 46 governors sent a letter to home land security that said, oh, yeah, we agree. We're going to do it. Four of us told them to go to hell. In fact, we are not in Montana. We will never implement the real ID. We will never allow the Federal government to possess the data that tells them where we've been, how we got there, who we visited with, and how we got home. In Montana we live free.
Glenn: So, if they say that guns are a collective right and not an individual, what Montana do?
Governor Schweitzer: I'm not a lawyer, but we're not going to allow the Federal government or anybody else to come in here and infringe on our second amendment rights. Everybody in Montana has a gun. Every one of us like guns and we don't think the Federal government has the right. We believe the Constitution is very clear and we're just not going to allow the government toe come in here and force us to register our guns or tell us we have to get an insurance policy if you own a pistol.
Glenn: Property values will sky rocket, if they are wishy-washy on the gun rights and you really mean that in Montana, you will see your property values sky rocket because there are people all over the country that are sick and tired of the Federal government telling them how to live.
Governor Schweitzer: Oh, Glenn. I make a living owning ranches. You're a guy that talks on the radio.
Glenn: You watch. Governor, bye bye. I don't think he understands. I don't think he gets that they're going to sky rocket, not go down.
Stu: He's saying they're fine as they are. You know, I mean, when you're in Montana, you don't want lots of people coming in there.
Glenn: No, you don't.
Stu: You want to maintain the second amendment rights but not tell anyone.
Glenn: Yeah, you do. You want to say -- you want a sign on the border that says, we believe in the second amendment. I would turn around if I were you.