Transcript: John McCain

STEPHANOPOULOS: You've also pledged to help – to work with the president on preserving our national parks. You're here with Secretary Salazar. And one of the things you're having a hearing on this weekend is the threat of climate change to our national parks.

I was in Glacier National Park a couple years ago with Governor Schweitzer. You talked about the problem there. Glaciers just evaporating, could be completely gone by 2025, 2035. What's the threat here?

MCCAIN: I think the threat is serious here. We've seen increased temperatures, which has had impact on the wildlife, on the flora and fauna, on the Colorado River itself, which we are seeing less and less of.

We are in serious drought conditions, our parks have very fragile ecology here and, frankly, when you're in this driest area anyway, then they're even more fragile.

So I think that part of the impact of climate change on our national parks is – well, you know, they're going to have to change the name of Glacier National Park because the glaciers are going away.

STEPHANOPOULOS: In the past, you've been supportive of legislation to deal with greenhouse gas emissions, cap and trade. What about the current legislation that's coming out of the House now, moving to the Senate? They've met a lot of your objections about not giving away the allowances. Is this something that you can support?

MCCAIN: Well, to support a 1,400 page piece of legislation to start with is always difficult for me, but I believe that the only way we're going to truly reduce greenhouse gas emissions effectively is through nuclear power.

We have got to build 100 nuclear power plants in the next 20 years. We can do that. Right now, the administration's position is against storage and they're against recycling of spent nuclear fuel. I can't support a genuine reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, unless nuclear power is a key part of it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you've been for it in past.

MCCAIN: I've been for – and nuclear – assuming that nuclear power would be a key part of it. I mean, you can't get there from here. The only country that's really making its Kyoto goals is France, where 80 percent of their electricity is generated by nuclear power.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you'd be willing to go along with cap and trade, if it were part of a comprehensive deal that included more …

MCCAIN: Well, that would have to be part of it. And second of all, in any 1,400 page piece of legislation, you put in a lot of special deals for a lot of special interests. We know what happened there. The bazaar was open in the House of Representatives, so obviously I would have to want to do away with a whole lot of that.

But I think climate change is real and I would be glad to sit down and try to work, as I have in the past, across the aisle on this issue. Senator Lieberman is great on this issue…

STEPHANOPOULOS: Senator Kerry is putting a group together as well; have you been part of that?

MCCAIN: I have not yet, no.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I'm seeing all these condors fly around the camera while we've been talking. Are you going to make time for a hike while you're out here?

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