John Kerry, Wife Take on Environmental Issues

We're trying to pull everybody together and come up with a plan and we're reaching out to the Republicans. We're meeting with individual Republicans.

We have to do this, George, and this isn't a matter of Chicken Little and sort of crying wolf or something. This is the most compelling issue that I've seen other than war, the most compelling issue.

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Stephanopoulos: You want to stay in the Senate, but how do you respond to those who say the cost, the cost of meeting these goals is simply too high?

John Kerry: It's not and that's the bottom line. It's less expensive than waiting and less risk than waiting and, more importantly, if you do respond now, we will create jobs, we'll develop the technologies, and we will all benefit in ways that, to some degree, you can't measure.

Stephanopoulos: And even your allies, though, on this issue, some, suggest that a simple carbon tax is the cleanest, most transparent way to address this problem, much cleaner than the cap and trade.

John Kerry: Well, some people have. Al Gore, for instance, is suggesting they need the cap and trade and the carbon tax.

I think that if you create the market, I personally believe that you, in effect, when you put a cap on it, you are pricing carbon. It is, in effect, putting a premium on the cost of carbon, at which point the market is going to say, "OK, now we've got to respond and meet this target" and, therefore, they're going to develop the technologies.

Stephanopoulos: Al Gore took some heat when he went up to Capitol Hill from Sen. Inhofe.

[Inhofe: In terms of changing the way you live, I think it is very difficult for you to ask other people to do it unless you are willing to do it. Are you willing to do it?]

Teresa Kerry: We don't have a roadmap. We're trying to figure out how to be more responsible and I think that we'll have to be something people have to figure out for their lives, depending on where it is they think they expand more energy or whatever.

I think my biggest problem is going to try to curb the amount of flying I do and so I've tried to plan and do about a third of the flying I was doing.

Stephanopoulos: And it's like doubling up trips and things like that.

Teresa Kerry: And getting teleconferencing capacity in my office in Pittsburgh, here getting my boys, my sons to be able to pitch in and do that, so we don't move so much.

John Kerry: I understand that argument, it's legitimate, but on the other hand, there are all kinds of ways in which we call can contribute and will contribute.

We've done a lot of different things and we're still discovering things, George. We're all new to this. It's only the last few years we've said, "God, how do we respond to this appropriately?"

So we now have hybrid vehicles, which we're transitioning to. ... I wanted to give a $4,000 per automobile tax credit to people who go out and buy a hybrid.

If we did that, you'd have enormous demand increase and Detroit would begin to become more competitive.

I mean, there are all kinds of things that we can do. We've changed our light bulbs. We are on at the house and figure out how can we be more energy efficient in the house.

Stephanopoulos: And that's something everybody can do.

John Kerry: Everybody can do that. Now, you know, we buy the carbon offsets, because we think we ought to and it's a difference. Obviously, people with more money pay more taxes and should, in my judgment, and we ought to pay more for the additional carbon use.

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