Rand Paul Discusses Climate Change With Bill Maher

Sen. Rand Paul discussed climate change on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday. The Republican senator from Kentucky said he supported deregulating alternative sources of energy in order to find a “middle ground” on the issue.

After their conversation on foreign policy, the war on drugs, and prison sentencing, Maher conceded Paul is the first Republican he’d consider voting for president in a long time. However, Maher wasn’t okay with Paul’s stance on climate change if he wasn’t going to see “this issue realistically.”

Rand Paul may have won Maher’s support when he agreed there is much evidence that carbon is increasing and has been since the Industrial Age. However, he thinks the rhetoric surrounding climate change is exaggerated and alarmist.

The senator wants a solution for the issue, and he admitted he’s okay with regulations on clean water and carbon emissions. He just wants a solution to be balanced in order to account for jobs lost by regulations.

Within a month, Paul plans to introduce legislation that would cut regulation of alternative fuels. “I’m trying to get the government out of the way of converting your trucks from diesel to natural gas, or from gasoline to ethanol. And try to let the marketplace take care of this, because some of these fuels are actually cheaper, too, and if they’re cheaper then people will go for a cheaper alternative that is also cleaner for the environment.”

Paul said, “We’re a growing population. As we grow we need more energy, and maybe cleaner energy will support less clean energy over time, and I think it is, but I don’t think that shutting down dramatically one form of energy is a good idea for an economy.”

Maher admired the senator’s open mind to alternative forms of energy. Rand Paul said with climate change, there’s a lot of “middle ground” that can be found for Republicans and Democrats.

Paul’s advisers and supporters believe there is a 95 percent certainty that the Republican will run for president. If he does, do you think Rand Paul’s stance on climate change could help him win the primary?