Bill Gates: Obama told me energy consumption tax ‘makes sense’ [VIDEO]

Nicholas Ballasy Senior Video Reporter
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Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates said that President Barack Obama told him he supports a two percent national energy consumption tax, though the president said it likely could not be implemented because of gridlock in Congress.

“We certainly need a price on carbon,” Gates said at the Energy Innovation Summit in Washington on Tuesday. (RELATED: Full coverage of the energy world)

“What’s key is the carbon tax in the 20-to-50 year period, and can politicians do something today that would make it crystal clear to a risk-taker that there’s going to be a substantial carbon tax during the relevant time period,” Gates said. “If I’m innovating in power plants today for people who buy power plants ten years from now, [the goal is that] their equation will favor the clean technology.”

The former chief executive of Microsoft, currently rated by Forbes Magazine as the second-richest person in the world, said that President Obama was receptive to his views on energy policy.

“What we said is that, by putting a two percent tax on energy consumption, you could fund this additional scientific investment, and it would have a very good payback,” Gates said.

“The president was great,” Gates continued. “He met with us and said of course this makes sense, but with the gridlock that we have today on this, the likelihood of that kind of allocation — including the tax revenue that would support it — is very low, and that is deeply unfortunate.”

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