Jack Welch: Obama’s ‘Radical’ Energy Policies Are Wrecking The Economy

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

General Electric CEO Jack Welch thinks President Barack Obama’s focus on global warming is producing “radical behavior” that’s hurting the U.S. economy.

“You get an economy that won’t move,” Welch told CNBC’s Squawk Box Thursday. “You get ozone regs that are wacky.”

“You get a reduced military,” he said. “You can’t be sitting here with the real threat of a caliphate and ISIL … and talking about climate change.”

Welch said lots of regulations need to be repealed and taxes need to be cut in order to get the economy moving again. Welch also said, while he’s not a global warming skeptic, the “cost of doing it; it’s got to be more balanced.”

“In my view, it’s a massive deregulation. It’s all of the above. It’s deregulation. It’s [reforming] taxes,” he said. “What we’ve got is a habitualized low-growth environment.”

Welch, a long-time Republican, has been a big proponent of unleashing America’s energy potential by repealing regulations on oil and natural gas production. Welch even told CNBC in 2012 that deregulating energy production would be “bigger than the Internet” for the economy.

“The regulatory wall is a huge deal. It’s equal in my opinion to what happens in the marketplace as the fiscal cliff,” Welch said. “The regulatory wall is obviously right in front of you.”

“An energy rich America… it will be bigger than the Internet was, and we’re only in the first inning,” Welch said. “It is the oxygen that makes an economy breath.”

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