Former Bush EPA head vocally backs Obama carbon plan

The Bush administration's former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, Christine Todd Whitman, vocally backed President Obama's cap-and-trade proposals to curb carbon emissions and climate change.

Whitman, a centrist Republican, said that the health benefits to be gained by cap-and-trade would outweigh any costs, and that anyone who promised more energy at the same cost was being deceptive.

"The point here is that the health benefit and every other benefit we get in the long term will offset this," Whitman said during an appearance on CNBC. "We're going to pay more for power; anybody who's out there telling you that we're going to meet this 21 percent increase in demand for electricity by 2030 without having to pay more is blowing smoke."

Whitman said that the business community would actually gain from federal legislation on carbon emissions, because different standards in different states have driven up compliance costs for corporations. She additionally claimed that a number of businesses were ready and waiting to move into the carbon emissions market.

The former New Jersey governor also pointed to the EPA's experience in the 1990s regulating sulfur dioxide using cap-and-trade as a reason for why it should be used to reduce carbon outputs.

"Cap-and-trade is something -- was done in 1990 to get out sulfur dioxide and the Clean Air Act amendments worked very well. In fact, it didn't cost nearly as much as all the prognosticators said it was going to cost," she explained.

Watch a video of the interview below: