Bill Weld on climate change: Let the market decide

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill WeldWilliam (Bill) WeldBill Weld: As many as six GOP senators privately support convicting Trump Trump challenger Bill Weld rules out 2020 independent bid Hawaii GOP cancels presidential preference poll, commits delegates to Trump MORE (R), who is challenging President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE for the GOP presidential nomination, said Friday that lawmakers should let the market decide when it comes to regulation on climate change.

Though Weld didn’t mention anyone by name, he criticized climate change proposals put forth by 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, arguing that a carbon tax is a much more feasible and economic alternative to address the the crisis.

He told Hill.TV that his proposal would not tell people what to do, which was an advantage to the other proposals. “They make their own decisions,” he said.

“That’s letting the market decide about carbon — that’s a much more powerful engine than just saying I’m going to spend $10 trillion dollars to promote clean energy,” he added. “You don’t know if you’re going to get there.”

A number of Republicans and Democrats in Congress have supported putting a tax on carbon.

Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report DOJ inspector general refutes Trump claim that Obama tapped his wires Live coverage: DOJ inspector general testifies on Capitol Hill MORE (D-Del.), Rep. Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyConservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Amash says he will vote in favor of articles of impeachment MORE (R-Fla.) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) all introduced carbon tax bills in July.

Weld’s comments come as he prepares to take part in a climate change forum hosted by MSNBC on Friday along with several other Democratic White House hopefuls.

Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Reject National Defense Authorization Act, save Yemen instead MORE, New Jersey Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate Booker cancels NH activities, campaign says he has the flu Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Wisconsin: poll MORE and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegButtigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Krystal Ball rips Warren's 'passive-aggressive' swipes at rivals Buttigieg: I share a lot of the same values as people protesting my fundraisers MORE are among the highest-profile Democratic names to appear in the two-day event.

Presidential frontrunners former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Media organization fights Trump administration over Ukraine documents FOIA Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers MORE and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Buttigieg releases list of campaign bundlers Krystal Ball rips Warren's 'passive-aggressive' swipes at rivals MORE (D-Mass.) did not commit to being part of the forum.

Leading up to the event, Weld described his support for action on climate change as a “gamble” among Republican voters.

“The gamble is that Republican voters will agree with me that climate and environment are an important issue,” he told Hill.TV. “If they don’t then that’s bad news for me.”

Weld's challenge against Trump is a decided long shot. A new survey from the Economist and YouGov found Weld with 5 percent support among Republican voters, while Trump maintained his lead at 86 percent.

—Tess Bonn