From the March 29 edition of CNN's New Day:
CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): Part of the reason that you have better factory put-out is because of regulation. Part of it is because of innovation. But this overall idea, Mr. Zandi, that that's going to be the key to getting jobs back in America -- is revitalizing coal. A lot of people just doubt the authenticity of that. What's your take?
MARK ZANDI: No, that's not the solution. Just to give you a number, there's 50,000 coal miners across the country, 50,000. There are over 100,000 people who work at GM, General Motors, in the United States. There's over 300,000 UPS workers that work in the United States. Wal-Mart employees over a million people in the United States. There's 150 million jobs across the United States. So the thought that we're going to create a lot of coal jobs, and that's going to help in terms of overall job creation, I think, is just folly. It's just not going to happen.
ZANDI: The problem that the coal industry faces is the natural gas industry. And the problem that fossil fuel in general has is low global prices for oil, natural gas, coal, and all other energy. So, you can change the Clean Power Plan. You can get rid of all environmental regulations, it's not going to make a difference, because prices are determined globally. They're so low, and their not going to rise. And as a result, we're just not going to get jobs there. I'm not saying -- it's a good idea to be energy independent. That's a great thing, and the fact that we're producing all this energy is wonderful at these low prices. But if we're looking to the energy sector and fossil fuels to create jobs, that's just a mistake. It's just not going to happen.
ZANDI: There has been subsidies to get the solar and the wind going, but they're declining and they're going to go away in few years. And, at that point, the technology is going to be there, and these renewables are going to be price competitive. So, to walk away from these renewable sources of energy at this point would be a great error. But, again, going back to jobs, this isn't where the jobs are going to be. In fact, the other policies the Trump administration are putting forward are going to hurt jobs in the same places that he wants to create them. Take manufacturing. If you want to create jobs in manufacturing, we should become a more global economy not a less global economy. So, if we're focused on jobs, this isn't the way -- this isn't really where you should be focused.