This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," October 5, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Former President Bill Clinton was in New Orleans Tuesday meeting with hurricane survivors and touring the damage done by Hurricane Katrina. We caught up with President Clinton and we asked him about President Bush's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.


VAN SUSTEREN: The president has nominated Harriett Miers for the Supreme Court. It's generated some discussion in this country, any thought about it?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All I know is, you know, just what I've seen. Because I was gone from Washington when she came with President Bush, I don't know her.

She certainly, you know, seems to be an interesting person and he feels very strongly about her. You can tell that and, you know, I'm not the one in my family that has a vote on that issues, so I'm sure Hillary will give her a fair hearing and we'll see what happens.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that a hard decision to make to try to read what someone is going to do? I mean you put two justices on the court.

CLINTON: Well, it is. You never know. My two appointees I'm very proud of them, Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg. They've done I think a fine job. They've surprised me on a vote or two and on a time or two when I thought there was really important constitutional issues at stake they stood up for what I thought the Constitution requires and had required from the beginning, so I'm proud of them.

But I really believe you have to appoint a certain kind of person to the Supreme Court with a generally consistent philosophical orientation with yours. I don't think you can predict how they're going to vote on every issue every time because if they were that predictable they wouldn't be thinking. And, you know, we don't have any idea what the real issues will be five, ten, 15 years from now.

VAN SUSTEREN: When you see Supreme Court decisions now, do you check to see how your appointees voted?

CLINTON: If it's one I'm interested in I do. I do. I'm always interested, you know, and particularly when they're on opposite sides I'm always interested to see what the issue is. But the appointment process as far as I'm concerned worked very well. I've been really proud of both of them.

Once in a great while they do something I completely disagree with but normally it's over practical reasons rather than constitutional ones when I disagree with them. I think they've sort of, you know, I see the facts a little different. I think they've really been superb. I'm proud of them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any idea how the cost of gas, I mean that's a huge problem many Americans are facing tonight, how do we bring that cost down? What do you suggest?

CLINTON: Quit using so much of it by aggressively moving to travel in different ways and use oil in different ways. We ought to have more vehicles that run on bio-fuels and are hybrid vehicles(search).

The fellow that got a contract to measure the damage to the oil barracks out here in the Gulf is dealing with both, using bio-fuels. He came to my Global Initiative the other day.

So, we need to quit using so much of it. I think we need to go to more energy conservation. It needs to be more aggressively supported with incentives, tax incentives.

I think we should more aggressively move to develop oil and coal, I mean develop, excuse me, wind and solar power to displace oil and coal in the generation of electricity.

I think we should permit natural gas, which is far less carbon intensive, less damaging to the environment and we have more of it, I think we ought to permit that to generate electricity again. So there are all these options that we have. It wouldn't matter what the price of oil or the price of gasoline was if we didn't use so much of it.

VAN SUSTEREN: But in the short run, I mean the guys that got to commute tomorrow or the woman who's got to commute to work tomorrow fills up. It's horribly expensive.

CLINTON: Well, the guy that's got to commute tomorrow needs to look at whether the tax incentives involved in buying a hybrid vehicle justify making a transition now, needs to look at whether bio-fuel is available. They are in many parts of the country right now. You can buy significant bio-fuels which are dramatically cheaper and needs to look at what options there are to conserve energy otherwise.

I think we ought to make sure that there's no price gouging involved. I think we need to make sure there's no unfair windfall of profits involved here. But if you look at the rate of economic growth in India and China and other countries coming along behind them, it's almost inconceivable that oil will ever drop below $40 a barrel again, I mean for any extended period of time.

It may go down and, you know, they may have price wars and all that but unless there is some huge new find the demand for oil given present usage patterns by Americans, Europeans, Chinese, Indians and others will outstrip the supply.

And so, if we don't want to pay too much, we're going to have to use less of it, which means we don't have to change our lifestyle. We have to change the way we get around and the way we use energy. It's a great way to generate economic opportunity for America too.


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