PHOTOS: Political scandals and gaffes of 2011
Support for green energy today is far below the level of support for other fuel sources at the beginning of the last century, he said. Even today, he said, subsidies for fossil fuels are five times greater than those for renewable energy.
"I don't want to demonize fossil fuels," Schwarzenegger said. "All I propose, and I'm speaking now to Congress and I'm speaking now to all the candidates running for president, is that all of our energy sources play by the same rules."
Government, he argued, "should never pick winners," a twist on the argument Republicans have made in response to loan guarantees the Obama administration has awarded, including to the now defunct solar giant Solyndra.
Schwarzenegger made the same case in a Washington Post op-ed piece over the weekend.
"Instead of a simplistic and misleading one-word argument against green energy — Solyndra! — I'd like to hear from the candidates that government shouldn’t pick winners, as it clearly has with our lopsided subsidies," he wrote.
Schwarzenegger has been largely silent on the Republican race for president, but said he would continue to advocate on green issues.
"I feel as passionate about this as I did about bodybuilding," he said. "This is my crusade."