March 4, 2014

Mark Begich Gives Bizarre Answer On Letter About Price Of Carbon

As has been pointed out, Mark Begich signed a letter in July 2010 which said he supported “making polluters pay through a price on greenhouse gas emissions.”

When he was asked about what he meant by “price,” Begich gave a typical D.C. answer by dancing around the question:

“I think it was still undefined at that point from my perspective,” he said when asked what the “price” phrase meant. … “I think there are other ways to deal with carbon as a pollutant,” Begich said.

Now Begich has come up with a bizarre answer, even by D.C. standards, regarding the letter. Begich says that even though he signed a letter calling for a price on carbon, he didn’t agree with it.

“Now, to your question. Just to make sure that I get the line here, clear for you. When we sent that letter, and I don’t support a carbon tax, but when I sent that letter, with, among others, it’s to make sure that we did not lose the discussion that was going on regarding climate change. You know, I come from a state, we’re all here, we recognize this and that we need to keep that discussion moving forward. And you know, could there have been some other mechanism, there’s all kinds of mechanisms that are private sector driven and what I was trying to say in the larger context of that letter, I didn’t agree with every piece of that letter, people think when you sign those letters, you’re 100 percent. My objective of that letter was to make sure we did not lose the debate and discussion of what we need to be doing around climate change. And there are private markets that also were active or some discussion idea on some sort of private system but I was not sold on any of it at that point but clearly I that was not a carbon tax. I mean, I don’t care how many ads they run, how many millions they spend. I know they want to put it over on Alaskans. The facts are clear and I don’t have to say it. The independent reviews on these ads have made it very clear. So my objective on letters like them , especially that one, is we need to continue the discussion on climate change and moving forward on a comprehensive energy plan and that was not, at that point, everything was starting to collapse on these issues and I felt it was necessary to keep the momentum there.”

How often do people go around signing letters that they don’t agree with? How are Alaskans supposed to know which letters Begich agrees with and which ones Begich is just signing for fun?