The Carbon Price on Begich's Head
Sen. Mark Begich, who faces reelection this year, says the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity is flat wrong when they claim he has supported a carbon tax.
AFP is circulating a letter that freshmen senators, including Begich, sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in mid-2010, right before major emissions-capping legislation collapsed. The signers said they supported a "price on greenhouse gas emissions."
But Begich said Tuesday that his signature didn't signal support for cap-and-trade or a tax. "I think it was still undefined at that point from my perspective," he said when asked what the "price" phrase meant.
Begich says he participated in talks with Democrats on climate legislation in 2010 to protect his state. "My objective was, I need to be part of that discussion, because as one of the few oil and gas people at the table, without that representation there I think they would have gone who-knows-where," said Begich.
So what does he think the "price" on carbon should mean? "I think there are other ways to deal with carbon as a pollutant," Begich said.
P.S. — Can Obama create a legacy on climate change without Congress? Take the National Journal Energy Poll below.
TOP ENERGY NEWS
By Clare Foran (@ckmarie)
ENERGY EFFICIENCY BILL SET TO MAKE A COMEBACK. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, plan to reintroduce energy-efficiency legislation on Thursday. (Paywall)
- Our take: Portman has expressed confidence about securing 60 votes, but the Senate was badly gummed up even before this election year began. It's far from clear if there's political space to move the bill.
BOOKER TAKES HELM OF SENATE ENVIRO SUBCOMMITTEE. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., has been named chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Oversight.
KERRY FEELS KEYSTONE PRESSURE ON ALL SIDES. Supporters and opponents of the pipeline are trying to influence the secretary of State before he weighs in on the project.
SENATOR TRIES TO SHIFT CONVERSATION ON KEYSTONE. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer says a decision on the pipeline should take public health impacts of oil sands extraction into account.
ENERGY SECRETARY: 'ALL OF THE ABOVE' IS CLIMATE-FRIENDLY. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz's remarks follow criticism of the administration policy from major environmental groups.
DOT: CRUDE MUST BE TESTED BEFORE TRANSPORT. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says a new emergency order will improve safety in the wake of recent oil-by-rail accidents.
CHINA DRIVES SOLAR GROWTH. Solar installations are set to reach record heights this year, a trend bolstered by Chinese manufacturers.
POLLUTION IN CHINA TOPS THE CHARTS. Chinese officials advised residents of Beijing to stay indoors as smog filled the air in mass quantities for the seventh consecutive day.
EXPERTS TELL GERMANY TO DITCH RENEWABLE SUBSIDIES. A panel of experts says that subsidies in place to support clean energy deployment in the country are unsustainable.
NATIONAL JOURNAL ENERGY POLL: Can Obama establish a legacy on climate change without action by Congress?
A) Yes, actions taken by the administration are on track to make a significant impact.
B) Yes, but actions by the administration won't make much of an impact.
C) No, the administration could make an impact, but proposed measures won't go far enough.
D) No, any meaningful impact will require action by Congress.
WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING…
SHOULD THE U.S. INVEST IN NUCLEAR POWER? How does nuclear fit into the U.S. energy equation and what, if anything, should Washington do to support its deployment?
"There is a solid case for Federal investment in research and development of a variety of energy sources, trying to bring down their costs or increase their safety or otherwise make them more desirable for commercial application. Insofar as the government invests in nuclear R&D for such purposes, one might be able to make a case for it." -Michael Canes, distinguished fellow, LMI
HOUSE ELECTRICITY HEARING. The House Energy and Commerce Energy and Power Subcommittee holds a hearing entitled "Benefits of and Challenges to Energy Access in the 21st Century: Electricity"
HOUSE INTERIOR HEARING. The House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee holds a hearing entitled "Obama Administration Oversight: GAO Report - Interior Hiring and Retention Challenges."
ENDANGERED SPECIES HEARING. The House Oversight and Government Reform Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements Subcommittee holds a hearing entitled "Examining the Endangered Species Act."