The Conversation

Begich Talking Climate Change Out of Both Sides of His Mouth?

Vulnerable Democrat Sen. Mark Begich (Alaska) insists he's not going to shy away from talking climate change in his campaign for re-election. But in reality, it appears as though he's trying to have it both ways.

"I’m not afraid to talk about climate change,” Begich said in an interview with Alaska's KCAW radio station that was released Sunday evening. “I live in a state that I see it, whenever I travel."

  “The national debate on this is, ‘If you’re for oil and gas you’re over here. If you’re for renewable energy you’re over here,' " Begich said. “In reality, in Alaska, we’ve figured out how to meld these things the right way, and I think that’s the goal that we have to have on a national level.”

Yet, as this February National Journal item illustrate, he admits the party he empowers goes too far, resulting in his ducking certain evemnts amnd votes. That's far from teh leadership he's gave lip service to in his interview.

... he says politicians should discuss climate change in the context of saving money and assessing risks, not carbon emissions.

"You have to broaden the perspective and look at what's the goal here," Begich said in an interview. "If the goal is to lower emissions, that's disconnected to most people. If the goal is to save taxpayers' money, now the public has some interest."

There's nothing here to suggest he actually takes his party on when it matters.

Begich and others in a similar spot like Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, and Mark Pryor of Arkansas were not among the 18 Democrats who unveiled a climate-change task force last month.


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