In a wide ranging press conference on climate issues this week, Governor Steve Bullock spoke specifically about the effort by many to introduce a ‘carbon price’.

The Montana Climate Solutions Council had just released its recommendations that covered 50 recommendations.

According to a press release from the Governor’s office: ‘The Council was tasked with developing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, prepare the state for climate impacts, foster innovation across Montana’s economy, and address the needs of communities in transition through appropriate economic development and workforce strategies.’

One of the issues involved the plan to set a ‘carbon price’.

“The council recommended that Montana ‘engage in national and regional dialogue on carbon pricing’,” said Bullock. “It did not propose a state carbon tax or commit the state to any national or regional policy. Let me be clear that at this juncture, I don't support any of the national proposals for a carbon tax under consideration in Congress.”

Let me be clear that at this juncture, I don't support any of the national proposals for a carbon tax under consideration in Congress.

Bullock said despite his lack of support for a carbon tax, he still wants Montana to be a part of the conversation.

“I do, however support this Council's proposal to have a seat at the table,” he said. That’s supporting the over 75 fortune 500 companies, including two of the oil and gas companies who are members, the Montana Petroleum Association, ExxonMobil and Conoco Phillips that are currently advocating for a specific piece of legislation that would put a price on carbon on Capitol Hill.”

Bullock said it’s important that Montana not be left behind in regional and national climate issues.

“With that dynamic at play, I think it'd be a disservice to our state to not have a seat at the table and to begin to understand both the costs and benefits of any proposal for our state moving forward,” he said. “The saying is ‘You could either be on the bus or under it, or you can be a guest at the table or on the menu. We know we currently have and will continue to have workforce and economic development needs in our state associated with energy transitions.”

Recently, Senator Stave Daines referenced Governor Bullock’s comments to the Washington Post during his campaign for the Presidency placing him in the camp of those who support a form of carbon tax.

Bullock’s comments this week contradict that view.

One part of the council’s plan ‘outlines a comprehensive set of strategies to reduce emissions and put Montana on a trajectory to achieve the goal Governor Bullock outlined for the Council of achieving net-greenhouse gas neutrality for the electric power sector by 2035, and in a timeline determined by the Council, net-zero emissions across the economy by as soon as 2045 and no later than 2050.’

The council’s entire report can be read here.

Read on