Congressman Tim Walz told high school students that being a moderate in Washington opens him up to attacks from both extremes.
He was speaking about a bill that would charge oil companies to use public land; he supports a moderate fee that would keep U.S. oil and gas competitive but still raise money for research into alternative energy sources, the Mankato Free Press reports.
But he told the students at Mankato West High School that a moderate position can be spun by both sides, the paper said:
Walz said he ends up being characterized as either a tree-hugging environmentalist for worrying about global warming or being in bed with the oil companies for supporting the Keystone XL pipeline.
He tried to get the students to take a nuanced look at the issue, explaining that it is possible to be both a “big fan” of natural gas and someone who believes climate change is an “existential threat,” the paper said.
And he told the students that he believes the transition to renewable energy would not only be painless, but that it would be an economic opportunity, the paper said.