He said it. Presumably he meant it.
Sky News sit-down interview, July 2009:
"I also think that if you want to put a price on carbon, why not just do it with a simple tax? Why not ask motorists to pay more, why not ask electricity consumers to pay more, and then at the end of the year you can a rebate of the carbon taxes you've paid. It would be burdensome, all taxes are burdensome, but it would certainly change the price of carbon, raise the price of carbon, without increasing in any way the overall tax burden."
The context? Well the context is important.
Here's the whole thing. The interview was unedited and ran for 13 minutes. Abbott made the case for a carbon tax unprompted. He wasn't led into it.
Yes, in the interview he also with declared his support for Malcolm Turnbull, said the Coalition should agree to the emissions trading scheme, and spoke of the need to return to elements of WorkChoices -- all positions he has since repudiated.
Yes, the carbon tax he proposed would be ineffective.
But it is worth listening to the context. The carbon stuff begins 7.00 minutes in:
. Abbott believes carbon dioxide is sadly misunderstood?
. Turnbull describes his party's climate change policy
. Fighting pollution without prices is like...