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A bill in the Minnesota legislature would repeal portions of a 2007 state law that restrict the construction of new coal power plants as well as the import of coal-fired electricity in other states.
That law, the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007, passed with bipartisan support and was championed by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
So what would Pawlenty have to say about efforts to gut this landmark legislation?
State Rep. Joe Atkins, a Democrat who represents a suburban district south of St. Paul, decided to find out. He sent a letter to Pawlenty, asking him to come to the Capitol to testify Wednesday against the bill, HF 72, that would remove the coal restriction.
Pawlenty, who is mounting a PR push ahead of a possible presidential run, declined. So Atkins showed this video to the House Commerce Committee instead:
To be fair, the person in the video is the “old” Tim Pawlenty. The former governor has since made a complete 180 on climate and energy issues, earning a “Full Flop” rating from PolitiFact.
Pawlenty told conservative bloggers last month that his support for cap and trade was “stupid,” and acknowledged that “almost everybody who’s running has a similar problem” in that they were once realists on climate change and had to backtrack quickly when that position became politically toxic among conservatives.
What a difference a couple of years makes.
(h/t: Ethan Fawley)