The Spectacle Blog

Puzzling Pawlenty

Like the chairman of the Democratic Governor's Association, Montana's Brian Schweitzer, Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty now says he thinks cap-and-trade is a bad idea.

By on 12.17.09 | 7:09PM

Like the chairman of the Democratic Governor's Association, Montana's Brian Schweitzer, Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty now says he thinks cap-and-trade is a bad idea. In an interview Wednesday night with New Hampshire Watchdog reporter Grant Bosse, Pawlenty said the scheme was harmful to the economy and jobs, but he still holds to the idea that carbon dioxide is "pollution:"

Pawlenty, who until recently was a cheerleader for state- and regional-level greenhouse gas limitations, unfortunately is like Montana's Schweitzer in another way. While they both have spoken against cap-and-trade, they are each keeping their respective states as participants in such agreements on a regional scale. Montana is part of the Western Climate Initiative, which is run by the Western Governors Association, yet Schweitzer's made no move to match his actions with his rhetoric.

Pawlenty, who as chairman of the Midwestern Governors Association enthusiastically led an agenda to fight global warming, entered his state into the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord -- and it remains there. The goals of the accord are:

  • Establish greenhouse gas reduction targets and timeframes consistent with MGA member states’ targets;
  • Develop a market-based and multi-sector cap-and-trade mechanism to help achieve those reduction targets;
  • Establish a system to enable tracking, management, and crediting for entities that reduce greenhouse gas
    emissions; and
  • Develop and implement additional steps as needed to achieve the reduction targets, such as a low-carbon fuel
    standards and regional incentives and funding mechanisms.

If that doesn't sound like the economy- and jobs-killer that likely presidential candidate Pawlenty says he now opposes, I don't know what does. So when will he withdraw Minnesota from this commitment?

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