Tim Pawlenty on Energy & Oil

Republican MN Governor


I made a mistake in considering cap-and-trade in MN

Q: Before you signed a 2007 bill to promote renewable energy sources, you made this ad for the Environmental Defense Action Fund, saying: "If we act now, we can create thousands of new jobs in clean energy industries, before our overseas competitors beat us to it. Cap greenhouse gas pollution, now." You now say it was a dumb mistake. Were you committed to cap and trade over those years?

A: We did consider in designing a law in Minnesota that would study cap and trade. We didn't impose it. We signed up to review it, study, join with other states to look at it and we did. What I concluded subsequently is it is really a bad idea. I sent a letter to Congress about two years ago. And other times have said, I was wrong, I was a mistake and I'm sorry. It is ham fisted, it is going to be harmful to the economy. If you've got an executive position and you have been in the battle, you are going to have battle scars in your record. And that's one of mine. I just admit. I made a mistake.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina , May 5, 2011

2005: Vetoed $250K for climate change research

In 2005, Pawlenty signed a bill doubling the amount of corn-based ethanol required in gasoline. In 2006, he signed a bill requiring the state's coal plants to reduce mercury output by 90% over the following eight years. He did not, however, support every environmental initiative that came across his desk. In 2005 he vetoed $6.8 million of funding for a variety of projects, including $250,000 for climate change research and $466,000 for planting trees.
Source: Sam's Club Republican, by J.A. McClure, p. 36-37 , May 10, 2010

Building, Benchmarks, & Beyond: reduce 200,000 tons of CO2

Pawlenty teamed up with Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) in 2007 to form a "Governors' Windpower Coalition" aimed at promoting wind power research. Pawlenty addresses a global audience of 800 representatives in Washington DC at the 2007 Energy Efficiency Global Forum. He touted Minnesota as a leader in clean energy. With their Building, Benchmarks and Beyond program, the state made older public buildings more energy efficient, saving an estimated $23 million and 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Source: Sam's Club Republican, by J.A. McClure, p. 60-61 , May 10, 2010

25% renewable by 2025: Requirement, not a goal

Pawlenty served as Chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) for the 2007-08 term. While Chair of the NGA, he selected "securing a Clean Energy Future" as the main goal of his tenure. He said other states would learn from Minnesota's example, citing the following accomplishments:

"A requirement, not a goal, that 25% of our energy will come from renewable sources by 2025. It includes legislation signed into law to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. It includes reducing our fossil fuel consumption by 15% by 2015, which is coming up fast."

At a 2007 NGA conference, Pawlenty warned the US must curtail its carbon emissions, or it would "risk the nations' security posture, its prosperity and quality of life." He added that fossil fuels would still be an important part of the nation's energy supply, but they would have to pursue cleaner and more efficient ways of utilizing them.

Source: Sam's Club Republican, by J.A. McClure, p. 48-49 , May 10, 2010

Increase supply; diversify sources; drill ANWR

Q: What do you think about the Saudis increased oil production?

A: Well, itís relatively good news. We have a supply and demand problem, so the more supply we can get into the market, the better. But we also need to realize we canít just continue to rely on that approach for our future.

Q: But what about the addiction to imported oil?

A: Well, we have to diversify and Americanize our energy supply. Pres. Bush made the case for going ahead and drilling in ANWR. Listen to the president.

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer , Jun 22, 2008

The more oil supply, the better

Q: What is your reaction to the Saudis deciding to increase oil production?

A: Well, itís relatively good news. We have a supply and demand problem, so the more supply we can get into the market, the better. But we also need to realize we canít just continue to rely on that approach for our future.

Q: But what do you do about the addiction to imported oil?

A: Well, we have to diversify and Americanize our energy supply. But we need to do it in a way thatís environmentally sensitive and friendly

Source: CNN Late Edition: 2008 presidential series with Wolf Blitzer , Jun 22, 2008

Extend tax incentives for energy efficiency and energy R&D

Letter from Governor Pawlenty and Governor Rendell to the Senate Finance Committee:

On behalf of the nationís governors, we urge Congress to extend expiring tax provisions for renewable energy efficiency, research and development. Continued and consistent support for renewable energy and efficiency through tax incentives is critical to the development and deployment of alternative energy technologies and energy efficiency.

To stimulate innovation, we encourage Congress to exten the research and development tax credit that expired last year. Providing business with an incentive to invest in research is critical for driving innovation and generating high wage job opportunities that will propel the U.S. economy throughout the 21st century.

Securing our energy future and promoting innovation are priorities at both the state and federal level. We strongly urge you to partner with governors by passing legislation on a bipartisan basis to extend these tax provisions this year.

Source: Letter from two governors to Senate Finance Committee , May 21, 2008

Cap-and-trade to achieve MN greenhouse gas reduction goals

Legislative Summary: This act may be cited as the "Green Solutions Act of 2008".

OnTheIssues explanation: Cap-and-trade was first popularized in the 1990s under President George H.W. Bush as a means to efficiently reduce CO2 emissions.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 91-38 on April 23; passed Senate 43-21; signed by Gov. Pawlenty on May 19.

Source: Minnesota legislative voting records: HF 3195 , May 19, 2008

Encourage development of locally owned wind energy sources

Source: 2006 Gubernatorial website, www.timpawlenty.com, ďIssuesĒ , Nov 7, 2006

Stop harmful EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Pawlenty signed Letter from 20 Governors to leaders in Congress

We feel compelled to guard against a regulatory approach that would increase the cost of electricity and gasoline prices, manufactured products, and ultimately harm the competitiveness of the US economy. As governors, we strongly urge Congress to stop harmful EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions that could damage those vital interests. We ask that Congress continue its work to pass comprehensive legislation that balances the role of conservation and climate security with the production of abundant and affordable American energy. The EPA has initiated efforts to impose greenhouse gas regulations that could be harmful to our economies at an especially critical time. As Governors, we are gravely concerned about such regulation.

EPA is not equipped to consider the very real potential for economic harm when regulating emissions. Without that consideration, regulation will place heavy administrative burdens on state environmental quality agencies, will be costly to consumers, and could be devastating to the economy and jobs.

We believe that EPA should offer input regarding complex energy and environmental policy initiatives, like reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but feel that these policies are best developed by elected representatives at the state and national level, not by a single federal agency. There is no question that broad bipartisan support exists to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while taking into consideration the difficult fiscal situation that our states and the nation face.

Source: Letter from 20 Governors to leaders in Congress 100310-Gov on Mar 10, 2010

Set goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025.

Pawlenty endorsed setting goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025

A resolution that it is the goal of the United States that, not later than January 1, 2025, the agricultural, forestry, and working land of the US should provide from renewable resources not less than 25% of the total energy consumed and continue to produce safe, abundant, and affordable food, feed, and fiber. [Governors also signed letters of endorsement at www.25x25.org]

Rep. SALAZAR: "Our resolution establishes a national goal of producing 25% of America's energy from renewable sources--like solar, wind and biofuels--by 2025. The "25x'25" vision is widely endorsed, bold, and fully attainable. If implemented, it would dramatically improve our energy security, our economy, and our ability to protect the environment.

"I am pleased that more than 20 of my colleagues in the Senate, from both sides of the aisle, are cosponsoring this resolution. In addition, the "25x'25" vision has been endorsed by 22 current and former governors and several State legislatures across the country. The Big Three automobile manufacturers--Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors--are all behind "25x'25" So are many agricultural organizations, environmental groups, scientists, and businesses, ranging from the Natural Resources Defense Council to John Deere.

"These Americans understand that we cannot continue to import 60% of our oil from foreign countries, many of which are hostile to the US, if we aim to be strong and secure in the world. They know that we will have to build a clean energy economy if we are to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It is time for Congress to take a more active role in our clean energy future. Establishing a national goal--"25x'25" is the first step."

Source: 25x'25 Act (S.CON.RES.3 / H.CON.RES.25) 2007-SC03 on Jan 17, 2007

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Page last updated: Oct 28, 2021