National Journal’s Coral Davenport examines in-depth Tim Pawlenty’s environmental initiatives and finds that Pawlenty’s “clunker” description may be an understatement:
Today, all of the GOP candidates vow to fight anything that even hints of restrictions on fossil fuels and carbon emissions. …
No other candidate, however, has made a more jaw-dropping about-face than Pawlenty. Despite his current claims, Pawlenty did far more than flirt with climate change: He made the issue a signature of his administration and of his 2007-08 tenure as head of the National Governors Association. He aggressively led state, regional, and national efforts to promote cap-and-trade legislation and pushed through one of the country’s toughest renewable-energy mandates in Minnesota. Along the way, he won other Republicans over to the cause. And he did it in the national spotlight, as his star rose high enough to put him on McCain’s short list of possible running mates.
Davenport also reports that Pawlenty signed a bill in 2006 that required 25 percent of the electricity generated by Minnesota utilities to be from wind, solar and similar sources by 2025 and that fossil fuel use be reduced by 15 percent by 2015. In 2007, he signed legislation that mandated greenhouse gas emissions be decreased 15 percent by 2015 and 80 percent by 2050.
Full piece here.