Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, long rumored as a GOP Presidential contender in 2012, has moved from staunch supporter of clean energy and cap and trade, to James Inhofe. Well, maybe not quite Senator Inhofe, but Mitt Romney at least.
Take a look at the timeline, provided by Think Progress:
In three years, Pawlenty has gone from full support for what in many ways looks just like the legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently in the Senate, to the claim that global warming is not caused by human activity. Which poses the question: is Tim Pawlenty now a bona fide teabagger?
- Dec. 2006: Pawlenty lays out an ambitious clean energy program for Minnesotans to reduce their use of fossil fuels 15 percent by 2015. Cutting greenhouse gases, Pawlenty said, would “be good for the environment, good for rural economies, good for national security and good for consumers.” He also calls for a regional cap and trade program.
- May 2007: Pawlenty signs the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007, requiring the state to reduce its emissions 15 percent by 2015 and 80 percent in 2050. At the signing ceremony, Pawlenty said Minnesota was “kicking-starting the future” by “tackling greenhouse gas emissions.”
- Oct. 2007: Pawlenty declares that the climate change issue is “one of the most important of our time.” He also brushes off “some flak” from right-wingers who doubt climate change science.
- Sept. 2008: During the election, Pawlenty backs away from his own cap and trade program, says such a system would “wreck the economy.” He then tells Glenn Beck (a climate change denier) that human activity only contributes “half a percent” to climate change.
- Nov. 2009: Pawlenty backs away from acknowledging that any human activity is the cause of climate change.