When Speaker-In-Waiting Paul Thissen announced his committee chairs, one chairmanship in particular jumped out at me. Thissen’s pick of Melissa Hortman as Energy Committee chair should frighten taxpayers. I wrote about Rep. Hortman’s exotic opinions on energy policy in this post. At the time, Rep. Hortman and others were pushing legislation that would’ve implemented a cap and trade policy, with emission standards tied to California’s. In an op-ed, Rep. Hortman cited this statistic:

FACT: More than 75 percent of Minnesotans favor the legislation. In addition to loving our trucks and cars, Minnesotans also value our lakes, rivers and streams; our forests and natural areas; wildlife habitat and clean air; and way of life.

In a statewide poll conducted by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership in fall 2007, more than 75 percent of voters supported legislation requiring new cars and trucks registered in the state to meet lower emission standards.

If Rep. Hortman gets her way, and I’m betting she will, we’ll soon have a cap-and-trade system in Minnesota. It’s best to not think of Rep. Hortman as representing a district. It’s better to think of Rep. Hortman as being assigned to get Alida Messinger’s militant environmentalist agenda passed.

At the time of her pushing cap-and-trade legislation, I did some research into how the California emissions regulatory system would affect car prices. Here’s what I found in 2008:

The California vehicles I checked cost north of $2000 more than the identical vehicle sold here in Minneosta.

As I said at the time, I didn’t do an exhaustive search. That said, I did a lengthy search. Repeatedly, the pattern held.

It’s impossible to think of this pick as anything other than a jesture of obedience to Alida Messinger and a first signal that this legislature will be compliant with the militant environmentalists’ agenda.

This is a stunning admission:

Congress allows states to adopt either the California standard or the federal standard for air emissions from vehicles. California regulated air pollution from motor vehicles before Congress adopted the motor vehicle sections of the Clean Air Act. Because of California’s pre-existing state law on the issue, states were given the choice to follow the California standard or the federal standard but they may not set their own standards that would be different from either the California or the federal standard. Minnesota has not yet adopted the California standard so the EPA regulates motor vehicle emissions in Minnesota. The Clean Car legislation I have authored would have Minnesota opt into the California standard for motor vehicle emissions.

It isn’t a coincidence that California’s gas prices are the highest in the nation. California’s emissions standards have driven up vehicle prices while forcing a glut of exotic fuel mixtures. Think of it as the worst of both worlds: higher priced gas going into higher priced vehicles.

Welcome to Rep. Hortman’s world.

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12 Responses to “Rep. Hortman: Alida Messinger’s personal legislator”

  • Chad Q says:

    Heh, heh, heh. And the morons who voted the democrats back into power think only the rich are going to pay higher taxes. We are all targets for the democrat tax, regulate, and spend machine that will take control in January. We’ll see if people are really worried about the lakes, river, forests, and their way of life when their utility bills double and the price of gas and a vehicle goes up to where only a select few can afford to drive. I can hardly wait.

  • Chris says:

    In case you do not know, Rep. Hortman has publicly stated she worked for VP Al Gore.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Thanks for that information. I didn’t know that.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Chad, many of the people who funded the DFL takeover are trust fund babies, folks who don’t put their money at risk. Unfortunately, many of the people that voted for the change will be significantly hurt by the DFL, aka the middle class & the working poor.

  • eric z says:

    With Republicans having not done well in the election, do you see Hann or Daudt as having any Moses in them?

    If so, which more than the other, and what will the tablets brought down from the mountain top say?

    Have the Republicans any viable agenda, not mixed to appeal to blocs in “the base” but coherent?

    If so, are Hann and Daudt fit to advance it?

    Hann gets his livelihood from the health insurance industry. That bodes ill. Daudt, is he a team player or advancing mainly, Daudt?

    Look at your two top guns. Then criticize others?

    Come on. How’s the Brodkorb lawsuit going?

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eric, Republicans ran on a positive agenda. Simply put, the money spent by Alida Messinger on smear campaigns drowned out that positive message.

    The question is whether the DFL will have the ability to say no from time to time. That isn’t likely. Their tax increases won’t net the money they’ll need to pay for their insane spending increases.

    Within a year, their spending increases will have to be scaled back because the tax increases won’t produce the money they need.

    Finally, your hatred of profit-making companies is well-documented. I won’t dignify your cheapshot of Sen. Hann other than to say he’s intellectually superior to Sen. Bakk.

    I’m confident he’ll expose Sen. Bakk as an intellectual lightweight.

  • walter hanson says:


    If you think it’s so easy why don’t you raise the money to buy Hostess and give those 18000 workers their jobs back and a nice payraise.

    If you didn’t notice the Republicans ran on an agenda and come in 2014 when Minnesota has gone to hell (especially compared with Wisconsin) with businesses fleeing, no tax cuts for anybody, raising deficits which is what they said they were going to stop, and not even being able to say yes to their allies it will be the DFL that doesn’t have a message that the “Trust babies” as Gary says that can save them. The DFL will be greatful that they still have the state senate until 2016.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • eric z says:

    What about Daudt? Do you like that choice, or did you like Zellers-Dean better? It is not asking you to nay-say anyone, just relative preferences within your own party representatives.

    KD sure can accumulate traffic citations, that I can say is an objective fact.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Kurt Daudt is a good man. He’ll handle the position well. The good news is that Thissen’s just a 1-term Speaker.

  • walter hanson says:


    KD won’t try to pass a bad agenda for the state of Minnesota which is what the DFL will do.

    Unfortunately, you don’t understand that it’s a bad agenda.

    By the way have you gone and bought Hostess to save those 18,000 jobs yet?

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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