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.