Marty Seifert must be feeling the heat for supporting the Next Generation Energy Act. That’s the only explanation for his introducing a bill that would roll back requirements mandated by SF4, which created a Renewable Energy Standard:

A Republican candidate for Minnesota governor is attempting to roll back a requirement that a quarter of the state’s power come from renewable sources by 2025.

Rep. Marty Seifert of Marshall brings his bill to a House committee on Monday. It would erase the requirement approved two years ago, which he and a large legislative majority voted to put in place.

Seifert’s bill would replace the gradually increasing energy standard with a “good faith” goal. When they approved the requirement, lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty said it would reduce reliance on dirtier power sources and drive up demand for homegrown electricity.

Rep. Tom Emmer is Seifert’s main rival for the Republican gubernatorial endorsement. Emmer was 1 of 10 House members to vote against the 25 percent by 2025 goal when it was approved.

It’s good to see Rep. Seifert finally start making his way back to the right side of this issue. I’d be even happier if Rep. Seifert admitted that he’s voted for a system that’s similar to cap and trade.

Rhonda Sivarajah, Rep. Seifert’s running mate, says that he hasn’t voted for cap and trade legislation:

I’d also like to discuss an issue that I’ve been asked about on the campaign trail regarding energy costs. I’m disappointed to hear about emails which have been circulating that clearly misrepresent Marty’s position. Like me, Marty opposes “cap and trade” legislation. Over the past few years, DFL legislators have introduced “cap and trade” legislation which Marty has consistently opposed.

You deserve a substantive discussion of the differences between the candidates for governor, however, other campaigns are doing a great disservice when supporters are intentionally spreading false information to mislead activists. Rest assured, Marty Seifert and I strongly oppose “cap and trade” legislation, and as governor, Marty will veto any “cap and trade” legislation.

That last sentence is meaningless. Here’s why:

There was a second important energy bill passed at the end of the 2007 session known as the Next Generation Energy Act (SF 145). This bill enacted “carbon emission goals” and directed the Commerce Commissioner to create a “climate change action plan.” The bill specifically mandated that “[t]he state must, to the extent possible, with other states in the Midwest region, develop and implement a regional approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from activities in the region, including consulting on a regional cap and trade system.”

SF145, which was signed into law in 2007, created the mechanism for a regional cap and trade system. The only way to change that is to repeal the Next Generation Energy Act.

I’ve told friends that voting for the M-RETS legislation and the Next Generation Energy Act would hurt Rep. Seifert with the activists the most of all the votes he’s taken. I’d suggest that Rep. Seifert’s new legislation proves that the green energy issue is hurting him.

Tom Emmer, the man that I’m supporting, got both votes right. Rep. Seifert didn’t. The bills that Rep. Seifert voted for will create higher energy prices. They also create new bureaucracies. For a man that constantly says he wants to right-size, downsize and economize, it sounds more like he voted to increase the size of Minnesota’s government.

Tom Emmer took a principled stand because he didn’t want Minnesota’s energy costs to go up. Time has proven him to be on the right side of this issue.

Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Responses to “Seifert Changes Mind; What’s His Motivation For Changing?”

  • J. Ewing says:

    Two things trouble me about your interpretation of this. Make that three. First, that you claim Mr. Seifert has changed his mind /because/ of “heat on the issue.” Is it just possible that he changed his mind because it was the right thing to do and that now was a reasonably propitious time to do it? You and the anonymous e-mailers claimed that he voted for And trade when what he voted for was a renewable energy standard which, at the time, seemed sufficiently reasonable that a large majority of legislators voted in favor, and it helped his Southwest Minnesota farming constituency. And lastly, a large majority of all legislators voted in favor, meaning Mr. Emmer was once again out of step with the mainstream but possibly correct in 20-20 hindsight, and taking a principled stand against one small portion of the bill while ignoring what must have been many other positives.

  • Gary Gross says:

    Is it just possible that he changed his mind because it was the right thing to do and that now was a reasonably propitious time to do it?

    That’s possible, Jerry, but color me suspicious of the timing. If Marty had a true change of heart, then I’m glad. I’m just not a big believer in coincidences like this.

    You and the anonymous e-mailers claimed that he voted for And trade when what he voted for was a renewable energy standard which, at the time, seemed sufficiently reasonable that a large majority of legislators voted in favor, and it helped his Southwest Minnesota farming constituency.

    Actually, when Marty voted for SF145, he voted for legislation that created a mechanism for creating a region-wide Cap & Trade system. That seems pretty straightforward to me.

    And lastly, a large majority of all legislators voted in favor, meaning Mr. Emmer was once again out of step with the mainstream but possibly correct in 20-20 hindsight

    Jerry, I’m betting that people think that a politician who’s right is in the mainstream. The reality is that alot of people made the trendy, feel-good vote rather than making the right vote.

    From an economics standpoint, it isn’t difficult to argue that Marty & others voted for more expensive forms of energy production. What’s mainstream about that?

    and taking a principled stand against one small portion of the bill while ignoring what must have been many other positives.

    Taking a principled stand against the main portion of this bill is a good thing. Requiring Minnesota to use wind and solar power, which are more expensive than fossil fuels, isn’t what Minnesotans want when told that their energy bills will be increasing.

  • Brian says:

    It is nice to see that you are now agreeing with me, it is a Cap and Tax bill Pawlenty signed and Seifert voted for. Go Emmer.

  • C.W. Hiatt says:

    If Marty is being misrepresented on the issue of Cap and Trade and “hasn’t voted for Cap and Trade Legislation” then pray tell why he is trying to roll it back?

    The fact is Marty DID support a bill that amounted to Cap and Trade and has now seen the error of his ways.

    OR, he can proclaim that as he understood the bill at the time, he did not take it to impose such a mandate.

    The latter is most certainly a tough sell amongst the conservative constituency as it most certainly doesn’t comport with Seifert’s praise of the bill on the house floor.

  • Al says:

    I must state Marty’s reasoning for repeal seems to be coming from the pressure from Minnesotans for Global Warming and his PREVIOUS support of SF4 or the next generation Energy act. I SPOKE to him personally explaining our coverage of this. He said if elected he’d repeal this, undue the damage I didn’t realize at the time. Then I mentioned it would be preferred to do something SOONER then later as its bigger then the governorship. He agreed and drafted a bill, which sadly the committee killed. This showed me he has courage, repentance, listens and like Luke 15: 4 – 7 “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”

  • Gary Gross says:

    We’ll never know whether Marty’s conversion was a sign of political courage or political maneuvering because election year conversions are rightly questioned.

    Irregardless, Tom voted right the first time so there wasn’t a need for an election year repentance.

Leave a Reply