Dayton blasts Republicans after nominee ousted for backing clean energy

Ellen Anderson.jpg
Repub Senators to Anderson: You aren't down with coal and natural gas? Then get the frack out!
Are you a supporter of renewable energy? Perhaps you've said a derogatory word or two about fossil fuels in the past? Then, in the eyes of the MNGOP, you aren't fit to serve as chair of the Public Utilities Commission.

The first political eruption of the 2012 legislative session happened yesterday after Senate Republicans ousted former DFL Senator Ellen Anderson from her job as PUC chair in a 37-29 party-line vote. Anderson was first appointed to the position last March and didn't need Senate approval until the start of the 2012 legislative session.

In justifying the ouster, Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, chairwoman of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, said Anderson had "demonized traditional energy sources" and made "derogatory references" to "dirty and dangerous fossil fuels or energy cartels."
julie rosen.jpg
The Rosen-led GOP effort to oust Anderson caused Dayton to explode like an oil well.

Those comments "do not reflect well on the nominee," Rosen said, adding that Anderson's views are too "extreme" for a state that needs a balanced energy portfolio.

Anderson's ouster less than a year after she resigned her Senate seat for the PUC job infuriated Dayton, who pointed out that 204 of the 221 votes the five-member PUC board has made since last March were unanimous.

At an impromptu news conference, Dayton said that "a very good person, a very dedicated public servant and an excellent chair of the Public Utilities Commission was wrongly maligned and cruelly rejected today by Republican senators, who showed once again that they are unfit to govern this state."

He took a shot at Senate Republicans for making a stink about a normally uncontroversial appointment at a time when the MNGOP is still dealing with a sordid sex scandal that resulted in leadership upheaval.

"You would think that after their leadership scandals, which caused them to replace all their leaders last month, they would behave themselves for at least a little while," Dayton said.

Out of a job at the Senate, Anderson was immediately hired by Dayton as his senior energy adviser.

There is no word of yet about who Dayton might appoint as his new PUC chair. But, to please the Republican majority, he apparently faces the tall task of finding an energy expert who shares the belief that wind turbines are extreme, that continuing to pollute the environment with scarce supplies of coal and natural gas is the way forward for Minnesota. Good luck with that, Mr. Governor.


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14 comments
Keith_Elison
Keith_Elison

According to Democrats, "bi-partisan" means Republicans going along with what the Democrats want.  The Democrats want a PUC chair that doesn't do what the PUC is intended to do.  Instead they want somebody who advocates for their causes.  When that goes over poorly they throw a temper tantrum.

dave s
dave s

Yes, we need a balanced energy portfolio. Wind and solar. 

In the past I have considered myself an independent voter. Now as I watch the GOP treat politics as all out war on anyone that does not fit their church basement cookie cutter mold. I feel the only way any semblance of a working government can be achieved is by people voting for an all DFL ticket and protest like hell every time they mess up.

MrE85
MrE85

"...he apparently faces the tall task of finding an energy expert who shares the belief that windmills are extreme, that continuing to pollute the environment with scarce supplies of coal and natural gas is the way forward for Minnesota"

A few points. First, it's wind turbines, not windmills. Windmills grind grain and make the Neatherlands look quant. Wind turbines generate about 15% of Minnesota's electricty.

As you may (or may not) know, I'm a green energy advocate, but it is really not accurate to say our nation's reserves of coal and natural gas are "scarce." They certainly are within our state's borders (we have no usable petroleum, coal or natural gas resources), but there is a lot of coal and natural gas around.

That said, moving toward cleaner, renewable energy sources is a good move for Minnesota. We need to continue down the path toward less polluting sources of electricity and transportation fuels. It's the smart thing to do.

MrE85
MrE85

We all want bi-partisan government. Instead we get bi-polar government. :-(

MrE85
MrE85

IMHO, green energy shouldn't be cast as a "red or blue" issue. It hasn't always been the case. Minnesota's "25 by 25" renewable energy law, authored by (then) Sen. Anderson, recieved broad bi-partisan support when it was passed in 123 to 10 in the House, and 61 to 4 in the  Senate. It was signed into law by (then) Gov. Pawlenty, who hailed the law as a great step forward for Minnesota.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

I've never seen such a collection of idiot scumbags like the modern Republican Party.  All Republicans try to do is make life miserable for Democrats, no matter how much it hurts the state.    They are a bunch of hypocritical stupid scum.    How anyone with a brain could vote for them is beyond me. 

Pcolachefjeff
Pcolachefjeff

No where in the article does it say windmills, it clearly says wins turbines

atrupar
atrupar

I write that coal and gas supplies are "scarce" because there is a limited supply of fossil fuels, unlike wind or hydroelectric power.

Duly noted on the 'mill' versus 'turbine' point. I fixed that. Appreciate the comments.

jp
jp

yeah, dipshit, because Solyndra worked so well.  Let's keep throwing taxpayer money at failures, that's the OBAMA way!!!  Until you can give a good example of a green energy that performs better than fossil fuels, stfu!

You
You

I vote for them because I have a brain and have to pay a utility bill and don't want it to be $26,000 a month because we get all our electricity from gerbils running on tread mills.

MrE85
MrE85

Read Aaron's comment again. Article has been edited. Rupar likes to get it right.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

You are a great thinker pizza.   If we had more people like you they would have stopped after building the first car because it couldn't go 90 miles per hour.  

I now present a play I wrote called:  Pizza's idiot grandfather meets the inventor of the automobile. 

Idiot grandfather of pizza:  Duh you mean this car no go 90 miles per hour? Ford:   Well, this is merely the start of the technology obviously we will improve it as time goes on.Idiot grandfather of pizza:  Pass.   Me no like.   It is not perfect already.  What does improve mean?  Ford:   I don't even know why I talk to the idiot janitor.   Back to work you ugly moron, when you finish sweeping get in the men's room and clean up the mess.   Don't ever talk to me again or you are fired!  

pizza
pizza

It would be great if they actually wanted us to use green energy, unfortunatley they make it unfeasable in almost every way. Dirty, imported petrol is still the best option because that is the only option.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

The future is scary isn't it?   I bet if you would have been around back when cars were first coming out you would have talked about how stupid cars are and nothing will beat your horse.   If you can't tell that clean renewable energy is the way of the future you are an idiot.   We can either invent it and be the leaders of the world or we can be the loser nation that fades to irrelevance.   I can tell you one thing Somalia isn't investing in alternative energy sources but Germany, China, England, France and Canada are all investing.  You want to be Somalia or do you want to be the most powerful nation on Earth?   Grow up, you think like a fucking caveman. 

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