My how an election year tsunami changes the tone of the once very conservative, Governor Pawlenty.
Years ago, no new tax pledges forced deep cuts in education, social programs, and public safety, and increases in property taxes.
Now, we see after the DFL seized control of both the House and the Senate, that he is now become a centrist.
He promoted steps towards health care coverage for all Minnesotan's, and conservative bloggers and columnists blasted him for it.
Talk of a smoking ban has arisen and no response from the quick tongued Governor. If a smoking ban passed both the House and Senate, I highly doubt the Governor would veto it.
Now, he has indirectly slapped the neo-con energy plan, stating MN will be a nationwide leader in reforming an "outdated US energy policy".
According to the Startribune, Pawlenty will utilize a series of "regulations, incentives and penalties to make the state more energy-independent through big increases in ethanol-rich fuel stations and highly energy-efficient buildings, big advances in renewable energy technologies and big decreases in electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions."
I smell the conservative base eating at him as I type this. They will call a play from page 3 of the GOP handbook, citing undue regualtion of business.
Pawlenty wasn't lying months ago when he said that the idea of small government is dead.
I like the idea of selling emissions credits. It can create greater profit margins and incentives for businesses below the emission standard level. Businesses can sell these emissions credits to businesses that exceed standard levels. Additionally, maintaing hard standards environmentally will have a positive impact on global warming.
I am interested to see the details behind this proposal, just as I am on Pawlenty's higher education plan and health care plan as well.