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Monday, December 09, 2019

Exclusive: Minnesota State Legislator Remembers When Tim Pawlenty Believed In Global Warming

One of the state representatives who co-authored the cap-and-trade bill that Tim Pawlenty signed as governor of Minnesota in 2007 made clear to The National Memo in an interview that the Republican presidential candidate’s actions in private and public were consistent with those of someone who believed humans were responsible for global warming.

“No one who did not believe in the 99% of the scientific community’s conclusion that human activity is dramatically affecting climate change would have signed such legislation,” said Rep. John Benson (D).

Pawlenty, who helped persuade several governors to sign the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, and formed the Minnesota Climate Change Advisory Group, has totally abandoned from his previous environmentalist streak, even telling “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday that he thought “there’s a great scientific dispute” over mankind’s effect on the temperature of the planet.

“There’s always been climate change, but until recently people were worried as much about global cooling,” he said. “The reality of it is the science indicates that most of it, if not all of it, is caused by natural causes.”

It’s another sign that Pawlenty, who also delivered a hawkish foreign policy speech on Tuesday, is increasingly trying to appeal to the right-wing of the GOP. Republican primary opponents — and former governors — Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney have also renounced their previous embrace of cap-and-trade and other carbon-pricing policies. But, unlike Pawlenty, both of them have said in recent weeks that they are convinced that man-made climate change is real.


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Former President Donald Trump at an American military cemetery near Paris in 2018

AP Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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