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Reality Check: Ellen Anderson’s ‘Extreme’ Views

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Twenty-four hours after the Minnesota Senate rejected Ellen Anderson as the Governor’s appointee to the Public Utilities Commission, she accepted a job as a senior advisor to Gov. Mark Dayton on energy and environmental issues.

Republicans said they rejected Anderson because her energy views are “extreme.” However, looking at Anderson’s record at the PUC and the Minnesota Senate, where she served for 19 years, it shows Republicans joined her on her most visible energy bills.

The five-member Public Utilities Commission regulates power companies and sets Minnesota’s gas and electric rates.

Republicans voted along party lines to reject her appointment to the commission Monday.

“I look at a public career that has demonized traditional energy sources,” said Sen. Julie Rosen, (R-Fairmont), the chair of the Minnesota Senate Energy Committee. “I look at derogatory references to dirty and dangerous fossil fuels and energy cartels that do not reflect well on the nominee.”

That’s Questionable.

During eight months on the job, Anderson participated in 221 PUC votes, and 95 percent of them were unanimous. Only six times did Anderson vote in the minority.

And that’s NOT THE WHOLE STORY.

As a Senator, Anderson emerged as a renewable energy expert, authoring seven major energy bills.

All of them passed, and were signed into law by Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

It’s TRUE.

One of Anderson’s bills was a national model that Pawlenty used to launch a presidential campaign.

It required 25 percent of Minnesota power to be generated from renewable energy by 2025. Another bill reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Republicans say they’re worried about what Anderson might do in the future.

“Her outright rejection of energy sources that built this country and helped foster the highest living standards in the world is irresponsible,” said Rosen.

Reality Check Sources:
“Renewable Energy Gets A Big Boost”
Renewable Energy Standard Passes Minnesota House
Annual Legislative Proposal Report on Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions
Annuel Greenhouse Gas Legislative Proposal Report
Ellen Anderson Voting Record
Public Utilities Commission

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