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Rep. Randy Demmer's Record in Opposition to "Cap and Trade"

One of the advantages of experience serving in public office is that you can build a record to demonstrate to voters your past commitment to the issues they support, and indicate where your focus will be in the future. Unfortunately, it also provides an opening to your opponents from all sides of the aisle to misrepresent your voting record and provide information out of context in order to create mistrust and confusion among delegates and the voting public.

My record on cap and trade is one of the areas in which I have been recently attacked and misrepresented. I want to be clear: I do not support, nor have I supported in the past, legislation enacting a "cap and trade" system on a national, regional, or even state level. The cap and trade bill that Tim Walz supported at the federal level is NOT energy policy. It is government expansion, more unnecessary bureaucracy, and worst of all, it is a tax increase on every family and every business in Southern Minnesota and in our nation. Man-made climate change simply doesn't make sense, and we shouldn't be spending our tax and energy dollars on yet another government program or placing additional competitive burdens on our businesses and industries to deal with it.

The following are few votes on which I want to provide some background and context, to ensure my record is clear:
  • SF 4, which passed 123 to 10: This bill has nothing to do with implementing cap and trade. I and most of my Republican colleagues voted in support of the Governor and in favor of renewable energy standards being implemented. We felt then, as I do now, that we must continue to move towards energy independence using all of the domestic resources at our disposal: drilling for oil in ANWR and off the coasts, utilizing Canadian oil resources, and continuing to develop alternative energy sources such as biofuels, wind, hydrogen, solar, and nuclear. The utilities felt that the bill included a reasonable time frame for implementation and in fact, that they were already on track to meet the standards. All of the groups representing agriculture were strongly in favor, as well.

  • SF 145, which passed 92 to 37: I and most of my Republican colleagues voted against this bill because it would have implemented a regional "cap and trade" system. When the Governor stated that he would veto this legislation (and that House Republicans would sustain his veto), the Democrats were forced to back down. The bill was re-written in conference committee and the implementation of "cap and trade" was replaced with a mere study. With the removal of any enacting provisions, the conference committee report was passed 125 to 9. I and most of my Republican colleagues voted in support of the Governor in favor of this amended energy bill, and I am happy we were able to work together and prevent the ill-advised implementation of "cap and trade" here in Minnesota.

  • HF 3195, which passed 91 to 38: I and most of my Republican colleagues voted against this bill which called for implementation of a regional "cap and trade" system in cooperation with a study by the Midwest Governor's Association, which called on Minnesota to participate in a regional “cap and trade” system if there were no federal program in place by 2012. A conference committee failed to make the changes that I and my fellow Republicans were looking for, so we voted no on the conference committee report also.

The above examples illustrate my continued opposition to any kind of cap and trade type system being set up in Minnesota, the region, or nationally. I hope that as this campaign moves forward, we can have a full and open debate over this and other issues that are vitally important to the future of our nation. Politically motivated attacks that utterly disregard the facts and prey on the confusion that often surrounds complex legislation are exactly the reason that the American public's confidence in Congress is so low.

Minnesota and our nation deserve real leadership - not more Washington-style politics as usual. I will continue to work hard to gain your support as the next Congressman from Minnesota's First District.