The Following is a statement from Conservation Minnesota Executive Director Paul Austin on the Senate’s decision not to confirm Ellen Anderson as Commissioner of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission:
The Senate GOP’s rejection of Ellen Anderson as a member of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is a step in the wrong direction for the state. Anderson’s career includes two decades as a champion for increasing the amount of energy Minnesotans get from clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar power. The notion of clean energy is not “radical” and “out of step” as some Senators claimed today, but rather, it is very much in the mainstream of what Minnesotans expect from our utility providers.
Anderson has served nearly one year as a commissioner prior to today’s vote. In that time, she voted 216 times with the majority of her colleagues, including 201 unanimous votes, and only 6 times in the minority. Anderson’s ability to work collaboratively with all parties and arrive at solutions that are broadly supported by all members of the PUC reflects the very best of what Minnesotans expect from our elected and appointed officials.
None of the Senators who advocated for Anderson’s firing today cited any examples of misconduct that would merit her dismissal, nor did they articulate examples of how her personal opinions negatively affected her duties and responsibilities as a commissioner. Today’s vote was simply partisan politics at its worst, and it contributes to the cynicism of many Minnesotans who see the Capitol as highly divisive and unable to work together to solve the many challenges facing our state.
MORE INFO: To get more information, or to schedule an interview with Paul Austin, please contact Nate Dybvig at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651.230.3018.