tim johnsonTim Johnson

South Dakota’s sole U.S. representative, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D), voted against the climate bill in the House, and Sen. Tim Johnson may do the same in the Senate.

His vote will depend in part on how the final bill deals with agriculture and coal. He’s also a big fan of biofuels (his website touts a link to the American Coalition for Ethanol), and he’ll want to see major support for the industry in a Senate climate and energy package.

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Last year, Johnson voted against moving forward with the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act.

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But this year he was an enthusiastic supporter of the energy bill that passed out of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in June; that bill is expected to be combined with a climate bill before it goes to the full Senate for a vote.

“Clean energy is good for our state and good for rural America,” Johnson said after the committee passed the energy bill. “It will help create jobs and transition our economy away from foreign sources of energy.” Johnson specifically praised the renewable electricity standard in the bill, which would require electric utilities to get up to 15 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2021. He says the provision would create jobs in South Dakota, which has significant wind resources. He also praised the bill for allowing increased oil and gas drilling.

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Last year, Johnson joined a bipartisan coalition calling for energy legislation that combined support for renewables with more oil and gas drilling.

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