Minnesota Clean Car standards were recently approved after a lengthy, 18-month rulemaking process by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), including extensive public comment and approval by an administrative law judge. Clean Cars will do two things: require that gas and diesel vehicles sold in MN meet a “low emissions standard” (the same as the federal standard in place from 2012-2020) and require that automakers make more kinds of electric vehicles available for sale in our state. In practice, Clean Cars will mean that rural drivers like you and me will have more vehicle options to choose from, including those that are cheaper to fuel and that fit our rural needs. Another big benefit is that these cars, trucks, and SUVs produce less pollution than current models, allowing us to breathe cleaner air and protect our climate, helping ensure our own future health as well as that of our state’s lakes, rivers, forests and farm economy.
Unfortunately, both State Senator Torrey Westrom and Representative Jeff Backer oppose the MPCA’s decision to make these vehicle emissions rules. They ignore the fact that MPCA was given this rulemaking authority by the legislature over 50 years ago and that its job is to help keep Minnesotans healthy and safe from such pollution!
Sen. Westrom and Rep. Backer are not working in our best interest, and we should ask them why. Why limit our vehicle choices? By moving to block the MPCA for doing the job it was given, they jeopardize our health, our environment and our pocketbooks, all of which stand to gain from increased access to Clean Cars. For the sake of Minnesotans across the state, and especially those of us who live in rural places, they should let MPCA do its job and let the Minnesota Clean Cars standard be fully adopted. It will benefit us all.