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Minnesota Becomes a Clean Car State

Governor Tim Walz announced the effort to create clean car standards at a press conference on Wednesday. (David Oakes/MN Senate)
Governor Tim Walz announced the effort to create clean car standards at a press conference on Wednesday. (David Oakes/MN Senate)
September 26, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Gov. Tim Walz has just declared Minnesota a Clean Car State, and directed the Minnesota Pollution Control Administration to start making rules to limit tailpipe pollution in many cars, and increase the number of electric vehicles sold in the state.

The new rules would mimic those in 14 other states and Washington, D.C.

State Sen. Nick Frentz, D-Mankato, says this will give Minnesota car buyers a lot more options.

"Right now in the United States, there are 43 different models sold, but only 19 are available in Minnesota,” he points out. “So we're talking about changes that will not only benefit public health, but hopefully reduce our carbon emissions"

All current cars, trucks and SUVs would remain on the market.

Transportation is the number one source of climate change-causing pollution in the state.

Supporters say introduction of more clean cars would also significantly improve air quality. Opponents say the changes could increase the cost of some cars.

Paul Billings, national senior vice president for public policy for the American Lung Association, says the changes will lower the amount families spend on gas and repairs while protecting the environment.

"The American public wants cleaner air,” he states. “They want to address climate change. They want to have the most efficient motor vehicles."

Just last week, the Trump administration moved to stop states from establishing higher emissions standards than those set by the federal government.

Minnesota is part of a multi-state lawsuit filed to uphold the states' rights under the Clean Air Act to set their own standards.

Disclosure: The Partnership Project contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MN