As the public comment period came to a close Monday at 4:30PM, Minnesotans for Clean Cars coalition members submitted nearly 14,000 comments supporting the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) proposed Clean Cars Minnesota rule. The comments came from across the state and expressed support for the rule for health, economic, environmental, and consumer reasons.
In addition to the comments submitted by coalition members, letters of support were also submitted by the American Lung Association, Consumer Reports, major businesses like Uber and Lyft, Minnesota’s congressional delegation, state legislators, the City of Minneapolis, faith leaders, medical professionals, and more.
In September of 2019, Governor Tim Walz announced that Minnesota intended to adopt stronger emissions standards for cars and trucks. On Monday, December 21st MPCA introduced it’s draft rule. The public comment period ran from December 21, 2020 through March 15, 2021. There is a rebuttal period ending at 4:30PM March 22. The Administrative Law Judge is expected to issue a ruling later this spring or early summer.
If enacted this rule will reduce tailpipe emissions from new, primarily gasoline-fueled cars and light-duty trucks and increase the number of clean electric vehicles for sale.These new car and truck standards will clean our air, provide more consumer choice, and save Minnestoans money.
In Minnesota consumers are often denied the full complement of electric vehicles available for purchase in other states. A 2019 study by the Minnesota Department of Transportation found that there were just 19 models of electric cars available in Minnesota compared to 43 total models available. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s proposal to adopt new clean car standards requiring car manufacturers to send more pollution free vehicles to our state will help remedy this lack of choice.
Last month, General Motors announced it intends to sell only electric cars and trucks by 2035 and more and more automakers are following suit. Minnesota can be in the vanguard of states adopting these standards and cement its place as a leader in innovation and the rapidly growing clean energy economy.
The push for more consumer choice around electric vehicles (EVs) comes at a time when Minnesota is also falling further and further behind its climate pollution goals. Cars and trucks on Minnesota roads are the #1 source of climate change-causing pollution in our state and nationally.