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This letter of support originally ran in the Duluth News Tribune.

Many countries around the world are taking action to improve the climate. Germany and France are using their multibillion-dollar coronavirus recovery budget to spur clean driving with incentives for electric vehicles, snubbing the gasoline auto lobby. Germany is doubling electric car subsidies to owners and requiring gas stations to provide charging stations for electric vehicles. France, Norway, the Netherlands, and China are also aggressively utilizing new greener energy systems and transportation methods to lead them into the future.

Meanwhile in the U.S., many cling to older polluting ways that will not keep us competitive, create new jobs, save money, or improve health and climate. The older ways, like the internal combustion engine, cost more to operate. Cost savings will continue to increase dramatically the more we incorporate these new technologies.

Industry experts say electric vehicles will be the same price as vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2025, which is also the same year Minnesota Clean Car standards go into effect. Electric vehicles save operators hundreds of dollars each year. Imagine the cost savings to companies and individuals after several years— thousands per vehicle.

I want the standards in effect now. They bring more fuel-efficient vehicles to Minnesota. I can’t purchase a fully electric vehicle in the county where I live, Winona County. Standards will make clean vehicles easier to purchase in Minnesota.

We need clean car standards now. We need those green jobs now. Thousands of jobs in the automotive industry will be created to implement a better future. We need better health and climate.

It’s bad that we have to wait until 2025 for Minnesota clean car standards to be implemented. We need more than just clean car standards to address this climate crisis.

Janel Dean

Minnesota City, Minnesota