Yesterday the Minnesota Reformer published a column urging Minnesota to enact the clean car rules currently under review by an Administrative Law Judge. The column likens the rule to the effort to remove lead from gasoline in the 70’s and 80’s, and finds a parallel between how elimination of lead from gasoline led to a much healthier population (particularly in kids) so too would cleaner cars on the road lead to fewer deaths from air pollution.

And just as both changes would lead to better health both are vigorously opposed by industry, which uses the same playbook the fossil fuel companies used in trying to stop other pro-environmental initiatives. Money and misinformation.

The piece notes:

As ever before, industry has sprung into action, launching a furious lobbying effort to stop it.

The Minnesota Auto Dealer Association spent nearly $700,000 lobbying state government in 2020 — the sixth-most of any interest group in Minnesota — trying to stop the new emissions rules.  

They’ve taken special aim at greater Minnesota, running Facebook ads about how Walz would “sign away control of Minnesota’s auto rules to California regulators.”

(No, he wouldn’t.)

The piece then debunks the various pieces of misinformation being propagated by opponents and parses the costs of and benefits of the rule. It notes the fact that more than 1/3 of the nation now lives in places with the tougher emissions standards, that the auto industry is already moving this way, that it would save consumers dollars on car maintenance, and prevent the premature deaths of thousands of lives, before coming to the overwhelming conclusion that, “it’s time to get going.”

Read the full column here.