Minnesotans Demonstrate Strong Support for Clean Cars at Administrative Law Judge Hearings

Clean car supporters outnumbered those opposed 64-9

St. Paul, MN—This week, the Office of Administrative Hearings hosted two virtual hearings on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s proposed clean car standards, giving Minnesotans the opportunity to testify on the rulemaking. Minnesotans weighed in strongly in support of adopting clean car standards, with a total of 64 testimonies in favor of clean cars, and only 9 opposed.

Anjali Bains, a senior clean transportation manager with Fresh Energy, testified that clean car standards are a proven method for reducing climate emissions:

Transportation remains the #1 source of greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota. Passenger cars and light-duty trucks are the biggest emitters within this sector, contributing almost 60% of the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Such vehicles are also major sources of other air pollution that harm the hearts and lungs of those living near roadways and who are often the most vulnerable among us. Reducing pollution from passenger vehicles is tricky to do. These standards are tried-and-true state policies that can reduce these emissions.

Carolyn Berninger, climate policy analyst at the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, testified that clean car standards will improve community health:

We support a strong Clean Cars rule because it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve public health, and reduce costs for Minnesota households. In a recent study, Harvard researchers found that in 2018 nearly 1 in 5 deaths globally resulted from exposure to outdoor air pollution from burning fossil fuels, including in vehicles. In Minnesota, our agencies have found that air pollution contributes to 2,000 to 4,000 deaths each year. Clearly, burning gasoline in passenger vehicles wreaks havoc on the climate and human health. Minnesotans need transportation to be both reliable and clean. We need a strong rule because we’re falling behind on our greenhouse gas reduction targets and because Minnesota’s communities are being harmed right now by air pollution.

A draft clean cars rule was published in late December and the public comment period runs through March 15.

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, and adopting clean car standards are estimated to reduce annual climate pollution by 2 million tons by 2030.

Because of the low cost to power and maintain clean cars they are also much cheaper than traditional gas-powered vehicles.

To find out more about clean cars or to submit a comment go to minnesotansforcleancars.com/your-voice-is-needed