Sen. Dahms has concerns over California Emissions Standards
The Minnesota Senate’s Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy and Legacy Committees recently held a joint hearing regarding the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA’s) intention to adopt California Emissions Standards through the administrative rulemaking process, bypassing the legislature.
"Minnesotans elected representatives who should be making these decisions and not an unelected board from California," said Senator Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls). "These regulations will only limit choice and increase costs for consumers."
If adopted, the California Emissions Standards will rattle Minnesota’s economy by raising transportation costs for lower-income residents and disproportionally hurting rural communities. Data suggests that demand for new vehicles will drop 7.1% and that Minnesotans can expect to pay $800 ‒ $2,500 more per vehicle, not just on electric vehicles.
"These changes will especially hurt our border communities and devastate our automotive dealers," added Senator Dahms. "Also, there is little evidence to suggest that these changes will make a meaningful and positive impact on the environment."
The "proposed benefit" of the rules also seems questionable based on data from Minnesota and across the nation. Without adopting the standards, the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT’s) forecast shows that gasoline usage has already hit its peak and is projected to decline exponentially in the future. Furthermore, states that have already adopted the standards have a smaller percentage of electric vehicles than Minnesota.
State data also suggests that Minnesota’s market is already moving towards cleaner and more efficient cars, with more models hitting lots yearly. Like the energy industry, consumers seem to be determining the trend as electric vehicles become more affordable, and the technology becomes more accessible.
The MPCA began hosting public information sessions in the agency’s effort to impose the California Car Mandate on Minnesotans. You can find more information at https://www.pca.state.mn.us/air/clean-cars-mnrulemaking.
Minnesotans who wish to submit public comments can either attend one of the planned virtual hearings or submit comments via the Office of Administrative Hearings website.
The hearings for public comments will take place virtually at 3 p.m. on Feb. 22 & 23.