A Minnesota Republican plans to introduce a bill forcing Gov. Tim Walz to live up to his own “clean car” standards.
Walz announced in September that Minnesota will adopt California’s standards for low or zero-emission vehicles. Under the standards, auto manufacturers would be required to “deliver passenger cars, trucks and SUVs that produce lower greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants for sale in Minnesota.”
“What this will basically do is have those manufacturers putting more opportunities in front of Minnesotans,” Walz told reporters, saying he believes the new standards could reduce Minnesota’s total greenhouse gas emissions by five percent within five years.
He said the new standards don’t require the approval of the Minnesota Legislature and can instead be implemented by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Minnesota will become the 13th state to adopt the California standards, which will take up to 18 months to introduce.
“The things that I certainly say, you know, ‘I want to take my F-150 with my ice house to the lake.’ Then go do it. You’re fine,” Walz said. “I think the one thing is that we want to make sure there’s some ice around at times of the year so you can actually take that ice house out there, so this is a bigger issue of Minnesotans wanting to protect what they have and they can play a role in it.”
In response, State Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) said he plans to introduce a bill during the next legislative session require the Governor’s Office to abide by the new standards.
“Next session I will introduce a bill to make sure Gov. Walz is leading by example on ‘clean cars,’” he wrote on Twitter. “The state of Minnesota will donate the Governor’s current fleet of SUVs to charity and purchase in their place compact plug-in electric vehicles for the Governor’s official use.”
Next session I will introduce a bill to make sure Gov Walz is leading by example on “clean cars”.
The state of Minnesota will donate the Governor’s current fleet of SUVs to charity and purchase in their place compact plug-in electric vehicles for the Governor’s official use.
— Representative Pat Garofalo (@PatGarofalo) September 25, 2019
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Trump administration has moved to take away a state’s ability to enact clean car standards. Minnesota has joined 20 other states in suing to block that effort in court.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Electric Vehicles Charging While Parked” by mariordo59 CC2.0.