Minnesota Democrats Don't Adopt California Gas Car Ban

Minnesota Democrats Don’t Adopt California Gas Car Ban


States like Washington and Massachusetts plan to join California in banning the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035, seeing this as an effective way to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

In Minnesota, however, prominent Democrats who celebrated an earlier move toward cleaner cars don’t support the idea — at least not yet. Governor Tim Walz’s administration has not ruled out a ban on the sale of new gas cars, although regulators in Wales are strongly suggesting that won’t happen any time soon.

Now, a key lawmaker in the German Parliament at the Minnesota House of Progressive Minneapolis is throwing cold water on the idea. Representative Jimmy Long, who leads the House Climate and Energy Policy and Finance Committee, said the governor is “taking the right approach” by implementing an earlier, less stringent version of California’s auto emissions standards for just one year.

“I think Minnesota will go its own way,” Long told MinnPost, noting that electric vehicles are less common in Minnesota than other states that are moving rapidly toward electric vehicles. “I think the likelihood that we’ll follow California is probably low.”

Minnesota must decide which car regulations to follow

Last year, Minnesota adopted what it called clean car standards. It’s identical to California’s auto emissions standards, and essentially requires auto manufacturers to offer more electric vehicles for sale in the state starting in 2024.

California is the only state that can set its own auto emissions regulations, but other states can either choose to follow California or adhere to federal standards.

Most Democrats have supported Clean Cars in Minnesota because they argue that it will Offer more EV options, stimulate underdeveloped industry and reduce carbon emissions. But Republicans and auto dealers oppose regulationssaying they were interfering with the free market and imposing expensive electric vehicles on people.

Then, in August, California made the rules even stricter. Starting with car model 2026, the state will allow auto manufacturers to deliver fewer and fewer cars with internal combustion engines for sale until they are largely phased out in 2035. (People will still be able to buy new gas cars in other states or use existing ones. in California. Some new petrol hybrids will still be available.)

This means Minnesota The oldest program will run for one year, until 2025. At that point, Minnesota would either have to join California in banning new gas cars or revert to less stringent federal regulations.

The decision is currently up to Wales and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The MPCA can operate without new legislative approval due to state laws governing pollution regulation, although lawmakers can always change this power, and their views likely influence state decisions on the issue.

MPCA Commissioner Katrina Kessler reiterated Friday that the agency is not beginning the process of setting rules to ban the sale of new gas vehicles by 2035 and is focusing on implementing the less stringent 2025 regulations.

The MPCA previously estimated that electric vehicles would need to make up 6.2% to 7.4% of new light vehicle sales for Minnesota manufacturers to meet original Clean Cars standards.

“We’re not at the starting point” of the old rules, Kessler said. “It’s too early to try to ask us what you’re going to do in three days when we haven’t decided what we’re going to do tomorrow.”

The House Democrat is not calling for a car ban

Long, the Minneapolis Devler, is a prominent voice on climate and energy policy for his party in the state capitol and is in his party’s progressive wing on the issue.

On Friday, he spoke wearing a windmill lapel pin, as the governor revealed:Climate Frameworkdetailing the policy hopes that Democrats, nonprofits and some companies hold to reduce carbon emissions across the state.

It calls for 20% of vehicles on Minnesota’s roads to be electric by 2030 and to cut carbon emissions by 80% from the transportation sector by 2040. It does not include a ban on the sale of gas-powered cars, although such a plan would sharply reduce emissions of the transportation sector, which accounts for nearly a quarter of Minnesota’s emissions. Currently, the country is not on track to meet the state’s goal of reducing total greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2025, and the transportation sector bears part of the blame.

Long said Minnesota’s Clean Vehicle Rules will launch the electric vehicle market in Minnesota and provide consumers with options already offered in other states trying to increase the use of electric vehicles. After those rules are over, he said, the state of Minnesota can re-evaluate its place.

But Long also said that Minnesota is different from California and other states. For example, Long said EVs are not common here and that the country needs a more powerful charging system. Minnesota is the only state in the Midwest to adopt the earlier version of motor vehicle emissions standards.

“I think we need to get to a point first where Minnesota residents have options to buy electric vehicle options and also have the infrastructure to support those options,” Long said. “I think for the next few years that’s where I want my focus to be, getting options for Minnesota to buy new cars.”

Would Long, Walls, and other Democrats react differently if not in this upcoming midterm election that will decide who is in charge and who controls the legislature?

Policy cannot be ignored in this case. The case was controversial, with Some Democratsespecially in rural areas, Contrasted with the original Clean Cars standard.

Republicans recently criticized Democrats for what they say is the lack of a clear “yes” or “no” answer about adopting California’s gas-fueled car ban. “Right now, gas-powered cars are $15,000 cheaper than electric cars,” said Representative Chris Swidzinski of Ghent, the top Republican member of the House Climate and Energy Committee. “This would represent a major shift with huge consequences for Minnesota families, businesses and car dealers, and we’re not getting a direct answer from Governor Walz or his agencies.”

What Democrats Hope To Do Instead

In the absence of a ban on new gas car sales, Long said he hoped to pass a bill to introduce discounts on electric cars, and said there should be more government funding for electric car chargers. But he also said there was federal investment in levying and the Inflation Cuts Act would do that Pay the electric vehicle tax credit, among other provisions aimed at revitalizing the market. Some car manufacturers have also set their own goals to stop or limit the sale of gas cars.

By 2025, when Minnesota’s Clean Cars standard runs its short course, Long said “there will be a lot of movement” from the federal government and by auto manufacturers to advance the industry.

Instead of endorsing a ban on the sale of new gas cars, the climate action framework that Walz and the MPCA unveiled at the Ecolab facility in Eagan call for more money for a statewide pedestrian and bike network, more transit, and a land use policy that “facilitates multiple transportation.” media.”

One of the main policy proposals proposed in the framework of action to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles is what is known as Low carbon fuel standard. This requires the fuel to become less “carbon dense” over time. That would have to be passed by the legislature, which is currently divided between the DFL-majority House of Representatives and the Republican-led Senate.

A version of the policy has been adopted in states such as California, Washington, and Oregon.

MinnPost is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization whose mission is to provide quality journalism to people who care about the state of Minnesota.

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