Reader's View: Walz right to reject emissions status quo

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A deceptive column by the president of the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association claimed that common-sense air emissions standards in Minnesota would equate to a takeover by government leaders in California ( Statewide View: “California way the wrong way for Minnesota,” May 15).

That view has absolutely no basis in truth.

Transportation is the largest source of climate pollution in Minnesota. The Clean Air Act, since 1977, has established basic limits on pollution from new vehicle models. Individual states like Minnesota can choose to adopt these requirements established decades ago or more thorough standards originating from a California model. Gov. Tim Walz’s administration is left with a choice of accepting an outdated federal status quo or joining 13 states and the District of Columbia benefiting from investments in new car technology. This isn’t leadership by California; it’s lack of leadership on the federal level. Gov. Walz is stepping up and has directed the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to explore one of its only reasonable options to address pollution.

Minnesotans recognize we have an air pollution problem. The statewide Next Generation Energy Act, which had bipartisan support and was signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2007, requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. We are not currently on track to meet that goal.

What’s more: Minnesotans want clean-car choices, but electric vehicles are hard to find because dealerships are not stocking them as an option. Buyers in states with clean-car standards have access to a lot more models to choose from, including crossovers and SUVs, because dealerships stock all models made by their associated manufacturers.


Clean-car standards address both these issues, and it is long past time to implement them in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Andrew Nisbet


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