As the federal government struggles to wrest control of emissions standards from state governments, two more states have announced plans to join the 13 that already enforce their own more stringent standards.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will begin the process of setting vehicle emission standards for automakers this year with public hearings, and hopes to adopt the Clean Cars Minnesota Rule next December. Walz said the MPCA has the authority to implement the regulations without legislative approval.
The new emission standards will go into effect for 2023 models. They will have no effect on any current vehicles, and drivers will not need to have their vehicles modified or tested now or in the future. As in California and other clean air states, emission limits will be set for each manufacturer’s entire fleet of vehicles, so carbon-spewing pickups will have to be offset with ZEVs or low-emission vehicles.
“If you want to continue driving your F-150, go ahead,” Walz said. “If you want to take your F-150 to pull your fish house onto the ice, do that. We want to make sure there is ice on the lake.”
Walz said the standards will give a boost to the EV market in Minnesota as manufacturers will offer more electrified options in the state.
Referring to the Administration’s campaign to block California and other states from setting their own emission or mileage standards, Walz said, “Trump won’t win in court. The only people who were happy with his decision were the oil companies.”
In New Mexico, Governor Lujan Grisham announced that by the end of next year, her state will also adopt clean car standards more stringent than the federal government’s. The new standards will increase average fuel economy to 52 mpg, as opposed to 37 mpg under the proposed federal rollbacks.
“It is environmentally and economically counterproductive to stall fuel economy standards as contemplated by the proposed federal rollbacks,” said Governor Grisham. “While President Trump threatens to rob New Mexico and indeed all states of a valuable tool for combating air pollution and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, New Mexico will stand up and deliver on our commitment to environmental leadership.”