The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has begun hosting public information sessions in the agency’s effort to impost the California Car Mandate on Minnesotans.

Gov. Tim Walz is seeking to implement California’s mandatory auto-emission standards on vehicles sold in Minnesota through the administrative rule making process.

This is another example of Gov. Walz’s administration going around the Legislature, deciding on his own that Minnesota should adopt the California mandatory auto emission standards. If successful, Minnesota will end up the only state in the Midwest with this burdensome mandate on our auto dealerships and citizens.

There are numerous reasons why this matter should not go forward without specific direction from the Legislature. Under current state law, the Legislature has given the MPCA administrative rule-making authority. However, this is not a technical update to existing rules, and this will shake our entire economy in Minnesota and raise the cost of transportation for our lower income and rural citizens.

For example, it is anticipated this measure will ultimately increase the cost of all new vehicles sold in Minnesota and over time reduce consumer choice. It will dictate to auto dealers what cars they must have on their lots and rather than what kind of cars that consumers are asking for.

Artificially raising car prices in Minnesota will hurt border communities. Consumers will be going out of state to make purchases in states that have not adopted this expensive California mandate. Intentionally raising the price of all new vehicles in Minnesota will cause many Minnesotans to hang onto older, and less fuel-efficient vehicles, blunting the minimal impact this policy would have on auto emissions.

In addition to conducting a public information session on Tuesday, the MPCA will be holding another one on Wednesday and additional sessions are scheduled for Jan. 27 and Feb. 2.

You can find more information from MPCA at www.pca.state.mn.us. Links for those meetings, and other information can be found at the same website.

Minnesotans who wish to submit public comments can either attend one of the planned virtual hearings, they can submit links via the Office of Administrative Hearings website (https://mn.gov/oah/), or attend a public hearing. The hearings for public comments are expected to take place virtually on Feb. 22 and 23 at 3 p.m.

Dale Lueck is a Minnesota State Representative for District 10B.

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