Charging an EV

Support for Clean Cars

by Nels Paulsen,
Policy Director

Last fall Governor Walz and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced their Clean Cars Minnesota Initiative to address Minnesotan’s number one source of climate change pollution—our transportation sector. Earlier today the Minnesota Senate Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee held a joint hearing on the Walz Administration’s plan. Conservation Minnesota submitted the following letter in support of the proposed Clean Cars standards.

February 19, 2020

To the Joint Senate Environment Committees:

I write today to express Conservation Minnesota’s support for the proposed Clean Cars Rulemaking process currently underway at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Conservation Minnesota staff members have talked with Minnesotans from across the state, and we consistently hear that Minnesotans want better fuel economy, less air pollution, and more vehicle choices when deciding which car, truck, or SUV they drive.

Reducing climate pollution and protecting the health of Minnesotans

We all know that climate change is a major issue in Minnesota and the transportation sector now accounts for the largest source of carbon emissions in the state. Hidden in this statistic is the progress our state has made to reduce carbon pollution in our electrical sector thanks to past (and hopefully future) bipartisan legislation. And while transportation emissions are our largest source of pollution today, the transportation sector also provides the largest opportunity for progress. New Clean Car standards could eliminate millions of tons of carbon emissions from Minnesota vehicles while helping the state take a significant step forward in meeting our overall pollution reduction goals. 

Air pollution effects Minnesotans in all parts of the state yet we rarely have the opportunity to make progress on air quality concerns. Enjoying our lakes, rivers, and great outdoors is ingrained in our identity as Minnesotans, and we should put the same emphasis on protecting and improving our air quality as we do on protecting our lakes, rivers, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Minnesotans should have more vehicle choices

The Clean Cars Rulemaking process will also increase the choices that thousands of Minnesotans have when they buy a car, truck, or SUV. States where similar rules have been adopted have more electric models to choose from, and Minnesotans should have those additional options too. Most Minnesotans have some interest in electric cars, trucks, and SUVs and prospective Minnesota car buyers want automakers to provide more types of electric vehicles, like SUVs, trucks, and minivans.

Most of all, Minnesotans are looking to make decisions that allow them to save money and align with their values. The proposed Clean Cars Rulemaking process could help ensure Minnesota drivers have better fuel economy, create less air pollution, and have more vehicle choices when deciding which car, truck, or SUV they drive.

Thank you for your consideration.


Nels Paulsen
Policy Director