Minnesota’s Automobile Emission Standard

The Laurentian Chamber of Commerce believes any adoption by Minnesota of California’s automobile emissions standards should be made by the regular legislative process.  Those legislative bodies allow for people from across Minnesota to have their voices heard.  We oppose the effort by the Walz administration to impose those California emission standards on Minnesota via the administrative rulemaking process.

The Chamber board passed the following resolution concerning this issue:

WHEREAS, the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce’s mission champions promotion and improvement of the business environment, cultivating vibrant regional and local communities.

WHEREAS, if Minnesota adopts California’s Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) and Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandates, beginning in 2024, passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks will need to be California (CA) certified; and

WHEREAS, Minnesota businesses and families depend on a variety of vehicle types and sizes at an economically competitive cost;

WHEREAS, the availability of electric vehicles and charging stations is very limited in rural areas and there would be a disproportionate cost and burden on drivers who travel long distances in remote communities represented by the Laurentian Chamber;

WHEREAS, credible studies show that the plan to mandate California’s LEV and ZEV standards is likely to increase the cost of all cars sold in Minnesota, and especially impact those Minnesotans least able to afford the rise in costs; and

WHEREAS, the mandate could reduce the availability of some of Minnesota’s most popular vehicles; and,

WHEREAS, the adverse impacts on vehicle costs and choice will make it more difficult for Minnesota family-owned dealerships to attract customers and conduct business, threatening their viability; and

WHEREAS, Governor Walz’s administration is proposing to impose this mandate on Minnesotans by rulemaking, which significantly reduces the opportunity for average Minnesotans to voice their opinions, and eliminates the Legislature’s constitutional role in checking and balancing the Executive Branch of Government; and

WHEREAS, once these mandates are imposed, any future action of the California Air Resources Board could threaten other aspects of Minnesotans’ expectations of a free marketplace; and

WHEREAS, this initiative fails to address many of the Minnesota-specific concerns that may not apply in California’s regulatory environment; and

WHEREAS, Minnesota’s environmental compliance differs from California in that Minnesota is in attainment of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS); and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of its 263 members, opposes the implementation of Low-Emission Vehicle and Zero-Emission Vehicles mandates through rulemaking without consulting the Legislature; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Laurentian Chamber of Commerce encourages the Walz administration to withdraw its proposed rulemaking and work with the  Legislature on low and zero emission vehicle requirements that are more suitable for the terrain, climate and vehicle preferences in Minnesota; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chamber stands ready to advise the Governor, his administration, and our regional Legislators on proactive legislative methods to achieve the goals raised by Governor Walz; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Chamber will advocate against this rulemaking within its membership and in the general community as part of our mission to educate and advocate on behalf of the Northern Minnesota business community.