This week, Minnesota adopted California’s stricter tailpipe emissions standards and mandate for automakers to produce more zero-emission vehicles. As previously reported in ECOSWIRE, Governor Tim Walz had pushed for the new rules, which will take effect in January 2024, as part of a broader effort to address the climate crisis and meet greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Opponents included the state’s auto dealers, who campaigned against the regulation, and state Senate Republicans who threatened to shut part of the state budget funding for state parks over the stricter emissions standard.
The new standards and the ensuing controversy played a role in the resignation of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Laura Bishop earlier this month ahead of an expected rejection by the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate. As Commissioner, Bishop would have led the Governor’s new stricter emission standards, but resigned rather than have the agency be politicized.