ST. PAUL, Minn. – Today, in a joint hearing of the Senate Environment Committees, Republican Senators criticized Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Laura Bishop on the implementation of Governor Walz’s proposed Clean Car Standards. In response, Senator Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, ranking member on the Transportation Finance and Policy Committee, released the following statement in support of the proposed standards.
“Enacting clean car standards is good news for Minnesotans, our health, our economy and our environment. Minnesotans are frustrated by the lack of available fuel efficient and electric cars. Manufactures cannot keep up with demand. They only sell half of the nationally available models on the market in Minnesota. States that are ready for them, as signified by these policies and the resulting electric charging infrastructure, are the only places that have consumer choice and access. Minnesotans deserve to be able to reduce household expenses on fuel costs that those in other states save. We know that Americans in those states have saved $88 billion in fuel costs already.
Minnesotans deserve to breathe clean air. The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that 15% of all respiratory-related emergency room visits are attributable to dirty air. As many as 4,000 Minnesotans die prematurely every year. Adopting Clean Car Standards would drastically improve our air quality in all parts of Minnesota. And, of course, greater access to electric vehicles will substantially decrease our greenhouse gas emissions. In Minnesota, the transportation sector is the second-largest contributor to climate change, and its emissions are increasing.
It was disappointing that the Trump Administration, at the behest of the oil and gas industry, reversed President Obama’s plan to put our entire country on the path to clean cars. Governor Walz’ action simply keeps Minnesota on that same course, joining fourteen states and the District of Colombia that have already done so. It is discouraging that the leadership of the Senate is likewise seeking to thwart this important step forward.”