American Experiment testifies against the California transportation standard in St. Paul

Yesterday, American Experiment policy fellow Isaac Orr testified at the Capitol in opposition to a proposal that would force Minnesota families and businesses to pay an additional 39 to 45 cents per gallon on gasoline and diesel fuel.

Mitch Rolling and I detail how this policy will negatively impact Minnesotans in our latest report, Gas Station Inflation Volume Two: Crazier than California.

It’s worth noting that liberal lawmakers were very explicit that this bill is an attempt to regulate biofuels out of existence and force everyone to drive electric vehicles by making fuels like gasoline and diesel fuel too expensive for everyday Minnesotans to afford.

This policy is bad all through its core, but it is worth mentioning that the change in tone on biofuels is important. As recently as a few years ago, the Great Plains Institute attempted to lure the agricultural community to support this bill to expand the biofuel market. Now, urban lawmakers are explicit that the goal of this legislation is to limit ethanol and gasoline use. It is refreshing that they said the quiet part out loud.

You can watch my testimony and read the transcript below.

Madame Chair and members of the Committee,

My name is Isaac Orr, and I am a policy fellow specializing in energy and environmental policy at Center of the American Experiment.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today on Senate File 2584, which would force Minnesota to adopt a much more extreme, and expensive, version of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

If passed, this legislation will harm Minnesota families and businesses by increasing the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel by 39 to 45 cents per gallon by 2030, hurt farmers by effectively regulating biofuels out of existence, limit consumer choice, provide no additional revenue for roads and bridges, and have zero measurable impact on future global temperatures.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) freely acknowledges that these policies will increase prices on its “Cost of the Clean Fuels Program” website. Our report found rising gasoline prices will harm all Minnesotans, but rural residents will be disproportionately harmed because they drive farther to get to work, the grocery store, and everywhere else they need to go.

While Ramsey County households in 2030 would, on average, pay only an additional $343 per year under this proposal, Minnesotans living in Jackson County would pay $1,150 per year.

In the past, this legislation was often framed as a way to help farming communities by boosting biofuel production, but as previous testifiers have noted, this legislation would do just the opposite. E-10 would generate deficits by 2025, E-15 by 2026, and E-85 by 2032. Renewable diesel would generate deficits by 2036.

As a result, this legislation would regulate biofuels out of the markets and limit consumer choice by punishing anyone who doesn’t drive an electric vehicle.

The CTS will also provide zero money for roads and bridges, and it will reduce future global temperatures by 0.00095° C by 2100, an amount far too small to accurately measure.

Minnesotans are already struggling with high inflation; please don’t make it worse at the gas station.

Thank you.