Opposition Gears Up for Walz’s Drastic Clean Car Minnesota Scheme

Minnesotans might be under the impression that the wheels of state government stopped turning during the pandemic. Far from it. Gov. Tim Walz still has the pedal to the metal in his drive to impose his radical Clean Car Minnesota plan that amounts to a head-on crash with state bureaucrats for auto dealers and their customers around the state.

But some Minnesotans are catching on to Walz’s apocalyptic plan to solve global warming at our expense. Elaine Hansen, president of the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce, laid it on the line as to what’s at stake in a column for the Austin Daily Herald.

That’s right, it’s as perplexing as it sounds — amid a global pandemic and the resulting economic distress, Gov. Walz wants to adopt California’s (a state that is different from Minnesota in almost every way possible) emissions standards…

Walz’s goal is to get more EVs on the road in Minnesota in order to reduce vehicle emissions. While a laudable goal, the method is puzzling. A recent survey by the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association showed that demand for EVs in our state remains extremely low — only five percent of survey respondents are very likely to consider EVs when purchasing their next vehicle, and a full sixty-six percent are not interested in EVs at this time. The cars they do want — trucks, vans, and SUVs — would be more difficult to buy.

Walz is already well down the road to having Minnesota adopt California’s draconian air emissions standards and quotas for electric cars. The governor knows his scheme would never pass the legislature, so he’s directed the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to go around lawmakers by writing new regulations.

Why is Gov. Walz forcing cars Minnesotans do not want on them, while making the vehicles they do want more difficult to buy?

On top of very low demand for EVs, the rule increases the cost of all new vehicles in Minnesota. This increase could be anywhere from $800-$2,500 per vehicle. Even the MPCA acknowledges that costs will increase as a result of adopting California’s standards. In the same survey of Minnesota voters, cost was the number one factor when choosing what vehicle to purchase. Adoption of California’s rules would hurt consumers’ pocketbooks, while negatively impacting dealers’ business.

It’s hard to overstate the widespread impact Walz’s environmental overreach would have on the cost and availability of cars and trucks that most Minnesotans depend on for their jobs and daily lives.

In an expose titled A Cold California in a recent edition of Thinking Minnesota magazine, American Experiment’s Isaac Orr revealed the economic and cultural clash headed our way if Walz’s state regulators cross the finish line before popular opinion checks them. Look for American Experiment to lead the charge in a series of town hall meetings around the state TBA soon.