The Minnesota GOP hostages state parks over clean car rules

Illustration of Minnesota Republican headline article, State Parks, Museums, Zoo Hostage Hold EV Fire Over

Pictures: John Roux (AP)

Fighting continues in Minnesota over electric vehicles. It got so hot this week that Republican lawmakers threatened not to pass a budget that would allow parks, zoos and museums – you know, basically People outside can gather safely without vaccination Or live their best epidemic to open this summer.

The issue is whether Minnesota will adopt a California-based automatic emission standard, a step already taken. 15 other states. Those standards are stricter than current federal standards. The move is the first Democratic Govt. Tim Wallace proposed in 1992. The adoption of the standard will also make it mandatory for the state to sell more electric vehicles, all measures that will help Minnesota comply with it. Climate targets To reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.

Yet the issue has become a “political football,” said Justin Fay, director of public affairs at Fresh Energy, a nonprofit in favor of clean energy in the state. As part of the rules-making process, the new standards are before the administrative court. Just 10 days before the disputed state legislature adjourned, a decision should be made by a judge on Friday’s passing law.

“We’re coming down the wire, and that’s why the emotions are running higher than normal,” Faye said.

The controversy erupted Tuesday in state parks as both the Democrat-controlled House and the Republican-controlled Senate detailed the budget. In the state Senate version of the budget for Minnesota’s natural resources departments, Republicans introduced a provision that essentially prevents clean car standards from coming into force. During the budget talks, GOP politicians made it clear that there were provisions Too Important for them – and they will not pass a budget for other environmental considerations in the state, starting with funding from the Department of Natural Resources in state parks, science museums and zoos, without first pulling down the rules of a clean environment.

As the Minneapolis Star Tribune ReportAfter Republican Sen. Bill Ingebrigotsen, chairman of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee, said he would not pass a budget that did not provide for anti-clean car provisions. Partners in the House sought clarification as to whether or not.

“That’s exactly right,” Inzebrigotsen said. “I think we can move forward, but it has to stay with that understanding.”

See state parks About 9.7 million visitors On average in the year after last year’s tour, the risk of the park closing for the second year was suddenly caught in the U.S. pandemic and the reopening would hurt the local population, perhaps realizing the risk of using them as bargaining chips, Tried.

“I never said anything about the shutdown,” he said. The committee said Thursday (despite the fact that he did well, kind of). The Senate also has a budget Since corrected Creating a two-year suspension instead of completely chalking up California standards.

Why Republicans ban clean cars seems to be anti-California sentiment in most cases. When it comes to the idea of ​​what Minnesota will hand over, a state that is often coded that has turned the country’s liberal base into not just 10,000 lake lands, but Republican-controlled states and related industries in the United States.

Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association calls campaign against the rule Drive to California, And its website fatally intones “[w]E California will only be able to do what it tells us. (It also includes a scary line that “BBQ Grills” may face regulations if they follow this rule)) Auto dealers Resistant to electric vehicle companies Like Tesla which does not follow the dealership model and threatens the dealership. Political fraud and bottom line.

The agency responsible for drafting the rules said this has also happened Fighting misinformation Spread by some legislators, from this misguided belief that Minnesotans would be forced to buy electric cars from the idea that the law would apply to farm vehicles. Many politicians also seemed to be hinted at Culture clash Between electric vehicles and some rural communities in Minnesota.

In contrast, many of the world’s largest car manufacturers Said They support more stringent standards. California is the largest car market in the country, and the states that use its strict standards About 35% up Sales of new passenger vehicles; It is a headache to produce different types of cars for different markets, so it is better to choose more stringent rules. As other parts of the world move toward EVS and more emissions laws are passed, it is clear to manufacturers that their futures are involved in cleaning their cars as much as possible at the local level, Faye noted. The Virginia Automobile Dealers Association was actually Part of an alliance Which helped that state adopt new standards.

Virginia adopted California rules in March, and New Mexico and Nevada are also hammering out details for their own adoption. With the Trump administration – which makes an offer Fierce fighting with California The standards have been exceeded and the Beadon administration suggests that stricter federal standards are probably on the way, with a wave of states rising above the plates to sign up for the California version.

The issues that arose in Minnesota this week – especially how GOP lawmakers designed electric vehicles appropriately for rural red and purple states – are doubtful that more states will legislate to encourage the use of electric vehicles. Faye, however, said that even if the administrative judge rejected the law on Friday, it would probably be sent back to the agency only to make a minor draft. One way or another, it looks like Minnesota will adopt California standards.

“It’s hard to know what other dramatic turns there are in our store [with the legislature] “But we know the results are going to be final, and the cleaners are coming to Minnesota,” Faye said.

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