On Jan. 6, the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association (MADA) filed a federal lawsuit aiming to stop Gov. Tim Walz’s administration from adopting California’s vehicle emission standards.
MADA, which represents 350 franchised new car dealers with more than 20,000 employees, alleges Minnesota lacks the authority under the Federal Clean Air Act to regulate motor vehicle emissions.
Walz’s administration decided to move forward with the plan in 2020 in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and incentivize consumers to buy electric cars.
The new rules, if adopted, would impose California’s emission rules on all cars sold in Minnesota starting in 2025.
There’s two main regulations included: a zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) standard and a low emission vehicle (LEV) standard.
The LEV rule requires new automobiles sold to produce less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, while the ZEV rule requires automakers provide more options for low- and zero-emission vehicles such as electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
However, automobile groups want to stomp the brakes, arguing the state doesn’t have that authority. They say the rules hurt consumers, especially the most cash-strapped who can’t afford more expensive cars.
MADA President Scott Lambert said he’s asked Walz’s administration and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to abandon their adoption of California rules and pursue initiatives that benefit the environment and consumers.
“Instead the agency has chosen to move forward with a plan that abdicates control to California and is harmful to Minnesota consumers and Main Street businesses across the state,” Lambert said in a statement.
MADA alleges that since the federal government revoked California’s waiver to create its own emissions standards, Minnesota has no authority to impose those standards onto its citizens.
“From the beginning, the MPCA has shown little understanding of how our industry operates and dismissed...