Dear Gov. Walz and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency:
During the Dayton administration, Minnesota pioneered thoughtful and forward-thinking work for clean energy, transportation options, and the long term health of our economy and state. As part of this, Minnesota has been leading the charge to support strong fuel standards.
In 2018, Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Stine and Department of Transportation Commissioner Zelle authored a letter to the EPA asking that they not freeze mileage standards. Minnesota later joined a coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit to preserve these standards.
Pollution remains a serious problem throughout the state. Air pollutants kill over 2,000 people per year in the Twin Cities area alone, with much of that coming from transportation. Transportation has become one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions in the state, affecting all of us, but the pollution from transportation is especially harmful to under-resourced communities of color who benefit least from reliable, clean and accessible transit.
The damage to the climate from our dirty fossil fuel sources has gone largely unchecked and is costing Minnesotans in their health, comfort and transit opportunities. Our communities, and our future generations compel us to take advantage of technological progress and nudge markets towards solutions that help Minnesotans.
The ZEV standard could help accelerate the introduction of electric vehicles in Minnesota and help to meet the state’s carbon reduction goals and meet the challenge of climate change head-on. A shift towards clean vehicles is key to cutting transportation emissions and meeting our clean statewide clean energy goals, which is why it plays an important role in the Environmental Quality Board’s Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunity Plan.
The ZEV standard will also reduce future gasoline consumption costs of Minnesota consumers and businesses by kick-starting our electric vehicle market. Instead of using economically and physically risky gasoline for our transportation needs, we can power mobility with clean, Minnesota-grown energy sources.
The time is now to embrace strong standards for all Minnesota communities. As Minnesotans from all walks of life, we urge the state to consider what’s best for all of us, not just fossil fuel companies and their allies. Strong automotive standards can be key in a shift toward clean, green, and stable local economies in our home state.