September 19, 2019

DOT report promotes Clean Car Standards in Minnesota even as Trump administration moves to undercut them

MN350 commends the Walz administration on the release Tuesday of a state report calling for action to combat carbon pollution from Minnesota’s transportation system. The report, released the same day as the Trump administration’s announcement that it intends to eliminate the ability of states to enforce strong vehicle emissions standards, demonstrated the feasibility and need for state action against pollution. 

The report, Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation, contains the first ever recommendation by a state agency that Minnesota join 14 other states in adopting California’s Clean Car Standards. If the Walz administration approves the recommendation, auto manufacturers would be forced to offer more electric vehicles in Minnesota.

“Minnesotans currently have fewer electric vehicle options than their peers in states with Clean Cars Standards,” said MN350 organizer Noa Shavit-Lonstein. “The DOT makes clear in this report that Minnesotans want more choices and that Gov. Walz and state leadership can make it happen.”

The report, released by the Minnesota Department of Transportation after months of research, was prompted by Minnesota’s failure to meet its own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The department conducted modeling across a range of scenarios, consulted with technical experts, convened a series of public meetings and received thousands of public comments.  

Cars and trucks account for 70 percent of the carbon pollution produced by Minnesota’s transportation sector. Carbon pollution is the No. 1 source of climate pollution in Minnesota, according to the report.

“Clean Cars Standards in Minnesota will help kids and communities live better and healthier lives,” said Megan Ausen, an MN350 volunteer.

Shavit-Lonstein and Ausen pointed out the irony of the Department of Transportation recommending the adoption of the Clean Cars Standards even as  President Trump said he intended to eliminate California’s right to set tailpipe standards that are more stringent than the federal government’s.

“If President Trump succeeds in his effort to eliminate the right of states to have cleaner tailpipe standards than the federal government, car companies’ new models will burn hundreds of millions of gallons of added gasoline annually,” Shavit-Lonstein said. “With the Amazon engulfed in flames and sea levels rising, that is astonishing and reckless behavior.”

The governor and attorney general of California have vowed to sue the Trump administration to stop it from taking this dangerous action. 



Brett Benson

Communications Director   | 651-368-1226




MN350 is a statewide group with 20,000 supporters working to make Minnesota a national leader in a just transition to a clean energy economy. MN350 Action is its political and advocacy arm.