Last year, Gov. Tim Walz and his administration showed real leadership when they announced Clean Cars Minnesota.
As an owner of two electric vehicles, I was excited to see that our state was taking strides toward making EVs available to more Minnesotans. Of course, there is also the added bonus that comes with more people driving EVs: cleaner air.
Improved air quality leads to better public health and also addresses climate change.
Needless to say, I have been dismayed to see that Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are doing everything they can to block progress on Clean Cars Minnesota. Not only that, but they are also working to strip the ability of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to regulate auto emissions ever again.
Why are some legislators, including all of the Winona area legislators, so set on taking away the statutory authority of a state agency to do its job?
Clean Cars Minnesota is not a threat to our way of life here in Winona. It does not require anyone to give up their current vehicle, and it does not require anyone to purchase an EV.
Off-road farm vehicles and heavy-duty trucks are even exempted.
What we drive and how we get our vehicles shouldn’t be a political issue – and neither should the role of a nonpartisan state agency charged with keeping us safe.