– State Representative Bjorn Olson (R-Elmore) said a questionable maneuver being implemented by the Governor Walz administration will have costly impacts to people looking to purchase a new vehicle in Minnesota.
Olson said the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is planning to implement the California Cars Mandate through an administrative rule rather than working with the Legislature on a compromise. It kicked off the process by holding its first public hearing on the topic this week.
“As we’ve seen with emergency powers, the Governor’s Office seems to prefer one-person rule and this is just another example of it,” Olson said. “Rather than engage the Legislature in a bipartisan product that all sides can live with, the administration stands ready to let a group in California determine what policies are best for Minnesota.”
Olson said the move will inevitably force auto dealers to carry more electric vehicles and fewer vehicles that are popular in Minnesota – such as pickups and SUV’s. He noted the action will also drive up the cost of all new vehicles for Minnesota families by $1,000 or more and hurt local businesses.
“Local auto dealerships will suffer from the California Cars Mandate because customers can drive into Iowa to save a thousand dollars while having more high demand vehicles to choose from,” Olson said. “Raising auto costs will also force the lower-income Minnesotan to buy a cheaper used car, which does nothing to improve the minimal impact this mandate will have on auto emissions.”
Olson said the proposed California Cars Mandate is open for public input over the next few weeks. He recommends calling the Governor’s Office with your thoughts at 651-201-3400.