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Court ruling paves the way for Minnesota to adopt clean car standards

Court ruling paves the way for Minnesota to adopt clean car standards
© Greg Nash

A court ruling on Friday has paved the way for Minnesota to adopt California’s clean car standards. 

In her Friday ruling, Judge Jessica Palmer-Denig approved the state’s adoption of the standards, which are expected to increase the share of electric vehicles that are required to be sold in the state.

“The [Minnesota Pollution Control Agency] established it has the statutory authority to adopt the proposed rules, it complied with all procedural requirements of law and rule, and that the proposed rules are needed and reasonable,” the ruling said. 

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Next, the issue heads back to the state’s government for a few final steps, but with Friday’s ruling, Minnesota is poised to become the first Midwest state to adopt the standards.

The state agency has estimated that under the rules, electric vehicles will need to comprise between 6.2 percent and 7.4 percent of light-duty vehicle sales in the state between the years 2025 and 2034. 

Once the standards are formally adopted, Minnesota will join more than a dozen other states and Washington, D.C., that have adopted California’s standards. 

“If any of the states are planning to fully address climate change, the science is pretty clear. Transportation’s the biggest source of emissions and you have to get on a zero-emission track,” Simon Mui, the deputy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s clean vehicles and fuels group, told The Hill. 

Under the Trump administration, the ability for California and other states to set their own vehicle emissions standards was revoked. The Biden administration has already taken steps to reverse that decision, including by recently proposing to reissue a waiver that would allow California to set its own standards.