We again witnessed a peaceful transfer of power in Washington, D.C. That is both our tradition and our duty under the U.S. Constitution. I wish both newly elected President Biden and former President Trump the best as they each assume new roles and responsibilities.
Here in Minnesota, the Pollution Control Agency has begun hosting public information sessions as the agency works to impose the California Car Mandate standards on Minnesotans. Gov. Walz is implementing California’s mandatory auto-emission standards on vehicles sold in Minnesota through the administrative rule making process.
I will work to ensure a more rational approach is taken with respect to Minnesota’s environmental standards.
The governor has decided that Minnesota should adopt the California mandatory auto emission standards. If successful, Minnesota will end up the only state in the Midwest with this expensive mandate on our auto dealerships and citizens.
Under the federal Clean Air cat, if a state adopts California’s auto emission standards, then that state must follow those standards exactly as promulgated. Those standards and any changes are dictated by the California Air Resources Emissions Board.
Under current state law, the Legislature years ago gave MPCA administrative rule-making authority. However, this action is not a minor technical update to existing rules, rather it surrenders state sovereignty and will unnecessarily raise the cost of transportation for lower income and rural citizens. Public information sessions are scheduled for Jan. 27 and Feb. 2. For details visit this link. Minnesotans may submit comments on this plan via the Office of Administrative Hearings website or via a virtual public hearing. Hearings for public comments are expected to take place virtually on at 3 p.m. on Feb. 22 and 23.
By using the rule making process, the governor is bypassing the Legislature on this issue. Please don’t hesitate to call the governor’s office with your thoughts at (651) 201-3400.
This week I introduced legislation (H.F. 254) to strengthen laws dealing with illegal entry and occupation of critical public infrastructure, including pipelines. Illegal entry, especially when construction is taking place, endangers the workers, public safety officers and the intruders themselves.
The harassment and obstructive behavior toward of our public safety officers as they remove these individuals from work sites is unacceptable. There must be clear and significant consequences for those that intentionally endanger the safety of others.
Please be careful as we enjoy a bit of typical cool January weather in Minnesota.