Fargo-Moorhead West Fargo Chamber asks Walz to scrap Minnesota’s ‘Clean Cars’ rules

FARGO (KVRR) – The Fargo-Moorhead West Fargo Chamber wants Gov. Tim Walz to stop, or at least delay his plan to impose new air emissions standards for Minnesota vehicles.

The Chamber, along with about a dozen other border community business groups co-signed a May 25 letter to Walz outlining their concerns over his proposed “Clean Cars” policy.

“The considerable price increase caused by the rule would fall hardest on Minnesota’s border communities. Auto dealers in our communities will incur a severe competitive disadvantage to dealers just across the border who have not adopted California’s air emissions standards” according to the letter.

“As we are sure you know, this policy will increase the cost of all vehicles in Minnesota by an estimated average of over $1,100 per vehicle, according to the MPCA. Other estimates put that number even higher.”

The organizations say Greater Minnesota stands to “lose significantly” from the policy and say the Minnesota Legislature should be involved in revising the policy.

The Chamber says dealers in Minnesota border cities sell up to 40% of new vehicles to residents of surrounding states.

“Neighbors from across our borders who might otherwise come to Minnesota to shop for a new vehicle would be highly unlikely to continue shopping here since vehicles will be significantly cheaper in Wisconsin, Iowa, and North and South Dakota.”

The letter says the issue is not about opposition to electric vehicles.

“We believe that there are other options to put cleaner cars, including more EV’s, on the road. The relatively high cost of EV’s and lack of infrastructure to support their rapid deployment are policies that we can and should be working to address today, prior to considering mandates that force unneeded supply on our local auto dealers.”

“The price increase on Minnesota vehicles runs directly counter to what’s needed to rebuild our local economies from the devastation wrought by the pandemic.”

Categories: Local News, Minnesota News, North Dakota News