Groups: Walz’s clean air plan hurts Minnesota border towns

Published 6:17 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2021

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MOORHEAD — The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce wants Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to stop, or at least delay, his plan to impose new air emissions standards for vehicles in his state.

Tim Walz

The North Dakota and Minnesota organization, along with about a dozen other border community 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.

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The organizations say the Minnesota Legislature should be involved in revising the policy, KVRR-TV reported.

The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo 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 groups said, adding that the issue is not about opposition to electric vehicles.

A spokesman for Walz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.