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Ruling lets Minnesota move forward with ‘clean car’ rules

May 7, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Monday, April 5, 2021 file photo, a Tesla electric vehicle charges at a station in Topeka, Kan. With strong sales of its electric cars and SUVs, Tesla on Monday, April 26, 2021 posted its seventh-straight profitable quarter. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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FILE - In this Monday, April 5, 2021 file photo, a Tesla electric vehicle charges at a station in Topeka, Kan. With strong sales of its electric cars and SUVs, Tesla on Monday, April 26, 2021 posted its seventh-straight profitable quarter. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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FILE - In this Monday, April 5, 2021 file photo, a Tesla electric vehicle charges at a station in Topeka, Kan. With strong sales of its electric cars and SUVs, Tesla on Monday, April 26, 2021 posted its seventh-straight profitable quarter. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota regulators got a green light Friday to adopt new “clean car” rules without getting approval from the Legislature.

A ruling from an administrative law judge allows the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to move forward with its plan to write new regulations that would require manufacturers to deliver more electric cars and hybrids for sale at Minnesota car lots. The new rules would be similar to those in California and more than a dozen other states, the Star Tribune reported.

Several Republican lawmakers and auto dealers from across the state objected to the proposed rules, arguing that new emission standards should come from the Legislature. But Administrative Law Judge Jessica Palmer-Denig ruled that the agency has clear authority to adopt rules that address air pollution.

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Republican lawmakers have opposed the rules since Democratic Gov. Tim Walz first announced plans to adopt them in 2019. Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, of Alexandria, threatened this week to shut down the state’s environmental agencies, including state parks, by blocking an environmental budget unless Walz and the MPCA back down on the new emission rules.

But environmental groups and electric vehicle advocates praised Friday’s ruling, saying it will help Minnesota catch up to its goals to cut greenhouse gases and fight climate change.