There are many good ideas. There are many bad ideas.
It can be easy to jump on the bandwagon and follow the lead with a good idea. Unfortunately, all too often a bad idea is followed.
Such is the case with the state of Minnesota adopting California’s “zero emissions vehicle” mandate, requiring that Minnesota Pollution Control Agency rules require new cars, light trucks, and mid-size vehicles in the state comply with the emission limits established by California. and meet California’s requirements for the sale of a certain percentage of so-called “zero emission vehicles,” as defined by California regulators.
Bravo to the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, Minnesota Gas Station and Convenience Store Association, National Convenience Store Association, Coalition for Clean Fuels Development, and ICM Inc. for filing a lawsuit against this mandate. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has called for this lawsuit to be dismissed.
MSGA, of course, has the interest of Minnesota’s 27,000 soybean farmers at heart, and rightly so, since its producer members have claimed a right to the biofuel industry. I agree that blindly following California’s lead in pushing one vehicle technology over another is foolish. Especially in a state where some of these fuels are homegrown.
This lawsuit, according to an MSGA news release, alleges that the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which creates a uniform national standard for vehicle fuel efficiency, prohibits states from adopting policies “related to” the standards. federal fuel economy EPCA says that a “State or a political subdivision of a State” may not “adopt or enforce a law or regulation relating to fuel economy standards or average fuel economy standards.”
Finding alternative fuels for vehicles is important, and all options need to be explored.
No zero emissions
It is also misleading to say that electric vehicles are zero emissions. It is true that the operation of such a vehicle may not produce emissions, but the production that goes into the vehicle itself and the extraction of minerals that go into each battery cannot be ignored. As I see it, there is no such thing as a zero emission fuel source or vehicle.
There is a place and a time for electric vehicles, but I don’t think rural Minnesota right now fits those criteria. The infrastructure for electric vehicles is growing, but it’s not there yet. And I’ll need a lot more convincing before I believe in driving an all-electric vehicle in a Minnesota winter.
Or, for that matter, I can’t wait for American farms to be powered by an all-electric fleet of trucks and farm equipment. Improvements would need to be made to decrease loading time, because farmers cannot tolerate downtime during a busy planting or harvest season.
I am in favor of proving otherwise.
I’m also all for personal choice, and the consumer should be able to make that choice, rather than a government (state or federal).
Just because California, or any other state, implements an ordinance, doesn’t mean Minnesota has to follow it. Let’s not become Eastern California.