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Minnesota dealers file complaint in Federal Court to stop administration rulemaking on California cars

Association alleges state lacks authority to regulate motor vehicle emissions and is preempted under federal law from moving forward with its rules to adopt California vehicle emissions standards

West St. Paul, Minn.—The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association (MADA) filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court alleging Minnesota lacks the authority under the Federal Clean Air Act to regulate motor vehicle emissions and is preempted under federal law from moving forward with its rules to adopt California vehicle emissions standards.

MADA President Scott Lambert

“For over a year now,” MADA President Scott Lambert said, “we have requested the Walz Administration and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) abandon their plans to follow California rules and instead pursue homegrown initiatives that benefit both the environment and Minnesota consumers.

“Instead, the agency has chosen to move forward with a plan that abdicates control to California and is harmful to Minnesota consumers and Main Street businesses across the state.”

In its complaint, MADA specifically alleges that since the federal government revoked California’s waiver to create its own emissions standards, Minnesota therefore has no legal authority to impose those mothballed standards onto its citizens and businesses.

“From the beginning, the MPCA has shown little understanding of how our industry operates and dismissed our concerns and good faith efforts to discuss other options,” Lambert said. “Instead, the MPCA is hellbent on adopting California’s mandates, which will result in higher costs for consumers and fewer choices of product that consumers want to purchase.

“It threatens the ability of many dealers to stay in business. We were left with no choice but to bring our grievances to court. We will continue to ask the Walz Administration to seek compromise instead of regulation and discussion instead of confrontation on this issue.

“MADA remains committed to working on the emerging electric car market, and will pursue legislation in the 2021 legislative session that promotes demand, more infrastructure, and education around these vehicles.”  

A copy of the statement can be found here.




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