Minnesota, New Mexico Join California and Others in Higher Emissions Standards

The fight between the federal government and the states over emission standards just got bigger.

Minnesota and New Mexico plan to join 10 other states in adopting both of California’s rules on tailpipe emissions and zero-emission vehicles, which are tougher than the federal standards.

The two states are adopting the rules after President Trump said he would rescind California’s waiver that allows the state to set its own rules.

Minnesota and New Mexico would become the 11th and 12th states to adopt California’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate and the 14th and 15th states to adopt its tailpipe standards. Colorado said in August it would adopt the ZEV mandate.

Last week 23 states sued to block the Trump administration from undoing California’s authority to set strict car pollution rules.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said on Wednesday the state planned to adopt the California rules but must first write regulations that would take at least 15 months. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said on Tuesday the state would adopt the standards by the end of 2020.

New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Lujan Grisham said:

“While President Trump threatens to rob New Mexico and indeed all states of a valuable tool for combating air pollution and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, New Mexico will stand up and deliver on our commitment to environmental leadership.”

The U.S. Transportation Department said last week that federal law pre-empted state regulation of vehicle fuel economy, including California’s vehicle rules, while the Environmental Protection Agency said it was revoking a 2013 waiver California received to set emissions standards. Both changes do not take effect until November.

The Trump administration escalated its fight on Tuesday with California by threatening to withdraw billions of dollars in federal highway funds because of poor California air quality.

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