St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - Governor Tim Walz today unveiled a plan to make Minnesota the first state in the Midwest to enact vehicle emission standards based on the California regulations being challenged by the Trump Administration.

The governor, in launching an 15-month rulemaking process to implement the new standards, says forcing automakers to decrease so-called greenhouse gas emissions will boost the supply and the demand for electric vehicles. Walz also stressed the stricter standards will not force anyone to give up their current vehicle or chose one that doesn't work for their lifestyle. They would require all new passenger vehicles in the state to be more efficient and produce less pollution.

The Trump Administration's challenge to similar regulations enacted in California argues the regulations drive up the cost of new vehicles, which discourages consumers from purchasing new vehicles and keeps less efficient and higher polluting older vehicles on the road longer.

The rulemaking process in Minnesota does not require the approval of the state legislature but will require a series of public hearings throughout the state beginning next month. If approved and depending on the outcome of the legal battle over California's rules, the new emission standards would become enforceable in 2023.

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