Minnesota is the latest state — and the first in the Midwest — to adopt California's stricter tailpipe emissions standards and mandate for automakers to get more zero-emission vehicles onto sales lots.

The rules don't take effect until Jan. 1, 2024, for 2025 models, so Minnesotans will not likely see an immediate burst of new electric vehicle options at dealerships. But the adoption sends a clear signal and vehicle selection is expected to expand over the next 18 months.

Notice of official adoption of the rules was posted Monday in the Minnesota State Register.

Gov. Tim Walz pushed hard for the clean car standards as part of his broader effort to combat the climate crisis and get Minnesota back on track to meeting the greenhouse gas reduction goals set years ago by lawmakers. Transportation is the state's leading source of heat-trapping global warming emissions, but electric vehicle sales have been minuscule in Minnesota. . . .

Walz's move to amp up vehicle electrification prompted serious opposition and a costly fight. The state's auto dealers campaigned against the regulation, and Senate Republicans threatened to withhold state environmental funding until the 11th hour in their unsuccessful effort to force the state to ditch the standards.

The controversy played a role in the early July resignation of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Commissioner Laura Bishop, whose agency led the push for the standards. . . .

Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, reflected on the "unprecedented opposition" in Minnesota to the standard and thanked Bishop, who "paid the ultimate price with her job."

"At the end of the day this is going to benefit everybody, and whether we have some scars from this, whether it was difficult, whether it was challenging ... it is worth it because it's an important step," he said. . . .

Heckova press conference. One retired labor organizer and home gardener tweeted:

Hesse has a point: the Fillmore Freeborn County native--who still keeps a farm near Harmony--was under great pressure from his Senate colleagues to concede their point. Didn't happen.

UPDATE: Rep. Hansen noted in a DM: "They invited me to the press conference yesterday. I drove up from farm right to press conference. " [end update]

Is the climate emergency pressing? Since the event, the Minnesota DNR issued a press release, More counties under burning restrictions to help prevent wildfires. Go read it. The conclusion:

The burning restrictions will remain in effect until revised or terminated by the DNR commissioner when weather and environmental conditions indicate a significant reduction in fire danger. Tribal nations regulate open burning for their communities.

Linda Gormanson, the DNR’s burning permit coordinator, said the ongoing drought is fueling unusually high wildfire activity in Minnesota and that if conditions don’t improve, banning all campfires and limiting other activities such as welding could become a necessary response.

This year, more than 1,600 wildfires have burned more than 35,000 acres in Minnesota.

Check the DNR statewide fire danger and burning restrictions map and follow the fire prevention tips above. People who spot a wildfire should call 911.

Visit the DNR wildland fire information webpage for more information on current restrictions.

Though we had rain on Monday--twice--here in Northwestern South Dakota, just across the border from Minnesota, we'll still have to water our vegetable gardens. In the pastures, stock ponds are drying up. We welcome action on climate issues.

Screengrab: From the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's twitter account.